Just For The Children!
Information Specifically for Young People and Children
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STAYING IN TOUCH
We understand that it can be difficult to be away from your family, friends and pets, and it may be that you are a long way away from them.
Wherever possible, we will take you to visit your family members. This can either be by dropping you off and picking you up, or it may be that we stay with you for your visit.
Your social worker will visit you every six weeks and may take you out so you can have some time together
We also know how important your friends are and that you will miss them. It may be possible that they can visit you at the home or you can visit them.
We will encourage you to make new friends in the local community which maybe by joining clubs etc.
You will have the opportunity to telephone or use social media to keep in touch the important people in your life. All of the homes have internet access.
We are excited to share with you details of our local community. This will include where the cinema, bowling alley etc., are located as well as places you may wish to visit.
All of the homes are able to access local towns and cities with relative ease. Some of the pets living with us in the homes include cats, chickens, Gecko’s etc. and some of the adults who work in the home bring their dogs in.
We believe it is really important that you have lots of fun whilst living at the home. There are loads of opportunities that are easily accessible and are close by us. These include activities like theme parks, horse riding, go-karting, fishing, going to the cinema etc.
We would similarly like to introduce some new experiences for you to explore, like going to the theatre, learning archery etc.
This is something that we could explore further with you.
If you have hobbies that you really enjoy, we will do our best to support you to continue with these.
Holidays are what everyone looks forward to, that includes us! We look forward to you joining us on holidays within the UK—these could be camping, glamping, caravanning, luxury hotels and spas. We also love to plan holidays abroad.
You will have pocket money every week and the amount will depend on how old you are. You will also be given clothing money every month and one of the adults will help you to decide what clothes you may need.
Making memories is so important. We hope to be part of your journey to create these.
We will make sure you have a lovely memory box and book to take with you when you leave, as well as a USB stick of all your favourite photographs which you can look at from time to time to remind you of the good times you have had with us.
GOOD HEALTH & HAPPINESS
The most important thing to us is that you are happy, and whilst we understand that this is not always going to be the case we will make sure everything is available to you to help achieve this.
We will of course make sure you have access to the doctors, dentist and opticians and any other medical resources you might need.
Along with this, your emotional health is very important and we have things in place to help with this.
This could be that you want to access our amazing therapist who can work with you to address anything that may have happened in your past.
You may want to talk to someone confidentially, and again we have list of useful information to help with this.
We love to cook for and with you, and as well as enjoying the occasional takeaway, we like to make healthy food and snacks and we all take regular exercise to keep fit and well.
It is really important that you have your own space where you can feel safe and spend time alone.
When you arrive at the home your room will be nicely decorated with lovely furniture, and you will have the chance to go out and buy some soft furnishings of your choice.
There will be a television in your room which you can have on until a reasonable time.
If at any time the adults need to go into your room, they will tell you why before they do so unless it is in an emergency
There are areas in the home for us all to share.
There is a nicely decorated lounge and a modern fully fitted kitchen where you will be encouraged to help us cook lovely fresh food.
We all sit together to share main meals of the day and we have the chance for a good catch up on everyone’s day.
All of our homes have a garden which is nice to sit in during the summer, and we often have BBQ’s when the weather is nice
KEEPING YOU SAFE
Our homes are beautifully decorated and generally between two and four children live there.
There will always be at least two adults in the home (more at times).
We will keep you safe and any form of bullying or intimidating behaviour will not be tolerated in any way.
Living at our home you will be supported to keep in touch with important people in your life, including your social worker.
If you want someone independent to support you, we will help you with this.
Part of staying safe is being able to understand your own triggers, and having tools to enable you to deal with your feelings and emotions.
We have a therapist who you can access if and when you feel you want to do this.
There is also a list of other people you can talk to if you want to speak with someone outside the home.
When we are planning how best to work with you, we will involve you with this.
It is really important to us that you have a voice in how we look after you.
Other ways we keep you safe is to make sure the home itself is safe. This means we check everything to make sure it is all working properly. This includes things in the kitchen such as the kettle and oven, and making sure the car is running properly so that we can take you out and about safely.
SCHOOL & LEARNING
It is really important that you stay at your current school if at all possible. This includes travelling quite a distance if needed.
However, if you have to move schools, we will make sure we find you somewhere that you will be happy, be able to make new friends and feel comfortable, as we know that you may not always have had positive experiences at school.
If it is that you struggle to stay at a main stream school, we can look for an alternative to suit you. This might mean getting involved in an apprentice scheme or something similar.
If you do have to change school we will always make sure that you have the chance to visit first and get to meet your teacher.
There are a variety of schools and colleges near to all of our homes so there will always be more than one to choose from.
There are areas in the home where you can do your homework, and the adults will always be on hand to help you if needed.
CELEBRATING CULTURE & DIVERSITY
Celebrating diversity, individuality and culture are key to how we look after you.
We understand that it is important to make sure that you feel comfortable in the home, and that any cultural needs you have are met.
This may include going to a mosque, church or other places of worship
We love celebrating a variety of festivals including Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, Ramadan, Easter etc., and get very excited to decorate the homes, get dressed up and share gifts.
The adults in the home come from a variety of backgrounds and come in all ages with all sorts of life experiences and skills that they can share with you.
We also enjoy helping local charities and recently we have raised money for our local foodbank and took part in the harvest festival celebrations.
From the moment you come to live with us, we will try and make a note of all your wonderful memories so that you can take these with you when you leave us.
This may be in the form of a memory box, a book or a nice USB stick that captures your photo’s, days out etc
Although you may feel a little scared when you arrive, we hope to soon put you at ease and hopefully you will start to feel at home.
As time goes by we would hope you feel able to trust us and start to make friends in the local community.
The longer you are with us the more settled you will become and hopefully join local clubs etc.
We will capture all of this for you, as we hope you will look back at your time with us fondly, and with a smile on your face.
It’s important that you keep connected with your family and friends, and we understand that social media is a big part of your life.
All of our homes have access to the internet. As long as it is agreed with your social worker, you can have access at reasonable hours.
We switch the internet off at night to make sure you get enough sleep.
Social media is great, but can be quite dangerous.
With this in mind we will help you to understand how to keep yourself safe, whilst enjoying the time you spend on various forms of social media.
You may also want to use technology to keep in touch with family and friends through using Zoom or another method of visual interaction. We can help you to set this up, and can even sit with you if you prefer.
If you have siblings who are also in care, we can help you to meet up if this is allowed.
This may be by telephone or letter if meeting up is not possible.
At First Blue Healthcare we don’t run ‘children’s residential care homes’, we just have homes.
We don’t have residential support workers we just have adults. We very much see ourselves as family and you would be part of this family.
That is not to say that we try in any way to take away how you feel about your family and home. It's more that we are just trying to provide an alternative; a place where you feel safe and happy. A place where you can have some fun and space to be yourself and also be part of a family set up
The adults work in the home for two or three days together, including staying overnight.
All are very committed to ensuring that you have the chance to build good relationships, and have the chance to trust these adults in your life.