This statement of purpose and function has been written considering
the Quality Standards effective from the 1st April 2015
Implemented: 9th March 2020
Review Date: 13.03.2023
Spenser Cottage prides itself on setting and achieving the very highest of standards for the young people residing with us, we are creative and pro-active in providing quality standards of care that meet the individual needs of our young people and we believe that residential childcare is a positive choice for many young people.
The Directors, Management and Staff of Spenser Cottage have embraced the "Quality Standards" and as such over the coming pages we will show you how we intend to meet the requirements and how "the principles of residential care" are embedded into our practice.
The principles of residential care
Children in residential care should be happy, healthy, safe from harm and able to develop, thrive and fulfil their potential.
Residential care should value and nurture each young person as an individual with talents, strengths and capabilities that can develop over time.
Residential care should build positive relationships; establishing strong bonds with children and young people on the basis of jointly undertaken activities, shared daily life, domestic and non-domestic routines and established boundaries of acceptable behaviour.
Residential care should be ambitious, nurturing young people's Education, out-of-school learning and ambitions for their future.
Residential care should be attentive to need, supporting young people's emotional, mental and physical health needs, encouraging and empowering them to make choices and developing their self-esteem.
Residential care should be outward facing, working with the wider system of professionals for each child, and with children and young people's families and communities of origin to sustain links and understand past problems.
Residential care homes should have high expectations of staff as committed members of team, as decision makers, as activity leaders, and engaged in on-going learning about their role and the children, young people and families they work with.
Residential care should provide a safe and stimulating environment in high-quality l buildings, spaces that support nurture and privacy as well as common spaces, and spaces to be active.
Quality Standards 1st April 2015
Section 0 - Care Provider and Manager
Section 1 - Quality and Purpose of Care
Aims, objectives and ethos of the home
Our aims and anticipated outcomes for the young people and our approach to achieving them
Age, range, sex and numbers of young people
Accommodation at Spenser Cottage
How we promote and support the religious, cultural needs of the young people placed
Therapeutic Techniques Undertaken at Spenser Cottage
Section 2 - Children's Wishes and Feelings
Our facilities & services
Promoting and respecting ethnicity and diversity
Children and Young people’s rights
Anti-discriminatory practice, working with the young person and their parent
Consulting with young people about their needs and quality of care
Complaints made by young people
Section 3 - Promotion of Education
Educational provision – Fairlight Glen
Staff encouragement and support
Supporting young people with Special educational needs
Non-attendance, suspended or expelled
Areas available to study and home tutoring
Section 4 - Enjoyment and Achievement
Encouragement and provision of internal and external activities
Make positive contribution to the home and to the wider community
Section 5 - Health and Well-Being
Promoting exercise and fitness
Section 6 - Encourage Positive Relationships
The importance of positive relationships
Section 7 - Protection of Children
Assessing our staff are competent to manage challenging behaviours
Safeguarding our culture and ethos
Young people missing from Home
Consequence to negative behaviours
Non- permissible sanctions
Positive physical intervention
Recording and reporting
Safe area risk assessment
Fire Procedures and keeping the home safe
Section 8 - Leadership and Management
Stable and sufficient workforce
The recruitment of staff
The training and development of the staff team
Supervision of staff and team meetings
Electronic or mechanical means of surveillance used within Spenser Cottage
Management monitoring and review
Section 9 - Care Planning
How we support and promote contact between the young people placed and their parents and significant others
Reviews and placement plans
Behaviour management plans
Independent skills workshops
Section 10 - Staff Table
Section 0 - Care Provider and Manager
The Responsible Individual and Managing Director:
The Gathering Space
Highland Court Farm
Tel: 01227 370808
0.1 The Manager:
Ashley Smith -Homes Manager - unregistered
49 Spenser Road
Tel: 01227 283498
0.2 The Regulator:
The Regulatory Body is:
HMCI Amanda Spielman
Piccadilly Gate, Store Street, M1 2WD
0.3 The Children's Commissioner:
The Office of the Children's Commissioner
Dame Rachel De Souza
The Office of the Children's Commissioner
Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BT
Tel: 020 7783 8330
Section 1 - Quality and Purpose of Care
1.1 Aims, objectives and ethos of the home
Spenser Cottage prides itself in its team approach to caring, nurturing, supporting and safeguarding young people in our care. We recognise that every young person placed is unique and individual, so we strive to work in collaboration with the placing authorities and other identified professionals in order to meet each young person identified and individual holistic needs.
Our primary aim is to offer stability, consistency and enable the young people to develop trust, confidence and the opportunity to develop and grow. By working closely with their care plan, the SpenserCottage placement plans are devised as a tool to meet their identified needs and to aid their transition and development through to adulthood and independence.
The cycle of ongoing assessment, monitoring, evaluation and review will identify the support and provision required to ensure the young person is able to make progress in all their highlighted areas of need, which can also be achieved by setting tangible and realistic targets which are measurable and monitored closely by staff and management.
Our main objectives of our service are:
ü To provide a safe and secure environment, which is homely, nurturing, but has clear, insightful and reliable boundaries which are effective and not punitive.
ü To offer high quality residential care and support young people.
ü To provide as near to a family environment as possible.
ü To offer accommodation for 5 to 18-year olds, and to assist and support the transition into independent living.
ü To promote their development and learning.
ü To provide facilities to enable a young person to achieve positive change in their lives.
ü To offer a high-quality service.
ü Enabling young people to prepare for their independence.
ü Develop self-esteem, and encourage the learning of both social and life skills.
In order to achieve these aims the following objectives have been set:
* The creation of a warm, safe and welcoming environment.
* The ongoing and continuous development of a multi-skilled and highly qualified staff team.
* Maintenance of an effective and proactive key-worker system.
* Access for young people to all local relevant services to enable them to become more independent.
* Encouragement of positive relationships and support for the placement with all persons involved in the young person’s welfare.
* Individualised independent packages.
* Aiding a successful transition into independent living or family.
* In house workshops to achieve set targets, aims, develop knowledge, life and social skills in preparation for adulthood.
1.2 Our aims and anticipated outcomes for young people and our approach to achieving them.
Spenser Cottage’s philosophy of care reflects in the deep belief that young people have the right to be cared for in a ‘safe, stable and secure environment’.
The Provider, Manager and staff team of Spenser Cottage will endeavour to oversee and ensure a positive living experience for each young person placed. Our aim is to provide care that will promote the emotional and physical well-being of the individual and give the young person time to come to terms with the difficulties in their lives, reflect and move towards a more positive future.
Regular house meetings and key-working sessions take place enabling aspects of reflection and the ability to take responsibility for their own actions and contributions. We have come to realise these interactions are essential for all children and young people’s growth and development as most have presenting problems at referral stage that include the inability to relate at an acceptable level within a peer group. All our young people are treated equally and fairly, so issues of rivalry, jealousy and anti-social behaviour are addressed within the group and are done in such a way that they are de-personalised.
Our aim is to help stabilise and support a young person as we recognise moving into a care setting or a transition into another home can be extremely traumatic. We offer a child-centred approach, identifying individual needs and devising a structured plan to meet and address these needs.
Spenser Cottage focuses on the ongoing development of life and social skills, to prepare our young people for independent living, equipping them with confidence, knowledge and empowering them to eventually move on within the community as soon as they feel able and confident in doing so. Any problems, difficulties or challenges identified during the stay at Spenser Cottage are addressed and the young person is taught skills that may be used to help deal with these situations.
The outcomes of our service are monitored monthly in the regulation 44 report and where we still adopt the 9 quality standards, enabling us to make sure all needs are met.
It is our aim that all young people are able to achieve positive outcomes from their stay with us at Spenser Cottage. We take a holistic approach to the care of our young people, and their individual needs are identified, and tangible goals and targets are set to address issues, teach new skills and address behavioural problems.
1.3 Age, range, sex and numbers of children and young people
Spenser Cottage is registered to provide accommodation for 2 young people, of either gender, our normal admission age range is between 5-18 although children outside of this age range maybe considered subject to matching considerations with other children in placement.
1.4 Accommodation at Spenser Cottage.
Spenser Cottage is set in the seaside town of Herne bay, near Canterbury and Whitstable and only 1 hour by car from London. Although in a seaside setting, transport to and from Spenser Cottage is well supported by local bus, train and road.
Spenser Cottage is a semi-detached family home within Pilgrims corner, organised over 2 floors. It offers homely and family orientated accommodation for two young people. The interior is comfortable, bright and modern throughout, offering 2 spacious bedrooms, two reception rooms, a large open plan kitchen/dining room, with a good amount of garden space to the front and an enclosed space to the back of the property.
Due to the design of the home, the health and safety needs of children/young people with physical mobility impairment cannot be met at Spenser Cottage.
1.5 Admissions Procedure
All referrals of young people are considered, subject to availability. As much information as possible is always requested to enable the manager to discuss with their team the highlighted needs of the referred young person, and to evaluate and match the placement to the needs of any young person potentially already accommodated, as not to jeopardise their placement. The Manager also considers the skill set of their staff team, making sure they are experienced to deal with the potential issues, and specific training is sought to equip the staff team if necessary.
To ensure effective matching is in place, all relevant documentation will be requested at the time of the referral, Spenser Cottage will complete its internal matching procedure which includes completing the matching form to ensure the placement is a good match and that it meets the requirement of the Statement of Purpose in relation to the type of young person we admit.
Identified needs, risks, targets and support required is identified and agreed with the placing authority prior to admission and confirmed in more detail within the placement planning meeting. Risk assessments, behavioural support/management plan, health plan and Spenser Cottage’s placement plan will be devised in conjunction with the Local Authority’s statutory Care Plan and placing social worker.
From the initial referral to the placement planning meeting, regular liaison will take place between the manager, the staff and the referring authority to ensure that all needs are identified, and staff are able to manage the risks if any.
Telephone contact from placing social worker or referral documentation received.
During conversation or after review of documentation, it will be initially identified if Spenser Cottage is potentially an appropriate placement.
A referral form is sent, and the social worker agrees to complete the form and send all relevant information, including the most recent review minutes or core assessment.
All relevant documentation will be required prior to a young person being placed in Spenser Cottage to ensure all young people receive an effective planned move. This should include up to date care plans, CIC review minutes, psychological/Therapy assessment reports and EHCP.
The potential referral and all documentation are discussed with the staff to ensure the team have a clear understanding of the young person’s needs.
Once the completed referral form is received the placing social worker and young person will be invited to visit the home. The social worker will take a copy of the child/young person’s guide with them to discuss the home.
A potential new placement will only be discussed with the young person already in placement, when mutual agreement between the placing social worker and the staff team that Spenser Cottage is appropriate.
The manager offers to visit the social worker at the appropriate offices and discuss timescales, overnight stays, funding etc.
On placement, a key-worker will be identified, and the social worker will be able to liaise directly with them regarding the young person.
10. A placement plan meeting will be required to take place within 3-months of placement commencing, by the local authority assess progress. At that meeting, there will be a request for a commitment from the social worker to visit on a regular basis.
1.6 Emergency placements
Spenser Cottage does accept same day Placements and these are considered in the best interests of the child/children/home.
If there is no agreement, an emergency review must be convened within 72 hours of the placement commencing, to consider if the placement is suitable.
1.7 How we promote and support the religious, cultural needs of the young people placed.
Religious beliefs are always addressed at the point of admission to allow the appointed key-worker the opportunity to locate the nearest appropriate place of worship if applicable.
Because of the nature of the care system many young people have had a ‘fragmented experience’ with religion. If a young person wants to re-establish their religious beliefs, we will actively support and facilitate them to do so.
We recognise that a young person’s religious belief can form an important part of their identity and therefore play a significant part in their personal development.
All young people will have the opportunity to attend church or any other environment where they may wish to observe their religion. Staff members will endeavour to facilitate quite places to pray or transport required to accommodate this.
Spenser Cottage regularly promote the young people’s awareness and understanding of equal, diversity, and multi cultured society by having in house theme nights. These consist of the young people and staff researching information regarding a certain country, focusing on the religion, culture and beliefs of that society, cooking an authentic meal, taking part in discussions and quiz which are appropriate to the young person’s abilities. The staff team make these theme nights as engaging and entertaining to encourage involvement.
1.8 Therapeutic techniques undertaken at Spenser Cottage
Spenser Cottage outsources professional therapist involvement to either/both the Young people and Adolescent Mental health service (CYPMHS) or source independent therapists when necessary. Spenser Cottage ensure that all therapeutic input from external agencies/individual, link with Spenser Cottage to ensure good communication between the home and therapeutic professionals working with the young people and strive to achieve positive outcome for the young people. Qualifications that are accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Individuals that work directly with the young people must have a full DBS check completed before working with the young people.
Section 2 - Children's Wishes and Feelings
2.1 Our facilities & services.
Spenser Cottage’s main aim and directive is to holistically assess the range of individualised needs of each young person placed, and form a strategy of support that would best provide a caring and safe environment to develop, grow and progress. This integrated approach will ensure holistic thinking and a consistent, clear and evidence-based approach to meet the needs of the child.
Each young person will have an initial assessment which will draw together the information gathered from the local authority and education. The collating of the chronological and specific issues around each young people will identify care, education and health needs and areas for potential assessment and support.
Spenser Cottage has developed good links within the community and also have access to a range of other professionals who deliver individual services to young people as and when required. It is Spenser Cottage’s ethos to work as a holistic team, and work in partnership with the external professionals to ensure a reflective and professional approach to the needs of each young person. Spenser Cottage works within the guidelines of the Quality Care Standards whilst also thinking about the daily individual needs of each young person and their medium and long-term plans. When placed, and as soon as practically possible the 24hr management plan and behaviour support plan is devised, incorporating a detailed account of the structure to each young person’s daily routine. Initial risk assessments are also undertaken and monitored and revisited regularly.
Working in conjunction with the Local authority’s care plan and the placing social worker, Spenser Cottage’s placement plan is put in place and this will identify the individual needs, goals and targets, set with the view of the child’s young person broader, longer term plans. This is also updated and revised regularly and incorporate changes following a LA statutory review and changes in circumstances.
Spenser Cottage has developed a cohesive and professional team who are friendly, warm and approachable sharing a positive and an insightful approach when working with children and young people. The importance of developing positive relationships and good communication, enable the children to settle in their surroundings and to relate to the staff team, sharing their concerns and frustrations. These are recorded and monitored within our comprehensive key working system.
Positive behaviour is encouraged and rewarded with lots of praise and rewards whereas negative behaviours are not encouraged and whilst working in partnership with the placing social worker, consequences to actions are used to deter/modify unacceptable behaviours.
All young people placed at Spenser Cottage will receive:
Within their home:
* One to one staff ratio at all times to allow the young people access to a staff member however they will give the children and young people the space that they need to grow and thrive within themselves. However, in certain circumstances, this may be reviewed and an increase in staff ratio to child may be necessary.
* Good sized bedrooms offering personal privacy
* A homely, welcoming and comfortable living facility with provision for high needs/close supervision.
* An emphasis on building positive, strong, effective relationships and supported by a comprehensive key working system.
* Support and encouragement to promote and develop their education and development
* Promotion of understanding culture and diversity, and acceptance of others
* Preparation for Semi supported / independent accommodation.
* An experienced and well-trained cohesive staff team
* Regular in-house workshops to develop self-care, independent life and social skills
* Themed culture and diversity nights to promote acceptance of others
* Activities and excursions.
* Access to local resources which include Addaction Young Persons Service and CYPMHS.
* Access to Independent Visitors
2.2 Promoting and respecting ethnicity and diversity.
Our staff team are trained to recognise and promote an acceptance and understanding of ethnicity and cultural differences. Themed cultural evenings are regularly held within the home for the young people to part take, educating and providing everyone with an understanding and awareness of different countries; the people, language, currency, their dietary needs, customs, religious days and places of worship.
Most religions and denominations are catered for within the local area and nearby neighbouring towns.
2.3 Children and young people’s rights.
The manager and his team at Spenser Cottage believe and uphold that it is the right for any young people to have a
* safe, secure home environment and to feel protected.
* to be nurtured and cared for and have the access they need with support for their health needs.
* to be supported through education and learning.
* to be given the tools and support to progress to an independent life.
* To live a happy, joyful life and experience an active lifestyle that they may not have experienced before with a wide range of activities on offer within the local and wider area.
* To have input into the way that they would like to receive their care package within Spenser Cottage.
Young people have a ‘voice’ and are encouraged to convey their opinions and concerns anytime and particularly when engaging in key-working sessions, attending statutory reviews and making plans for their future, (where appropriate).
Weekly house meetings also provide a forum for the children and young people to air any issues /concerns or to make complaints. The children and young are made aware of the in-house complaints system during the weekly meetings and are informed of relevant numbers and contacts, that they can access, should they wish to make a complaint to an external professional.
Staff are encouraged to promote the rights of young people who may wish to make complaints. Weekly house meetings remind young people of the complaints procedure as well as allow them to air their views regarding many issues including respect for others.
All young people at Spenser Cottage have the right to be heard, protected from harm, treated with dignity and respect. The team are proactive in their approach supporting the rights of a young person and will advise all young people in respect to the complaint procedures, access to their files and information and confidentiality issues.
We aim to treat all our young people equally and fairly, encouraging openness and transparency.
2.4 Anti discriminatory practice, working with children and their parents.
Spenser Cottage is opposed to any form of discrimination against any child, young person or staff member, and in any form. The staff team work together to prevent discrimination on the grounds of heritage, nationality, culture, gender, age, religion, disability, political, ethnic, language or other opinion. Any form of discrimination by adult or young person will not be tolerated and addressed. It is our policy that all staff Spenser Cottage promotes anti-discriminatory practice at all levels. The home’s practice is young people focused always taking into account the whole young person. Children’s rights are observed at all times and all young people have a full understanding of the complaints procedure and who they can turn to if they feel their rights are not being met.
Staff are encouraged to promote the rights of young people who may wish to make a complaint. Weekly house meetings remind young people of the complaints procedure as well as allow them to air their views regarding many issues including respect for others.
Recognising the importance of the relationship between a young person and their family and significant others, the staff team at Spenser Cottage will always promote and facilitate positive contact. Family and friends will always be made to feel welcome in the home and treated with courtesy. Staff will communicate regularly with parents and family by means of regular telephone updates and reports as agreed per placement plan. The staff team uphold a professional, anti-oppressive and non-judgmental approach when working with parents and families.
All parents are always made to feel welcomed and treated with dignity and respect.
2.5 Consulting with young people about their needs and quality of care.
All young people are encouraged to participate with their ideas and suggestions in the running of the home. Although young people may have a relatively short stay in the home it is important that they leave having had a good experience.
Weekly house meetings are held, providing an opportunity for the young people placed to raise concerns, make a complaint, devise menus, choose activities and make suggestions to improve the quality of care thus, improving their outcomes. These meetings are formerly recorded and kept on file. This weekly forum is also used to address issues of problematic relationships as group living is often challenging and by the use of these open meetings, we hope to address personality problems as soon as they occur.
The staff team are friendly and approachable enabling the young people to freely state if there is a concern or suggest an idea. The manager adopts a ‘hands on’ approach working and consulting directly with the young people, as does the registered provider on her visits.
The regulation 44 independent visitor also consults with the young people on the visits and includes their feedback in the monthly reports.
2.6 Complaints made by children and young people.
Every complaint is taken seriously, and the appropriate procedures and processes are followed.
All children are listened to and made aware of the complaint’s procedure through the Children’s Guide, weekly meetings, information on the notice board and general open discussions within the house.
Complaint forms are readily available and should the child/young person wish to have support from staff with this they are able to do so. If the child/young person is not happy with the outcome or would like to speak to someone outside of the home then the staff will inform them of how and who they can contact regarding this.
National Business Unit
MANCHESTER M1 2WD
Tel. No: 0300 123 1231
The Office of the Children's Commissioner
Anne Longfield OBE
The Office of the Children's Commissioner
20 Great Smith Street
Tel: 020 7783 8330
Section 3 - Promotion of Education
The promotion of education and learning is part of our holistic approach and forms a crucial element in the care and development of all young people placed with us.
3.1 Educational provision.
Spenser Cottage is not registered as a DFE provision. Pilgrims Corner does have the use of its own education provision which is only a short distance from Spenser Cottage, which children and young people who are not currently in an education provision, can access, pending approval and discussions with the placing social worker. The provision is called Fairlight Glen and is close to Herne Bay train station. The head teacher, Chris Cordes, is available to speak with and meet the children/young people and placing social worker to discuss education options.
3.2 Staff encouragement and support.
The staff team encourage, facilitate and support learning, promoting each young person’s educational plans and adapting their individual needs recognising some young people may need more support that others as a result of their unique learning abilities. This also includes providing support within their education setting.
The assigned key-worker or another staff member will liaise with and attend all school, college, parental and educational meetings to oversee the educational care of each young person.
3.3 Supporting young people with Special educational needs.
We recognise that every young person will be diverse in their abilities and learn at different rates. We strongly support empowering young people to overcome their educational difficulties and Spenser Cottage can contribute to their support and input.
As with all young people placed, specific educational needs will be identified, and the staff are able to offer support within their schools/colleges and also within the home, working with the home tutors if applicable and encouraging extra educational activities, homework and close liaison with the young person’s teacher’s and tutors.
Special Educational Needs (SEN) or Education Health Care Plan EHCP that affect a young person’s ability to learn can include their:
behaviour or ability to socialise, e.g. not being able to make friends, including those Young people who have been diagnosed with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)
reading and writing, e.g. they have dyslexia
ability to understand things
concentration levels, e.g. they have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
physical needs or impairments
Children may have an EHCP (statement of education needs) (SEN) or an education, health and care plan (EHC) in place. We ensure this plan is adhered to and updated regularly, making sure all the needs of the young people in our care are met.
3.4 Non-attendance or Exclusion.
If a young person is subject to exclusions, refuses education or has no temporary educational placement, a structured timetable and curriculum is put in place with guidance from the Virtual Schools and that is in accordance with the young person abilities, while Spenser Cottage identify an appropriate educational placement for the young person.
3.5 Areas available to study and home tutoring.
Spenser Cottage is presented as a large family home, so is able to offer plenty of room to study. There is space for the children and young people to do homework or any other educational work that is required and the large lounge area which is bright and spacious offers a good facility that is conducive to learning. The staff team readily offers to help and support with any homework, whilst not compromising the supervision of others.
In-house tutors can be arranged and facilitated by arrangement with the placing social worker.
Section 4 - Enjoyment and Achievement
4.1 Encouragement and provision of internal and external activities.
All young people placed with us are encouraged and supported to become involved in a range of activities and recreational pursuits internally and externally. The staff team work together to promote all aspects of a young person’s development. The young person as part of their independence planning will be encouraged to identify, arrange and budget their own local activities where they can liaise with their peer groups.
Weekly activities are discussed in the house meetings and will facilitate each young person’s preference and interest. Individual timetables are devised indicating a schedule for each young person and incorporating their chosen activities inside and outside the house.
The home has two fairly large reception rooms so that the children and young people can utilise the spaces should they not wish to sit together or engage with one-another. There is also a conservatory which doubles as a gaming space. Day trips to zoos, theme parks and weekends away are also facilitated for young people to enjoy.
When appropriate and depending on the individual young person’s interests and abilities, outside activities/clubs will be identified and encouraged to develop their skills, confidence and individual interests. Staff will support the young people in regular attendance and encourage participation, ensuring that the young people are properly prepared and equipped. Eventually, dependent on the young person, this would be unsupported allowing further re-integration into the local community and the building of peer group social skills.
The young people participate in a group or individual holidays during the school summer holiday. This is arranged in consultation with the young people’s preference and takes into consideration their ability, behaviours and risks to their self or others. Risks are assessed, and strategies are put in place to best manage potential situations. The Young person/people will be kept involved in the planning of the holiday activities as a goal to work towards and look forward to.
*Please note: if a young person’s behaviour consistently presents as a danger or high risk to manage off site, their holiday may have to been cancelled in the best interest of that. This would not affect the other young person placed.
*Consent is sought from the local authority and parents, where applicable, prior to a young person participating in external events, day trips and holidays.
4.2 Make positive contribution to the home and to the wider community.
Talents, interests and hobbies are encouraged and give the young people a focus and sense of achievement, which builds self-esteem for the future. Staff source events, clubs, sport centres, days out to maintain interests and promote either continuation of their interests or development of new ones.
Overnight stays are encouraged with friends where appropriate and Spenser Cottage assess the property which they will be staying to ensure the standard welfare is sufficient. The young people at Spenser cottage are also encouraged to invite friends over from school should they wish to do so however this will be dependent on behaviours. The aim of this is to maintain a family and friendly environment and the children and young people are aware that should they wish to invite friends over, stringent checks will be completed on the friend and there family members before any agreement will be considered and as with the holidays, this will be discussed with social workers or parents and consent will be gained from them before any friends can be permitted into the home. Spenser Cottage strive to make young people part of the community and promote opportunities of friendship and achievement socially and personally.
Section 5 - Health and Well-Being
5.1 Promoting health.
Spenser Cottage provides a holistic health support package to meet the needs of each young person’s physical and emotional health.
All young people are registered with a local General Practitioner, optician and dentist shortly after admission. Via the referral and placement planning process all relevant information regarding a child’s health and their individual needs is documented to ensure that there is a continuation of care in following their transition.
Health plans are developed and monitored by the home’s registered manager to ensure medication is administered appropriately, appointments are implemented, and work is done around young people refusing to attend appointments. Where there are issues of ongoing medical conditions, referrals are made to local specialist services to ensure good levels of continuity of care.
Where appropriate, additional services are facilitated and specialists including counsellors and therapists are provided as required and as part of the health/placement/care plan.
The staff team ensure that the strive to develop positive relationships with medical professionals and offer the expected level of professionalism when engaging with medical professionals.
Whilst in our care the young people can expect a good quality of primary health care:
* All young people’s physical health is attended to by a local GP along with a local dentist practice and opticians.
* Any dietary requirements are observed, and a well-balanced healthy eating routine is put in place. (Including allergies, intolerances and religious observance)
* Trained staff administer medications where necessary and record such on the young person’s personal file and the home’s central file.
* Any outpatients’ appointments will be organised by the home and the young person are accompanied by their key-worker or staff member.
* All our young people’s psychological and emotional wellbeing will be monitored by their key-worker. The key-worker’s role is to encourage them to talk through any difficulties they are experiencing and to propose coping mechanisms to help the young people deal with them. An external counsellor can be made available for confidential discussions with the young person allowing them to feel more comfortable in discussing any issues. If the referring social worker jointly agrees for us to do so, a referral can be made to the local CHYMPS clinic.
* All staff are expected to encourage the young person to take care of their personal hygiene and help them to develop self-care skills.
* All staff members encourage healthy eating, whilst promoting the young people’s choices with regard to the menu and meals prepared, this is achieved by promoting a healthy and balanced diet, lifestyle choices and by using the "eat well" plan and encouraging the "5 a day". Preparation of food and cooking own meals is also taught regularly and a cooking schedule will be devised to ensure fairness when the young people would like to cook. This also aids in developing their interest and understanding of healthy meals and independent skills. There will be an expectation that the young person will progress to planning, budgeting and cooking all their own meals. This will be in accordance with age appropriate encouragement.
* Staff and young people will not be allowed to smoke or have any other form of substance misuse within the home and all help available will be given to support them to give up any unhealthy habits that they may have. Young people will be given appropriate advice regarding the misuse of alcohol, drugs and sexual health. Appointments with the sexual health clinic can be made and, with the agreement of the young people, referrals can be made through Addactions.
5.2 Promoting exercise and fitness.
The staff team at Spenser Cottage take a very pro-active approach to healthy eating and exercise. Young people are always encouraged to develop outside interests in both activities and in sports. Swimming is encouraged taking advantage of the local leisure centre and the staff encourage everyone to play sports in the park, including football cricket and rounders.
Section 6 - Encourage Positive Relationships
6.1 The importance of positive relationships
The manager and team will strongly advocate and support the importance of the development of building positive relationships with all young people placed at Spenser Cottage. Building upon the values of trust and respect, and by having a small regular and consistent staff team, good interpersonal relationships are able to be established thus providing the foundations for stability.
Section 7 - Protection of Children
Through training and experience our staff team have developed an insight to understand why negative behaviours sometimes manifest in young people who are placed within the care system. There are so many contributing factors, and each young person’s background including their family, relationships with peers and educational experience can be very complex. For some their behaviour, can be a result of a learning difficulty, abuse, neglect, poor emotional health, gang and criminal involvement, so are acting out their frustrations, or testing the boundaries and rebelling against social constraints.
All of our staff are trained and regularly attend refresher courses in the area of safeguarding and young people’s sexual exploitation. Each young person is cared for differently in accordance with their needs in terms of safeguarding and CSE. In the event of risk of CSE the staff will complete the Kent and Medway Safeguarding and CSE risk assessment, and this will then be placed in the Young Person's file and a copy sent to their Social Worker.
Spenser Cottage staff work closely with local authorities and public services to formulate personalised plans to protect each young person. Spenser Cottage has access to specialist services that the home can call upon in cases where intensive support is required.
Staff also complete online training in relation to the ‘The Prevent’ training Channel general awareness to ensure they are able to identify young people who may be vulnerable to radicalisation and what to do when they are identified.
At the centre of safeguarding within the home is the idea that if young people feel comfortable around the home and have a good relationship with staff, they are more likely to listen to staff members when they are trying to encourage them to stay safe. In addition to this, good relationships mean a young person is more likely to talk to the staff about any situations that may worry, upset or scare them.
The home ensures staff are familiar with the company’s whistle blowing policy and the home emphasises the ethos that all concerns no matter how small they seem must be reported whether they concern colleagues or not. The number one priority for all staff members is the young people.
7.1 Assessing our staff are competent to manage challenging behaviours.
Comprehensive training and the development of our staff team is fundamental to all the work we do. Managing negative behaviours, rewarding the positive behaviours and achieving set targets is the positive modification we implement to prepare young people for independence and social inclusion. Throughout their employment and as part of their development, all staff members have a training/competency matrix in place to monitor their progress.
This will include the following to highlight areas the staff member excels in and areas that may need further development, ensuring all staff’s development needs are met:
A supported Induction
Observing staff members in practice
Staff Competency and Skills Assessments
Using case studies
The close monitoring of sanctions implemented
Making sure the staff promote and provide the opportunity for the children/young people to redeem themselves
All staff receive physical intervention training which trains in the use of de-escalation skills and physical intervention
Challenging behaviour training
Systems that are put in place to manage behaviours and monitored by the manager:
Behaviour management plans
Behaviour modification – rewards and target setting
Young people house meetings/consultation
7.2 Safeguarding our culture and ethos.
All young people deserve to be kept safe, and especially in their home environment. The manager and the staff team are very friendly, and a comprehensive key-working system is in operation, providing good channels of communication and recording.
Within the office is a Safeguarding Poster as well as the flow chart and the visitor’s leaflet, which all outline the requirements of the staff should they feel that a child protection/safeguarding concern is observed. Contact numbers of who to contact within the organisation, as well as outside professionals are outlined on this and clearly state who the Designated Safeguarding Lead for the organisation is.
All young people are encouraged to report any concern however small. Staff are rigorous in their approach to safeguarding and have been trained to recognise, intervene and pursue if any child protection issues, or intimidation or bullying is suspected to be taking place, inside or outside the home.
All Spenser Cottage’s safeguarding / child protection policies are in place and require reading during the induction process. These are in file named “policies and procedures” in the office.
The policies include:
All Incidents are rigorously monitored and any incidents which have any young child protection implications are reported immediately to the Manager/Child Protection Officer. All young child protection incidents are thoroughly investigated in order to ascertain the nature of the incident and outcomes are sought and recorded, with all appropriate parties kept fully informed throughout each investigation.
Staff induction includes training on safeguarding/ child protection procedures for the home and the local authorities’ policy and procedures.
All our young people are encouraged to speak to any member of staff if they feel unhappy about an incident that had occurred between themselves and another resident or member of staff. They are also able to contact outside agencies if they feel this is a more appropriate way forward. All staff have a duty to report to management immediately if inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour is displayed towards a young person and act accordingly to safeguard that young person from any further incidents.
Any allegation of abuse or bullying will be properly investigated and recorded by the registered manager or provider who will be responsible for ensuring appropriate action is taken without delay.
Spenser Cottage is proactive in safeguarding and protecting young people in our care. We believe that with high levels of staffing and supervision within the home, the opportunity for bullying or potential young child protection issues are minimised.
7.3 Children missing from Home.
Any incident of young people being or going missing from the house without authorisation will always be taken seriously.
We realise there are times when a young person feels unable to cope with certain situations and will leave the house without permission or notification. A vulnerable young person can make themselves more vulnerable through absconding.
The staff team will always actively search the local area, and try and make contact with that person. Spenser Cottage abides by its strict policy and procedures to ensure the utmost safety of its young people at all times. All young people have a Missing from Care protocol, flow chart and vulnerability risk assessment in place which informs the staff on what they should do if a young person goes missing. These are shared with the local Missing from Care team at Kent Police as well as the individual young person’s social worker. PID numbers are requested from the MCET team and the liaison for this is PSE 60208 Feebs Sparks (Missing Child Liaison Officer) and Victoria Lee (Youth Engagement Officer).
Dependent on the nature of the young person as identified within their risk assessment, age and length of time missing, the police, young person’s social worker and parent(s) where appropriate, will be notified. Each period of unauthorised absence is recorded by the registered manager/staff team and amendments to the risk assessment, the Behaviour Support Plan and the Day to Day plan are amended as necessary. Young people identified as High/Critical in relation to risk category information is shared with local services (Social Services, Police, Fire etc.) and per agreed placement/care plan.
Through adapting good communication skills with all young people placed, the staff team at Spenser Cottage encourages young people to talk about their concerns and worries, so strategies to assist them to identify coping strategies as alternatives to absconding.
The staff team are very proactive in preventing any form of bullying or intimidation within Spenser Cottage. Bullying is a rare occurrence due to the high levels of supervision and a subject that is regularly discussed in the weekly house meetings which incorporates ‘respect of others. Staff members have a responsibility to ensure that bullying is prevented at all levels inside and outside of the home and acceptance of others is promoted throughout the organisation.
The staff team encourage the children to voice any concerns they may have at any time and will always include this in their key working sessions.
We prevent bullying taking place within Spenser Cottage by:
An approachable staff team
Having an anti- bulling policy in place for all staff to read
Training for staff on preventing and managing bullying
Incorporating this subject in the children’s guide
High levels of supervision-one to one staff at all times
Close liaison with schools and colleges and their tutors/teachers
In-house workshops on bullying for the children and young people
Regular Key-working sessions
Young Persons in house meetings
Maintaining and promoting respect for others at all times
Advocacy is encouraged for the young people
7.5 Consequence to negative behaviours.
Spenser Cottage recognises the importance to teach our young people how to behave and is what is considered as socially acceptable in today’s society. We believe that they should be aware of their behaviours and the negative impact they could have upon others and ultimately themselves.
Sanctions may range from an apology, withdrawal from the situation, verbal reprimands, loss of privileges, loss of a leisure activity, additional chores, or increased supervision. The agreed consequences to negative actions are incorporated in the placement plan/behaviour management plan and agreed with the placing social worker.
We believe that young people respond better to rules if they are able to contribute in devising them, and that they are reviewed regularly. The staff team at Spenser Cottage will ensure that the house polices (rules) and boundaries are maintained in a fair and consistent manner by all staff.
Where boundaries are breached, staff will be required to consider whether the act was deliberate, not deliberate, accidental, or an aspect of the young person’s behavioural problem or due to their level of understanding or function. If the act was not deliberate, the staff will address the issue as an educative process with the aim of preventing any further breaches of boundaries, however if the act is repeated it will be considered as wilful and sanctions will be actioned.
All sanctions are recorded and documented fully and are monitored by the management team.
7.6 Non- permissible sanctions.
All staff are aware of the non-permissible sanctions as outlined in the regulations and company policy and procedures. The staff team are to remain compliant at all times.
Spenser Cottage are fully aware and will uphold that under no circumstance will a sanction cause physical harm, humiliation or use power over the young person.
Sanctions are agreed during the planning meeting and will focus on being age appropriate, and in line with the level of understanding that the young person has.
Food or contact with family or physical restraint will not be used as a sanction at any time.
7.7 Positive physical intervention.
Spenser Cottage train their staff to firstly try to diffuse a situation with diversion using calm communication skills. All staff are trained using physical intervention and de-escalation training which provides them with knowledge of safe handling techniques and de-escalation. This course is refreshed yearly to update and maintain their skills. Managing Challenging Behaviour is also delivered as both on-line training and face-to-face training.
Positive physical intervention is only used as a last resort. All other techniques would be used first.
The only time a situation would warrant physical intervention is when:
The young people or young person was placing themselves or others at an unacceptably high level of risk or danger
Another person was being injured.
They were causing damage to the property
Attempting suicide or placing themselves in grave danger
Staff are aware of the psychological effect restraint may have upon a young person and their care in terms of historical events.
In all circumstances a restraint will be always recorded and documented. Any instances where restraint is deemed necessary will result in the management team being informed, and all those involved being offered a ‘debrief’.
Following a physical intervention, all young people are reminded of their right to complain and how they complete this. This is recorded on the restraint report. Support to do this will be offered if required. They will also be offered a medical check from a GP or other medical agency should they wish to be checked over following a restraint.
7.8 Recording and reporting.
All incidents of negative behaviours including physical intervention, is recorded comprehensively and cross referenced and then sent to the retrospective parties, this is then placed on that young person’s file. After every physical intervention, all people involved are interviewed and the incident addressed in a key-working session and followed by a de-brief. All recordings are monitored by the manager and recorded in the regulation 45 monitoring.
7.9 Safe area risk assessment.
Spenser Cottage takes it upon itself to conduct and assess the suitability of the location of the home and the surrounding area. We compile information from the local police service and our local authority making sure the vicinity is appropriate, and putting in the necessary structures, boundaries and supervision in place to remove and avoid risk where possible, and to optimise the safeguarding of the young people in our care.
7.10 Fire Procedures and keeping the home safe.
Fire Regulations are in place for everyone’s safety. Each young person is made aware of the procedures on admission to Spenser Cottage.
There is a fire risk assessment in place which is reviewed and updated annually. This identifies both the engineering and procedural controls that are applied for fire safety.
The manager ensures that all staff are trained in fire safety and each staff member is responsible for regular checks on all fire safety equipment. Equipment for fire safety will be inspected and tested weekly and a record kept. There are also fire extinguishers placed around the house in case of emergency. Fire escape plans are also clearly displayed in the building.
All visitors are informed on their arrival of the fire escape plan, the exits and assembly points in the event of a fire and if there is a scheduled fire drill that day.
Staff are trained in all aspects of safety and emphasize to the young people the need to respond quickly in the event of an alarm sounding. There are ongoing discussions with the young people to remind them of the procedures and how they should conduct themselves, e.g. assembly points.
Upon placement, all young people and staff are put through a fire drill to educate them in what to do in the event of a fire. These drills are recorded and documented; regular fire drills are completed to ensure that all staff and young people are aware of what to do should the alarm sound. Drills are taken place during the day and during night/sleep hours too so that staff and young people can act appropriately and accordingly should the alarm sound at night time
Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEP) are documented for all young people within Spenser Cottage.
There is an annual inspection of fire extinguishers by an accredited maintenance company.
All electrical equipment in the home is tested (P.A.T) and tagged by a qualified electrician. Electrical items brought into the home by residents are also tested to verify their safety.
Health and safety throughout the home is risk assessed and reviewed annually or updated before if a new risk arises. Weekly checks are completed by a member of the staff team, making sure the home adheres to regulations and is a safe environment for all young people to live.
Section 8 - Leadership and Management
8.1 Stable and sufficient workforce.
Spenser Cottage has a stable and consistent staff team of 10 including the Manager. This team consists of the following members:
Please refer to the staff table on the last page of this document.
8.2 The recruitment of staff.
We adopt an in-depth and thorough process when recruiting new staff members.
There is a strict process we undertake to identify the right applicants from the initial job advertisement through to verified referencing and enhanced DBS checks. We promote equal opportunities and all applications will be viewed and considered. Managing this process, we are vigilant not to discriminate anyone from a different cultural background or ethnicity but ascertaining their right to work in the UK and if their skills meet our needs.
When recruiting additional staff members, it is Spenser Cottage’s ethos to find individuals whose aims are to safeguard and promote the health, welfare and safety of the child accommodated.
8.3 The training and development of the staff team.
All staff will initially receive an in-house induction over their first few weeks of employment, which will help to familiarise themselves with the house routines, boundaries, structures and paperwork. This covers the health and safety aspects of working within Spenser Cottage, policies and procedures, administration and recording, and the philosophy and expectations for our residential support workers. They are given specified time to read the policies and procedures, and undertake shadow shifts to experience all shift patterns, allowing them time to get to know the young people placed.
For all staff working at Spenser Cottage and Pilgrims Corner, there is an integral core training programme to ensure the basic competences are covered. Core training includes:
* Young people Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
* Emergency First Aid
* Food Hygiene
* Physical Intervention and De-escalation
* Fire Safety
* Health and Safety
* Administering of Medication
Further training is identified in specific areas where the needs of the young people require in-depth knowledge of their backgrounds. Examples include
* Domestic Abuse
* Sexualised Behaviour
* Substance Misuse
* Online Safety
This is not an extensive list and further training will be sourced dependent on the needs of the children and young people placed at Spenser Cottage.
All staff that do not have the NVQ Level 3 are also required to undertake this training and upon successful completion of the probationary period, will be enrolled onto the course. We aim that 100% of the staff at Spenser Cottage hold one of the above qualifications or higher or be registered on a programme of study working towards this.
The manager, if they do not hold this or the equivalent already, will be required to complete the Level 5 in Leadership and Management.
8.4 Supervision of staff and team meetings.
Running alongside the induction package, new staff receive one to one formal supervision on a fortnightly basis for the first month of their six-month probationary period. The management team provide ‘Informal’ supervision as and when it is required.
New members of staff have a probationary review at the end of their initial probationary period. Thereafter, all staff will receive regular formal supervision sessions. The staff team are supervised by the manager or deputy manager.
Further staff support is provided through team meetings and handovers. Team meetings take place regularly and handover meetings occur twice daily at shift changes to maintain the continuity of care.
The Manager is supervised regularly by the Operations Manager or Responsible Individual.
All staff are appraised annually. Areas of training required, or skills needed to be developed are formulated into a personal development plan, which will be reviewed during supervision.
8.5 Electronic or mechanical means of surveillance used within Spenser Cottage.
Spenser Cottage operates a sensor alarm system in the home, which is in the form of a motion detector. This is so that if the young people wish to leave the bedroom, sleep-in staff are notified of this through audible sounds. The purpose of this is to ensure that children are safe during the night and to minimise the risk of any potential young people protection issues. Our young people are always supervised and managed well by personal contact and activity. Young people are encouraged to behave in a reasonable and responsible manner as part of their experience with us.
* Night time as like day time is supervised by staff, not only to observe and support the young person but to be available to offer advice and assistance if required, with back up support of the Registered Manager/on-call manager
* The sensor alarm will only be activated when all children are in their bedrooms and sleeping in staff are going to their rooms. This alarm system is only managed by staff.
* On no account, will the alarms be used during day time hours or for staff members to reduce their overall supervision of the children.
8.6 Management monitoring and review.
Post Vacant (Registered Manager), Stephen Stylianou (Home Manager) and Mark Griffiths (Deputy Manager) oversees the monitoring and reviewing of the welfare of the young people within the home. This is achieved through observation and interaction with: the young people, family/carers (where appropriate), any professionals involved with the protection and welfare of the young people.
Pilgrims Corner regularly review all policies and procedures considering research developments, policy and legislation changes and developments, and information developments of good practice in regard to working with young people.
Quality of Care Review
The Registered Manager/home manager and deputy manager review the quality of care (Regulation 45) that the young people receive every three to six months. The review focuses on the quality of care the young people receive, feedback and opinions of the young people, and the overall management and staffing of the home.
Spenser Cottage appoints an Independent Visitor (Reg 44 Visitor) who is sourced by Pilgrims Corner, to complete a report on a monthly basis. The opinions and views of the young people and staff is taken into account to identify any improvements that can be made. All paperwork systems and documentations are reviewed to ensure they are maintained and in line with the Quality Care Standards. Development of the home and maintenance is also reviewed to ensure that the homes facilities and environment is of a good standard. The Independent person ensures that the young people are effectively safeguarded and that the home is promoting their well-being. Any recommendations from this report is implemented as promptly as possible and sent to Ofsted.
Section 9 - Care Planning
9.1 How we support and promote contact between the children placed and their parents and significant others.
For children and young people, having regular contact with family, friends and significant others plays a crucial part in establishing their stability, forming their identity and development.
Contact can take many forms including face to face, in house and off site, telephone, letter box, texts and emails, social media, and all of which can be facilitated, promoted and recorded whilst placed at Spenser Cottage.
Contact with family and friends is always discussed with the placing social worker and included as part of the placement plan, incorporating with, who, when, where and if supervised or unsupervised. A contact plan is also devised, and recordings are made to document any behaviours leading up to or after a contact visit. Contact is always discussed in key-working sessions.
All contact visits to the home are required to make prior arrangements to visit and in line with what has been agreed in the placement plan. This is to ensure the safety of all the children placed and that appropriate staffing levels are in operation. We expect the placing social worker to adhere to the contact arrangements made at the placement meeting. The placement meeting also identifies other contact arrangements and we will endeavour to carry out those arrangements, either within the home or by transporting the young person to an appropriate venue. There is an expectation that within the home all visitors will behave in an appropriate manner and respect the ‘home’ of the other residents. Failure would result in being escorted off of the premises.
Where appropriate, and assessed as safe to do so, privacy is given to the young people and their visitors to enjoy their quality time. Supervised contact arrangements can also be facilitated in house and off-site visits with arrangement.
Staff will always have a duty to promote and sustain contact unless:
It is deemed inappropriate or unsafe to do so.
The contact visit appears to be deteriorating -the staff will intervene and curtail the visit so that the visit ends on a positive note.
The contact visits conflicts with the arrangements made within the care/placement plan
Our young people are encouraged to make friends in the local vicinity and arrangements for them to visit the home can be arranged. Visits will only take place after all parties are consulted and have agreed.
Contact will never be used as a form of control or punishment. Contact is seen as a vital link in children and young people’s lives.
No overnight stays are permitted at Spenser Cottage.
9.2 Reviews and placement plans.
Reviews will take place as per statutory requirements. All young people will be encouraged to attend their reviews or participate at some level to ensure that their views and opinions are heard. The young person will always have their key-worker or manager present in their Reviews or a significant other who can advocate on their behalf. Young People are also encouraged to complete their own personal Review documents, but staff will provide support and assistance if required.
A planning meeting is requested by the manager within the first 7 days of placement, to enable a comprehensive placement plan to be devised and any other concerns or issues to be addressed.
9.3 Behaviour management plans.
On placement, and written in conjunction with the placing social worker, an individual detailed action plan is devised identifying the presenting and historical behaviours and difficulties – whilst taking into consideration the contributing factors.
Strategies are put into place and identified behaviours are targeted, tangible goals are discussed with the young person and goals are set, with chosen rewards put in place and agreed consequence to negative actions.
The plans are reviewed regularly and updated to accommodate change/improvement and also include additional areas to be addressed if required. The appointed key worker will include discussion around behaviours and consequences within the key worker sessions, making sure it is recorded in detail.
Our aim at Spenser Cottage is to provide a safe and comfortable home, help stabilize and support a young person and eventually prepare and equip them with the confidence, knowledge and skills to move onto independent living within the community as soon as they feel able and confident in doing so.
9.4 Independent skills workshops.
There is a set format of in-house workshops that are held regularly over the course of each month and are often repeated, or new workshops added to meet each young person’s needs. These include a variety of subjects and new skills such as: completing application forms, budgeting, understanding health, culture awareness, gardening, laundry, housekeeping and cooking.
Each workshop is recorded and the participation and outcomes are documented and filed on each young person’s individual file.
Spenser Cottage staff facilitate independent living skills for the children. These support the young person’s social worker when they are requiring completing their Pathway Plan. Staff will be able to plan, implement, assess, and record the outcomes from each session, evidencing the young person competence in each area.
These workshops and training will cover a range of areas, such as;
Budgeting skills (inclusive of paying bills, living on a budget, how to furnish a flat on a budget).
Independent living skills
Health, well-being & sexual health
Cooking meals on a budget
Risk management, keeping your house safe
Completing a CV and applying for a job
Please ask for our current staffing and skills set list, this is an ever changing document which we provide separately.
Our policies are available to view at: http://www.proceduresonline.com/pilgrimscorner/ch/index.html