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Welland House Children’s Home – statement of purpose
Welland House Children’s Home is managed by Devon County Council:
Devon County Council Children’s Services
This statement of purpose has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of Regulation 16 and schedule 1 of the Children’s Homes (England) regulations 2015.
Welland House is maintained as part of a range of provisions that enable Devon County Council to support families with children who have complex health, physical or behavioural needs and who may have other additional needs.
- The home and surroundings
We provide care for children with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, complex medical needs, and sensory needs.
The home is a seven bedded facility – four bedrooms upstairs and three bedrooms downstairs – although we are only registered for five at any given time – some of which are accessed either by stairs or a lift. There are ceiling hoist systems in place within the lounge and bathroom on the ground floor and in all the downstairs bedrooms, sensory room and ensuite bathrooms. The children are encouraged to choose their own bedding design and personalise their rooms to their taste with any pictures, toys, and soft furnishings, of their choice. There are two bathrooms upstairs one with a bath and the other a wet room.
There is a sensory room on the lower floor with interactive television, sensory toys, and music, where a stimulation of senses can be encouraged, or it can be used as a place to relax and stretch out in a peaceful and calm area.
There are two lounge areas: a large one downstairs, and a smaller one upstairs. The large lounge is also an activity room where various art and craft activities take place, with different topic and themed weeks incorporating trips and visits to different local places of interest.
The kitchen is accessible to the children and provides a healthy and varied menu.
There is a large garden which has two separate areas. Having the two different areas enables us to meet the varying needs of children. There is a large climbing and activity centre, a trampoline and swing in one area and the other area has been created to incorporate a sensory garden with a wheelchair trampoline and swing with access to a mobile hoist.
Our home is set on the edge of the town of Barnstaple, amongst a backdrop of beautiful natural countryside and is walking distance to many amenities including parks, a train station, bus station, 10 pin bowling, leisure centre including a large swimming pool, and the town centre which is a working market town. A short drive away there is a horse-riding centre, multiple sandy beaches, and an outdoor adventure activity centre. The area also boasts Zoological gardens, theme parks and animal and dinosaur parks. The local Hospital is within 5 miles of Welland House, incorporating an A & E department and an option of open access to the children’s ward for some children.
A location risk assessment has been completed and this is updated at least annually.
At Welland House we support children from birth to 18 years who have learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and complex medical and sensory needs. We undertake comprehensive assessments of their needs and introduce children to the home in a way that is right for them.
The support is provided within a framework agreed through the child’s annual review and care planning process. We provide short breaks and shared care support for children.
Emergency placements will be considered on an individual basis where a risk assessment will be carried out. Full time placements may be able to continue whilst a suitable long-term home is found. In these situations, the best interests of all children involved will always be at the forefront of any decisions made.
There may be times when, through joint planning and mutual agreement, a child may be able to stay beyond their 18th birthday. This will be evaluated on a case by case basis to ensure we are able to meet the needs of the young person at all times. If this was to occur there would be a review of any plans in place to support the young person to ensure we meet their changing needs as they move into adulthood.
We can be commissioned to implement assessments and treatment plans for individual children as appropriate, in liaison with other relevant persons, ensuring a multi-agency approach that values the child and puts the child’s welfare at the centre of all decision-making processes.
- Quality and purpose of care
The staff team at Welland House are skilled in adapting their approach to suit the particular needs of the children they support, and the staff training is provided to develop and maintain individual’s skills.
Our aims are to provide enjoyable stays that expand the opportunities available for children whilst also supporting them to learn skills appropriate to their age, ability and understanding, encouraging natural progression within a home environment. We do this by working closely with the child, their families, key professionals, schools and others that are important to the child to provide consistency and support in ways that are in the best interest of the child.
Each child will have an individual care plan that is reviewed at least every 6 months or when their needs change.
The ethos of the home is to provide a home from home environment where children can grow and develop through a nurturing process that caters to their individuality. We are committed to providing a caring environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. We provide activities and opportunities to enhance the childrens experiences and outcomes. We will complete a ‘My Story’ with each child to celebrate all of their experiences and achievements.
- Caring for children
The team at Welland House value the feedback we receive about the service; this is sought from a variety of sources and any learning is embedded into our practice.
We are committed to gathering feedback in ways that suit the individuals preferred communication methods which may include verbal, written, pictorial, behavioural or making use of technological aids. Children are supported to complete feedback forms; this enables children to be involved in the shaping of the care they receive and the development of the service as a whole.
Children are given the opportunity to express their views in a way appropriate to their individual communication abilities and needs. They are encouraged to participate in the review and development of services, both in general and in relation to themselves.
We work in a child-focused manner to provide a safe environment for children where they are supported, offered a variety of stimulation, and benefit from life experiences and opportunities to access a variety of in house and community-based activities.
Our staff support and respect the children’s individual beliefs and wishes. We treat each child as an individual and in so doing we recognise that religious beliefs may influence every area of a child’s life from philosophy, morality, to diet and preparation of food and mode of dress. These beliefs and wishes will be incorporated into an individual’s care plan and will shape the support and care they receive whilst at Welland House.
The children come in for each stay with their own clothes, personal affects and equipment / medication, which are returned when their visit has ended. Children and families can choose to leave items at Welland House to enable their room to be personalised before their stay with us. Children are supported to choose items to enable them to have their bedroom personalised for their stay. These items can remain at Welland House or be brought in for each visit.
In general, the children do not stay at the home with pocket money although, when they do, we ensure they are aware of how to keep this safe and will support them in accessing shops if required. During a child’s stay access to a variety of activities, both within Welland House and in the local community, is supported and funded by Welland House.
- Safeguarding children
It is the aim of the home to ensure that every child feels relaxed and safe at all times. Any safeguarding disclosure will be treated sensitively and supportively, as per Devon County Council and South West Child Protection Policies and Procedures. All disclosures will be treated seriously and reported as appropriate.
All those involved with the provision of services for children in the children’s home settings must be alert to the possibility of abuse by other children, visitors and members of staff. Staff attend relevant training in line with the Devon County Council policies. The staff team working at Welland House always have access to the management team on-call for advice and guidance as well as regular supervision in which they can discuss any concerns they may have.
Staff from Devon County Council Children’s Homes are involved in local safeguarding forums which enables us to keep up to date with the most recent developments and practice.
All compliments, concerns and complaints are taken seriously. Children are encouraged to share compliments, concerns and complaints with their parents and carers, staff, managers or the Service Manager for Countywide Services. Welland House adheres to Devon County Council complaints policies and procedures.
Children, their parents/carers, members of the public, agencies or professionals can all raise compliments or concerns to staff, lead professionals, or go directly to MASH, LADO, Disabled Children’s Service, or Ofsted.
Requests to see the homes policies and procedures can be made to Welland House or Devon County Council Children’s Homes.
Compliments, concerns and complaints can be made to:
Glenn Lobb – Service Manager for Countywide Services
One Capital Court
Telephone: 01392 38 3000 and ask for Glenn Lobb
The home promotes an environment in which bullying is not acceptable. If bullying is found to occur, effective strategies will be implemented to manage the situation safely and promptly. We support children to actively come forward with their concerns in any area.
Staff at Welland House are aware that children need privacy. However, this must be balanced with issues of protection and safety. The privacy and dignity of the children are respected at all times. There may be exceptions to this if monitoring is required due to individual needs for health and safety reasons.
All children that stay overnight at Welland House have their own private bedroom allocated to them. They are able to lock their bedroom door if they wish to, although staff do carry a key to the door and will use it to unlock a door if they deem the child to be at risk.
The need for supervision, checks, and the use of audio or visual monitors during the night, is assessed on an individual basis. Night time monitoring will only take place where there is an identified need which will be detailed in the individual’s agreed care plan and consented to by the parent and/or their placing authority. Any night time monitoring will be reviewed and discussed at the good practice committee.
Access into the building is restricted by key fobs at all external entrances and exits. Some of these fobs have isolator switches fitted enabling us to have the doors unlocked for the majority of the time. These doors will be locked during the night or where there has been a temporary increase in risk. The front door will always remain locked to protect the safety of children staying at Welland House.
At Welland House we support multi-disciplinary working with professionals and are happy to facilitate visits from known education, health and social care professionals. There are procedures in place to ensure the individuals identity is known and recorded. Any visits that take place will be organised by the parents or carer and/or lead professional for the child except in an emergency situation.
In the event of a child going missing from the home (or during outings away from the home) immediate action will be taken to locate the child. The member of staff supporting the child will carry an emergency card, which holds emergency contact details and a photograph. We will inform the police, and contact families and lead professionals, as appropriate. Full risk assessments are put in place for children who have behaviours that increase the likelihood of them going missing from care – we will link with the local police where necessary.
- Children's behaviour
At Welland House we promote positive behaviour and relationships. Children have staff members supporting them that they are familiar with. Wherever possible the child will be supported by their link staff member.
We are aware that, at times, children may present behaviours of concern. This may be due to their disability, environmental factors, other medical conditions, or as part of growing up. We support children with behaviours of concern using the positive behaviour management ethos. The valuing of individual rights, opinions and wishes of children and working in partnership with them and their families is seen as paramount.
Welland House has close links with external professionals who can provide support and advice for the staff team and the child. We aim to minimise the challenging behaviour and work with the child in order to ease out their frustrations in a safe manner. The staff team have regular meetings in which they can discuss strategies to positively support individuals.
If behaviour becomes dangerous for the child or others, staff may, as a last resort, need to use a physical intervention to support the child. Welland House staff receive behaviour management training which incorporates training and assessment of competence of physical guides and holds. Any use of a physical intervention or restraint will follow the guidelines set by the Department of Health and Devon County Council. This is used only as a last resort and reflects the presenting behaviour, using the least restrictive intervention for the shortest time possible, to keep people safe. All children who use our service will have a care plan which includes a risk assessment, behaviour plan, and a positive handling plan where applicable.
De-escalation of behaviours is supported with positive strategies. Details of any physical restraint and/or intervention will be recorded, and details shared with parents or carers and relevant professionals. The Department of Health Guidance 2002 – ‘Restrictive Physical Interventions: How to provide safe services for people with learning disabilities and autistic spectrum disorder’ – will underpin and support good practice.
At Welland House we support children to make progress towards achieving their educational potential. EHCPs and Individual education plans are incorporated into the care plans where applicable. We provide suitable facilities and support to enable children to complete homework tasks where needed.
In situations where children are unable to attend their school to receive education, we will work with the team around the child to support an agreed plan to give the child the support they need in order to return to a suitable educational setting at the right time for them.
The staff team at Welland House have close working relationships with the schools that the children attend. We are able, by arrangement with school and home, to visit the children and see them in their school environment. Staff are able to liaise with the class teacher and teaching assistants to provide continuity of care with regard to any educational and behaviour plans. Welland House staff members consult with the speech and language team so as to provide the children with necessary resources to aid communication – such as Makaton, sign language, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication Systems) books and symbols, and yes/no symbols for the children who are only able to eye point.
A representative from Welland House will attend the child’s annual EHCP review and provide a written report where required. The ‘My Stories’ that are completed will be taken to the reviews. The staff complete Welland House/school/home books to maintain effective communication.
At Welland House we aim to provide a good level of educational support to all the children that attend the home. However, we also make necessary adjustments to ensure we meet the additional responsibilities for children in care. We do this by liaising with key professionals and families and adjusting the support we provide as required meeting the individual’s needs.
As part of the individual care plan at Welland House each child has identified outcomes that are regularly monitored; identifying progress and adaptations to support that may be required for each individual. These will be evidenced in the childrens own ‘My Stories’ so that the children and family can celebrate their achievements.
- Children's health
The health needs of all the children are determined in consultation with the child, their parents or carers, and lead professionals, prior to admission and throughout their time at Welland House.
Where the children have long term health conditions, staff are trained in the clinical skills necessary to deliver the care safely. The Children’s Home has responsibility for ensuring correct and appropriate training of staff. Where it is necessary to utilise the skills of other individuals, their credentials and identity will be checked thoroughly and, if they require access to the child, it will be with parental consent and supervised.
Some of the children require specialised equipment and follow specialist Physiotherapy programmes. Staff members liaise with the relevant professionals to provide these services, consulting with parents, carers and the specialist school, often accessing these environments to provide continuity of care for the child during their stay.
Some of the children have specific dietary requirements. Regular discussions with the parents or carers and the dietician, Paediatrician and GP are necessary in order to meet the health needs of the child, whilst also taking into consideration the child’s wishes.
Families will retain parental responsibility and take their children for regular health, dental and optical checks. Families should inform the home of these so a record can be kept. Where a child is a child in care we recognise our increased responsibility and will provide support for individual children, and their families where required. Staff will support parents at visits if requested If any concerns arise about the health of a child during their stay, parents or carers are contacted and, if necessary, the child’s GP or Devon Doctors. If necessary, we will either call an ambulance or take the child to the local accident and emergency department for medical attention. The local Hospital is within five miles of Welland House. If this occurs families will be required to meet and support the child at the hospital unless specific arrangements have been agreed prior to the child’s stay. Consent forms regarding children receiving medical treatments will be completed prior to accessing the home.
Parents and carers are required to supply the correct dosage of medication for the child’s stay, in pharmacy labelled containers, containing all information to enable administration. Any changes in medication should be in written form on the medication authorisation sheet, signed and dated by the parents or /carers, and by a senior staff member of the home.
At times, children’s medication is changed on a regular basis and a repeat prescription with the new dose on it may be delayed: for example, if the medication is changed by the paediatrician the same day as the visit. In these circumstances we will seek, where possible, confirmation from the child’s paediatrician or GP over the phone. We insist that a correct label is sent in on their next visit.
We regularly consult with the child’s Paediatrician with regard to medication; this is done via telephone and email and with full involvement of the parents or carers.
Welland House adheres to Devon County Council policies regarding food hygiene, follows the Food Standard’s Agency Registration and Compliance, and follows the local authority’s “Better standards, safer food” policies. The meals prepared take into account the individual needs of the children accessing the home. The home supports the staff in accessing basic food hygiene training and relevant training in areas such as health and safety and infection control.
At Welland House there are two cooks who work part-time throughout the week and at the weekend. They, along with the staff team provide monthly cultural evenings for the children, providing a variety of taste sensations from around the world.
Welland House provides an environment where healthy living is promoted. We aim to provide a varied healthy diet, opportunities for physical activities, and promote good personal hygiene and cleanliness.
Welland House is a non-smoking site. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the site by the children, staff, or visitors.
- Staff team and recruitment
Welland House staff are recruited according to Devon County Council safer recruitment policies and procedures as recommended in the ‘Warner Report: Choosing with Care (1992)’. All our staff meet the requirements of the Children’s Home Regulations 2015.
All our staff have a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service and meet the schedule 2 requirements set out in the childrens home regulations 2015.
Staff numbers are based upon the children accessing the home and are regularly reviewed. At night the home is staffed by at least one waking night member of staff, a sleep-in member of staff, with the support of an on-call manager.
Welland House has a manager, deputy manager, team leaders including a qualified nurse, care and support assistants, cooks, maintenance person and administration support. Our manager is accountable to the Service Manager for Countywide Services. Our deputy manager and team leaders have responsibility for management of the care and support assistants. Our shift supervisors oversee day-to-day activities whilst on shift and will support with staff management as required. Bank and agency staff are available to support staffing levels during holidays and to cover staff absence.
Our manager regularly meets with the Service Manager for Countywide Services for supervision. Both our qualified deputy manager and team leader deliver in house medical training to the staff team at Welland House. They also assess the individual staff members’ competence for each procedure they are trained in.
All the care staff at Welland House are female and it is acknowledged that there is an imbalance of gender role models. However, as this is a children’s home providing short breaks, the children will have opportunities to access to appropriate male role models in their home, school and social life. Our recruitment of staff is designed to encourage a diverse workforce.
All staff members employed at Welland House complete mandatory and professional training in line with policies, procedures and appraisals. All staff receive regular supervision. Staff training is tailored and focused on the individual needs of the children accessing the home. A training matrix is available, detailing all the training needs of each role within the home.
Mandatory training includes areas such as induction, Basic Life Support, seizure control, conflict resolution, medicines management, safeguarding levels 1-6, equality and diversity, pump training, gastrostomy training, manual handling, basic food hygiene, infection control, and Information Governance. All staff attend the required annual fire safety updates, and fire drills will occur at intervals throughout the year with the details recorded.
The home manager and deputy manager hold Diploma 5 or equivalent. Team leaders and shift supervisors are required to hold, or be working towards, NVQ level 4 or level 5 diplomas in relevant subject areas. Care and support assistants will be required to hold or be working towards a Diploma level 3. The cooks and administration staff have training required for their role.
The home complies with Devon County Council Human Resources policies and procedures. Devon County Council have staff side reps (union reps) who are widely available to staff at any time for advice and support. Devon County Council also provide occupation health support for all staff and this is a confidential process where required.
For further information, please contact Louise Davey (Registered Manager) by emailing Louise.Davey@devon.gov.uk.