Consultation and Advocacy
We do this through holding regular house meetings, one to one sessions with the child, key worker sessions and carrying out focus work. We tailor such communication to individual young people’s needs, level of understanding and cognitive ability. This consultation with our young people allows us to build positive relationships, ensuring young people feel they are listened too, involved and valued when making decisions about their lives.
Each month a residents meeting is held within the home which gives the young people the opportunity to discuss their care plans and their views on living at the home. The staff team will ensure that young people’s agreed contact with family, friends and significant others is promoted at all times. This will include, where appropriate, visits to the young person within the home, the young person visiting their significant others either in their homes or on neutral grounds, letters, emails, text messages, use of the internet communication systems and any other agreed forms of contact. Under no circumstances will restriction of family contact be used as a means to sanction or manage a young person’s behaviour.
On admission young people are given the contact details for their Social Worker, IRO, Children’s Right Officer, Ofsted and the Independent Regulation 44 Person. Additionally they have access to consult with the Regulation 44 Person on an individual basis during their monthly inspection visits.
Young people are consulted regularly on their views about the home and the care they receive. This includes the encouragement of young people reading their living documents and contributing to the running of the home. Staff teams will ensure that young people can view and contribute towards these records in a way that reflects their voice.
The homes will regularly seek young people’s views to inform the homes monthly Quality of Care Review and the Regulation 45 report. This information will help continued improvements in the quality of care provided, and young people will be able to see their contributions actioned where appropriate.
Staff will support young people by advocating on their behalf if required to, or supporting the young person to access external advocacy of their choice where they are unhappy with any aspect of their care. Young people will be reminded of their right to access advocacy services on a regular basis and will also be informed about how to contact the Office of the Childrens Commissioner for advice and assistance about their rights and entitlements.
Choice, individuality, cultural, religious/spiritual and ethnic views
Dove Adolescent Services provides a nurturing and supportive environment which engages positively with young people and makes every effort to involve the wider system around them to ensure their needs are met. Within this we take account of individuality, gender, religion, ethnic origin, cultural/linguistic background, nationality, spirituality, disability, sexual orientation or any diversity ensuring as far a possible that young people do not feel marginalised or discriminated against, including as a result of their looked after status.
Young people will be encouraged to learn through educational programmes as well as through naturally occurring opportunities to develop their awareness of the diversity of religions and cultures. Staff will support the young people to maintain their religious/cultural observances and all staff will receive Equal Opportunities training to aid their understanding of how to promote this effectively. There is an expectation that they will base their work-practice on anti-discriminatory practice and will support young people with all aspects of their needs, regardless of their personal values and beliefs.
When children placed with us have additional needs, we take into consideration their views and provide an opportunity/make arrangements to allow them to be communicated effectively.
Working in partnership with others
We believe in working closely in partnership with significant people involved in the child’s life, this includes, (but is not limited to):
- The child’s Family (where appropriate) including parents, siblings, grandparents and wider family network.
- Placing authority - Social worker/Leaving care worker
- Advocacy support
- Professional support services – including CAMHS, Youth offending team, Police, Missing persons teams, safeguarding teams, LAC Nurse, Drugs & alcohol services etc.
Staff must adhere to any restrictions/court orders within the young person’s care plan which may limit or prevent a young person from having direct access with an individual/group. There may be circumstances where the staff team have assessed that a restriction of contact is necessary in order to safeguard the young person or promote their welfare in an emergency situation. A decision of this nature will never be taken lightly and will only take place following consultation between the young person’s placing authority/EDT and the homes manager/on call.
We promote young people rebuilding any positive relationships, so when relationships have been damaged, staff must encourage repairing these relationships and managers are responsible for developing a clear plan of how to structure this.
In appropriate cases, parents or significant others are encouraged to attend reviews and all relevant parties are informed of any decisions or developments that may occur. Parents and significant others are always welcome to visit, however it is advisable to notify staff of intended visits, thus allowing for appropriate planning within the home.
As an organisation we value feedback. Feedback is sought from all invested people and stakeholders to ensure continual review and refreshment of services. Confidential consultation papers are available for young people, parents, placing social workers and external agencies engaged in joint working. This enables feedback on all aspects of care provided. The consultation process is monitored via the registered person’s monthly review of ‘Quality of Care’ and their bi-annual Regulation 45 report as well as the monthly reports provided by the Regulation 44 Person.
Additional consultation will occur with social worker and families through provision of regular progress reports and regular updates about the young person. It is our aim (where appropriate) to involve families with the everyday care of each young person to strengthen and build upon relationships and support networks in line with Social Pedagogic Ideology. Through consultation and involvement we aspire to provide a seamless delivery of care which will prepare the young people and their significant others for transitions, develop transferrable skills for life and re-settlement within society.
Enjoyment and Achievement
We provide our young people with a range of diverse learning experiences such as activities and holidays which provide opportunities for positive and trusting relationship building. We are proactive in recognising any achievements made by the young people and celebrate these with them.
We work hard to build constructive and warm relationships with young people. We aim to have a consistent team of care staff around the child and try to reduce the impact of people leaving/moving homes as much as possible as we recognise the detrimental effect this can have on children with attachment difficulties.
Protection of Young People
We have a strong culture surrounding safeguarding issues where staff feel empowered and confident in risk management and safeguarding. Staff are clear about their roles to protect young people and the need to communicate effectively to create excellent multi-agency relationships.