Our Aims and Philosophy
Young people who will be placed in our homes may have experienced significant trauma and neglect. Our young people may encounter difficulties with social interaction, high anxiety, low self- esteem and communication. Those children in our care with a diagnosis of developmental disorder will often have sensory needs and struggle to make sense of the world around them. For some young people their coping mechanisms have meant they place themselves at risk and need support to develop safe risk management. When a child is placed with us they can expect an environment designed to optimise their wellbeing, it is inviting,spacious and has a caring staff team. We carefully consider the young person’s starting point and what each home can offer as a responsive setting. We offer a minimum of 1:1 staffing levels per child and this level will only reduce in order to better meet the needs of a child, for example to enable some free time in the community or on unsupervised contact.
Personal Placement Planning
We encourage outside agencies such as local authorities, youth offending services, charities, training providers, community support groups, health workers and advocacy providers to give their input into young people’s care packages and listen to them as advocates for the young people. We will build close working relationships with such outside agencies and seek to enrich the children’s community links.
Our mission is to support young people to achieve a high quality of life and to reach their potential. A personal placement plan is agreed with the placing authority and will include a personal placement plan identifying care, health and education needs as well as any special medical or therapy requirements, contact arrangements, education arrangements, hobbies, interests and best ways to help the young person meet their personal goals.
The Personal placement plan includes the young person’s views and wishes. Young people’s physical, emotional, mental health and well-being is an important factor of any placement and we ensure that the needs of each young person are considered as part of the individual care planning process. Short and long term individual areas for support are identified and the team at each home will monitor the plan monthly in partnership with the young person, the local authority, families if appropriate, and relevant outside agencies.
Young people will be able to read and input into their personal care plan. Paperwork will be adapted to be easily understood by the children in our care and be bilingual if desired by the child.
Looked After Child reviews for all young people will take place every 6 months or sooner. This will involve the young person’s family (if appropriate) and key agencies involved with their care. The young person will also contribute to the review and be given the home’s review report in advance of the meeting their ownership and participation will be encouraged and supported by the staff team.
Risk assessment is an important part of each child’s personal plan and can help facilitate positive outcomes. Initial risk assessments are supplemented by specific risk assessments for areas of particular note such as a need to learn to use public transport in order to access opportunities or a protocol to help young people manage self -harm or aggression safely. Risk assessments are recorded on a ‘Risk Management plan’ and reviewed at least monthly by the home team and manager or more frequently as appropriate.
Activity Planners and Outcomes
We seek to maximise opportunities for young people using routines and activities as a self- development tool. At Horizons Educarechildren help create their daily routines and have many choices around the activities they can undertake. Children have access to a wide and varied leisure and recreational programme, which is personal to them and appropriate to individual age, abilities, needs and interests. Children are given ownership of their daily routines and activities. The’ActivityPlanner’ has built in emotional wellbeing points with daily opportunities to talk about feelings, self- reflection and rewards. Evenings and weekends offer a valuable time for relaxation and opportunities for a variety of fun leisure experiences.
We fully recognise and promote the plethora of ways in which informal educational opportunities can enhance young people’s lives and build self- esteem and confidence. We will offer informal education for any child placed at our homes, as a minimum education intervention, as we want to prevent young people falling behind in their education or social development.
Often young people in our care have had traumatic and chaotic backgrounds and finding positive experiences in daily activities and routines can be a crucial part of learning to feel safe and valued.
Structure and boundaries are skilfully introduced via the activity planner and routines so that the young person accepts the help and begins to make progress. Any progress is recognised by the team and heavily rewarded using praise and positive reinforcement in line with our therapeutic approach.
Leisure and learning facilities in the local and wider community are easily accessed using our own vehicles or public transport. Activities are risk-assessed to ensure the safety of the young people and to help them take reasonable risk to learn about risk reduction.
Imparting life skills is an important part of Horizons Educare placements. Our activity planners include life skills such as budgeting and personal care. Young people can work towards a qualification in life skills. We seek to impart these skills in a way that is meaningful to the children and boosts their confidence and self-esteem such as through keeping a pet or learning how to do a weekly food shop.
Wellbeing and Identity
Cultural and religious preferences will be respected at Horizons Educare.
Any request for a young person to attend a place of worship or to observe religious practices and diets will be accommodated in the placement plan and agreed with the young person and parents. We are based in Wales and will always seek to ensure that young people joining the service who have Welsh as a preferred language are given opportunity to use this at home and during education whenever possible. This will include provision of a welsh tutor should no support staff speak Welsh. Signs and greetings can be bilingual and
when any child joins us their language of choice will be celebrated and used as much as possible. All young people will be offered the opportunity to learn Welsh language should they chose. Some education and care staff speak Welsh as their first language and we encourage them to share their language in the home and school environment.
We strive to ensure that every young person at our homes fulfils his/her potential, feels safe and is happy. We recognise the value and uniqueness of
everyone and we will always treat everyone with dignity and respect. We recognise equality and will not discriminate on the grounds of race, culture, language, religious beliefs, gender, sexuality or disability. Individualityis valued and we celebrate diversity. Risk managed opportunities are provided for our young people to act safely and also independently whenever possible.
We are committed to upholding the rights and entitlements of young people and staff as outlined in Welsh Government and Human Rights legislation. Children who have the capacity to access the community may do so freely.
We firmly believe that children at Horizons Educare should have a voice. We will always listen to the views, wishes and opinions of our young people and staff and will act on these where appropriate and have special time set aside to gain their input. All children have access to our responsible individual to raise any ideas or concerns. Weekly house meetings provide a forum for children to raise issues and give opinions. Key working sessions are good times to listen to young people’s views and respond to these.
Daily routines include feedback from the young people and take note of their emotional wellbeing. Children are all offered advocates and encouraged to have ownership of their home and a say in how it is run.
Confidentiality is important. All personal information will always be treated in the strictest confidence. Storage of data and files is in line with regulations and the data protection act. We follow the GDPR requirements and will seek permission before sharing a potential child’s information.
Contact with Family and Friends
Everyone at Horizons Educare will work closely with families (if appropriate). Where this is not appropriate there will be close liaison with the placing authority Social Worker. Where appropriate it is usual for families to play a significant role in the life of the young person while he/she is at one of our homes and in any long term outcomes identified with the child. Staff will always endeavour to work and maintain support links and communication between the young person, their family and friends.
Horizons Educare has an open-door policy for families and Social Workers to visit or contact the home at any reasonable time. Alongside this, contact can also be made with the young people via telephone, Skype and Face-time. Records of social activities, general health and well-being issues are routinely kept and can be discussed with families (if appropriate) and Social Workers. Privacy can be arranged for Social Workers and families (if appropriate) to spend time together in on one of the lounges or dining rooms.
Consultation and Quality Control
Evaluation of the quality of care at Horizons Educare is a continuous process. Systems are in place for the Manager to be routinely auditing personal care plans, risk assessment, the running of the home and staff practices to ensure high quality care.
A report on the conduct of the home is produced every month by the home manager and the home is overseen by the Responsible Individual. Engagement with young people and others involved in their placement and observation of staff practice is part of the responsible individuals oversight, together with an analysis of each child’s placement, scrutiny of documentation and Schedule 2 record keeping. The information gained is used to continually appraise and improve the service we provide.
We will always consult with Social Workers and parents (if appropriate) on an ongoing and informal basis about issues of care and activities at Horizons Educare. We will formally seek the views of parents(if appropriate), placing authorities, staff and other visiting professionals through a questionnaire that can be submitted to the responsible individual Katie Allen.
Responses to our Feedback questionnaire will be used to inform a review of the quality of care at Horizons Educare home’s along with other feedback from children, staff, local authorities, families, managers and other outside agencies.
The responsible Individual will visit the homes regularly and use their observations to inform our quality of care review in line with the Regulated Services regulations regulation sixty nine (Regulation 69) for responsible individuals. Managers will monitor the incidents and behaviour management of our children on a monthly basis and the senior management team will review behaviour management quarterly as part of the Case Review for each child. Any areas of difficulty will be openly addressed by the senior management team which is the home manager, operations director, head of education, education consultant, head of the Health and Wellbeing team, the resources to resolve these issues will be made available to them by the company directors.
We value a quality review process as a means of gauging levels of satisfaction in both our residential and education provision and to ensure quality of service. A quarterly self -assessment evaluation will be undertaken. Monthly feedback forms will be distributed to social workers, outside agencies such as the Youth Offending Service, Careers Wales, parents (if appropriate) staff and young people in order to seek a cycle of improvement and be responsive to issues raised.
There is a comprehensive complaints procedure which is time bound and includes informal and formal stages. Complaints should be made directly to the Manager of each home, or the respinsible individual Katie Allen. Individuals can also complain to external agencies such as the Children’s Commissioner for Wales and Estyn. The Local authority & the placing authority.
Advocacy services will be sought for young people with their permission. Keyworkers and all staff will seek to promote the wishes and needs of young people to other agencies and to listen to young people’s views. Regular recording of young people’s views and input will be undertaken and review by the home manager monthly.
‘Young people have good relationships with the staff who care for them and understand them. We saw that staff spoke to the young people with respect and warmth. We saw staff calmly managing a situation where a young person became agitated during the inspection visit. Staff then followed the correct processes in contacting social services to update them with information. We also saw an in depth discussion between the manager and the new member of staff, offering reassurance following the incident.’ (Care Inspectorate Wales October 2018)