• Gable End

    4-bed mixed girls & boys home
    Ofsted rating: ‘good’

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  • Birchbrook House

    4-bed all girls home
    Ofsted rating: ‘Outstanding’

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  • Acorn Cottage

    4-bed all girls home
    Ofsted rating: ‘good’

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  • The Lodge

    4-bed all girls home
    Ofsted rating: ‘good’

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  • Oak Lodge

    4-bed all girls home
    Ofsted rating: ‘good’

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  • About US

    We are a 17 year old family company operating 5 detached four-bedded rural Therapeutic Children’s Homes, sited in large gardens and located in Suffolk and Essex.

    We educate our girls, aged 11 to 17, within the Homes to GCSE level, offering 7 subjects with our team of qualified teachers. We have our own GCSE exam centre and are registered with 3 different examination boards.

    Each Home has its own dedicated Home Tutor to encourage and educational focus.

    To ensure that our therapeutic practice is annually validated by an external source of impeccable standing, each one of our Homes are individual members of the Community of Communities. This organisation operates under the umbrella of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and a 5-member team visits each home annually to review and report upon the therapeutic practice.

Positive – Respect – Fun – Kind

philosophy

Our Philosophy

We have a clear set of beliefs which guide our staff team that has been selected for their positive attitude and generous spirit. As good parents, we do all we can to prevent our young people from running into danger. There are four words that provide the central theme for everything that we do:

Positive – Respect – Fun – Kind

We celebrate the positive and will always try to find some good to end a difficult day. We strive to operate a ‘no fail’ policy whereby we lead our young people to raise their expectations of themselves with achievable, progressive tasks.

We encourage a culture of mutual respect. We celebrate and encourage diversity. Every individual is unique. We believe that it is important to learn to value and respect the contribution of those with different personalities and skills. Clear and consistent boundaries are important and we set and maintain these. We are careful to avoid any action that can be seen as rewarding negative behaviour.

We review the individual progress of each resident at ‘Internal Review Meetings’ held every six weeks.

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We believe in a healthy lifestyle
– plenty of exercise and good wholesome food are at the centre of our day plan.

team

Our Team

Any team is only as good as the people in it. We believe that, when it comes to our staff, it is possible to teach the head, but never the heart and we therefore look for specific personal qualities in every applicant.

We are a family run company, with a family atmosphere. The four Directors have been with the company since it began 17 years ago. We do not ever use agency staff.

Amongst other things, we look for a positive approach and generosity of spirit, so that our staff can act as inspirational role models for the young people.

Click here to view our Recruitment page

We are one team
– our care staff, teachers and therapists work together to provide support for the whole child.

training

Training

We pay a great deal of attention to the on-going training of our staff to ensure good practice and consistency throughout the team.

We realise the importance of ‘refresher’ training as well as early stage training. All new staff are placed on an in-house induction and foundation course.

Our therapeutic training was designed by our Care Director and Operations Director, who both originally trained in therapeutic communities. This two-day course is delivered to all staff in-house by the Directors.

They also benefit from core training in Safeguarding, Health and Safety, De-escalation & Physical Intervention, Food Hygiene, First Aid and Fire Marshalling. On satisfactory completion of a 6-month probation period, staff then undertake the Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce. Deputies and Managers undertake the Level 5 Diploma.

All staff undertake special Therapeutic Childcare Training

therapy-icon

Therapy

All staff are therapeutically trained and all our homes are run according to therapeutic principles. Two of our Directors originally trained in Therapeutic Communities.

All young people placed with us are encouraged to spend regular ‘My-Time’ sessions (we are careful not to call it ‘Therapy’) with our in-house Child Psychotherapist, who has many years of experience in the areas of trauma, loss and early childhood work, and who has worked extensively with CAMHS. Tailored sessions offer a variety of therapeutic approaches, including CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), Person Centred Therapy and Creative Play Therapy. ‘My-Time’ sessions have proven to be of great benefit to the children who access them.

In particular we encourage the young people

To develop appropriate coping strategies. To reflect on their behaviour and manage their emotions. To work through and explore previous trauma. Have a positive approach to life and its challenges. Have self respect and respect for others. Have the ability to feel empathy and show kindness to others. Have the ability to develop appropriate relationships.

Our young people are cared for by therapeutically trained’ staff, who provide the learning opportunities and the reflection needed to support individual therapy and positive development. Of particular importance is the quality of the therapeutic relationship that our therapist and young people can build.

We also have a qualified Art Therapist for young people who are unable to access formal therapy sessions.

To ensure that our therapeutic practice is annually validated by an external source of impeccable standing, we are members of the Community of Communities, an organisation which operates under the umbrella of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Pathway Programme

Looked After Children are aware that when they reach 16, it is time when decisions are made regarding their future. For them, this great ‘unknown’ can cause distress and can create regression to negative behaviour.

To combat this, we devised our Pathway Programme, which enables the young people placed with us in our homes to prepare for semi-independent living –  either within our specialist Pathway House or in a semi-independent unit in the Local Authority’s own area.

After a period of structured preparation, a young person visits our Pathway House for an evening meal once a week, for which they do the shopping and cooking. After a few months, this is extended to an overnight stay.

Our Pathway House Programme not only inspires a positive outlook towards the future, but provides a powerful incentive for behaviour modification. The young people frequently want to feel that they are acquiring the ‘senior’ status of being prepared for Pathway House – and the regular visits of previous residents back to the Homes as role models also helps this process.

Education

Our two schools and three satellite schools operate normal school hours and are separately registered and approved by Ofsted.

Our Curriculum

Our full time team of qualified teachers tailor lessons to individual needs within the National Curriculum, preparing their pupils for a wide range of qualifications from ASDAN to GCSE, depending upon ability.

Each Home has a designated Home Tutor, who works closely with the Care team to ensure the individual needs of each pupil are met.

We celebrate achievement and aim to encourage our young people to reach out to their potential without ever asking them to fulfil tasks beyond their reach. Most young people arrive having been out of main stream education for a considerable time and in almost all cases we manage to engage them in education within the first two weeks. We then give particular attention to filling the gaps in their education – focussing on foundational skills in Maths and English. Against this background, we are pleased with the GCSE and ASDAN achievements of our pupils.

Read our Safeguarding Policy

To obtain a copy of our Ofsted Education Report, or our Prospectus and Policies, please call 01449 770690

We are registered as an approved exam centre and offer GCSEs in up to 7 subjects via OCR, WJEC and Edexcel.

Parenting Education

It is vital that young people are prepared for responsible parenting, we have therefore created our own 12-week course involving computerised dolls. This course covers the practicalities of caring for a young baby, as well as wider issues of parenting, including the full financial and lifestyle implications and responsible family planning.

Preparation for employment

When the young people at our schools reach 15 years of age we encourage them to enrol for a suitable part-time course to complement their academic education and enhance their employment prospects. We have established a very co-operative relationship with the West Suffolk College who provide a wide range of suitable courses from which the young people can choose.

Above all, as they approach adulthood, we aim to encourage our young people to develop the skills to be both independent and to earn a living. This includes ensuring that they have useful work experience at the appropriate time.

West Suffolk College

Contact

Please call us on 01449 770690 or email admin@carefocus.co.uk

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