Manager: Jill Firth
The home is situated within easy reach of local amenities and adopts a holistic approach to education with an emphasis on relationship building and communication with the young people. As well as this, creativity is encouraged with art, music and mindfulness explored so the young people can build their confidence and individuality with a view to reaching their full potential.
Age of Young People
Dove House can accommodate young people of any age; however normally they are between 8 and 18 years old. The admission process is robust and young people’s needs are carefully matched with co-residents, including age, stage and emotional development to ensure that the placement is in the best interests of both young people, a full shared living risk assessment is completed prior to admission.
Dove House is a six bedroom detached bungalow with a large rear garden and a substantial front driveway area. The rear garden is enclosed making it ideal for outdoor activities and summer BBQ’s. As a home, we continue to build upon the facilities in and outside the home.
The property consists of an open plan living room/dining room, kitchen with a utility area. There are six bedrooms in total, four of which are the young people’s bedrooms. Two are used for a staff sleep room, the home also has a separate staff office. There is also one bathroom and another shower room. Within the grounds is an outside office and semi independence training flat. All shared areas of the home are accessible to young people. In the interest of confidentiality young people do not have access to the staff office.
At Dove House, we endeavour to ensure that a warm, homely environment is created to inspire young people to feel safe and secure. The daily routine of the home is centred on the young people’s needs. We make every effort to involve young people as much as possible with the decisions around the home; for example, we encourage young people to personalise their surrounding by actively participating in choosing decoration and furnishings for the home, putting up photographs and personalising their own room.
Children have positive experiences living at the home. Through the support from staff, children are taken on activities such as going to the caravan for holidays, retail therapy, and going for walks. The time children spend with staff is meaningful. Children benefit from nurturing relationships from staff, which has resulted in them forming positive attachments.
Children are supported with their psychological well-being through direct work with a mental health practitioner. This is helping the children to cope better when they are feeling anxious. Staff also seek support from the therapist and apply strategies to their approach. This has resulted in children trusting the staff around them. One child said, ‘I feel safe here, I can talk to staff about how I feel, and that’s because I trust them.’
The children’s education is a focus for the registered manager. One child left school achieving eight GCSEs. One teacher said, ‘If you’d asked me was [child’s name] was going to pass their exams before moving to the home, I would have said no. It was staff that got [child’s name] there.’ Where there are barriers to children’s education, the registered manager advocates on their behalf. This helps to ensure that children reach their potential.
One child is supported by the staff with their independence. The child is now capable of budgeting their money appropriately, such as buying and cooking food, and has the understanding of saving for things that they want to buy. Developing these skills is preparing the child for independent living, and provides them with skills that they can use throughout their life.
Contact is supported and facilitated when needed by staff. In difficult situations, the registered manager has a diplomatic approach towards family members. While listening to their views and opinions, she also reiterates what is best for the child.
Children influence the care they receive in the home. Staff focus on the children’s individual needs and the matters that are important to them. For example, staff sensitively planned out what needed to be in place to enable a child to meet with a friend outside school. This helps children to develop a sense of self-worth.