"Young children who have experienced early trauma and multiple placement breakdowns, and who often arrive in a state of high anxiety and confusion, experience safety and stability at this residential placement... Children enjoy very warm, nurturing and affectionate relationships with staff. One child said: ‘The staff tuck us into bed, they play games with us and entertain us, they take us out on trips and are really good at hugs.’...The majority of children make such good progress in managing their emotions and behaviour that they are able to move on to find their ‘forever family’ in foster care."
Ofsted Inspection - February 2018 - Full report available by request
Harold House provides a warm safe nurturing environment to six young children who have behavioural and mild learning difficulties, together with differing forms of emotional trauma.
As a team of well-trained and dedicated adults we are able to provide the children placed within the home with a high level of consistent ‘parental’ care which supports the children to once more begin to trust, feel safe and come to terms with some of the reasons that they are being ‘looked after’. This work is carried out by a team of adults who fully understand that the children are emotionally very young and have suffered separation and loss. During their time spent at Harold House the children are given the time and space to grow and develop in their own time and at a pace that they appear to be comfortable with.
Since early 2014 we have consistently worked with younger children. During this time we have been able to provide each child with a high level of individual care which is tailored to their particular needs and requirements as outlined in their care plans. This has supported some of our children to be able to move on successfully to their identified foster families.
Our aim within Harold House is to provide each child placed with a high level of ‘parental’ nurturing care within an environment that is warm, vibrant and safe. Children almost always respond to by demonstrating significant changes in their behaviour.
All adults currently caring for the children within the home fully understand that the positive’ parental’ relationships that we are able to develop within the home are paramount when endeavouring to meet the ever changing needs of the children. It is these developing relationships that begin to form the foundations for the children to begin to feel safe, secure and healthy, assisting them to grow, develop and achieve socially and educationally.
During their placement the children are supported to feel safe and secure within the home by the implementation of firm but fair boundaries alongside a consistent structured daily routine.
During their time spent within Harold House the children are afforded a high level of adult support throughout their placement. All adults working with young children fully understand that the children placed are not always able to recognise their emotions or how to process and communicate or express themselves in a more constructive appropriate and socially acceptable way. However by providing the children with positive experiences, supporting them to develop their own confidence and self-esteem, assisting them to begin to understand and recognise their own emotions. We begin to experience children that are able to speak up, know they will be listened to, fully engage in their placement and contribute to their own care and the home that they reside in.
For some of our children the aim of their placement is to identify suitable foster carers and enable them to make the positive transition into their new home. Both the adults and the children within the home work closely together to achieve this and are able to recognise the time when the ‘window of opportunity’ opens for each child. This occurs after they have been able to fully accept the ‘parental’ support which has been consistently provided to them which has assisted them to feel confident in themselves, what they have achieved and can manage their own behaviour clearly demonstrating that we have succeeded together to make a transition achievable.
Most of the aims outlined above are met by the ethos of the home which is firmly based under the umbrella of ‘play’. Due to the apparent emotional ages and the diverse individual needs of the children placed within the home the adults encourage and support the children to begin to experience ‘play’ as this is something that most of our children have missed out on. This involves the adults engaging with the/alongside the children to enrich the ‘play ‘experience and to teach the skills required to be able to do this. Through ‘play’ we are able to support the children to enjoy and achieve, to socialise, to share, recognise feelings and develop their own self-esteem and confidence. The children are fully encouraged and supported to join established clubs and enjoy activities outside of the home which affords them the opportunity to begin to socialise and make friends outside of the home.
For some children, rehabilitation into a fostering environment may be a possible goal, for others a successful transition back to the family environment. The aim of the home is that the children are happy, safe and able to maximise their own personal full potential.
The home is directly affiliated to both our DfE registered, specialist SEBD schools: The Davenport Primary School and The Old Priory Secondary School.
The respective school and the home work in close partnership to ensure continuity in respect of learning support, achieving developmental goals and behaviour management.
The Davenport School (Key Stage 2: 7-11yrs) offers a differentiated curriculum in order to meet the individual learning needs of each young person. The school operates with small group settings where children are closely supported and supervised by a qualified teacher and learning support assistants.
The Old Priory School (Key Stages 3 & 4: 11 – 16yrs) offers the national curriculum allowing for GCSE study in essential subject areas, alongside alternative, differentiated curriculums, including ASDAN and City & Guilds NPTC vocational awards, both of which lead to nationally recognised qualifications.
Children and young people residing in our care have access to a range of assessment and therapy services including:
All therapy referrals are overseen by the organisation’s dedicated Therapy Services Manager in consultation with the allocated social worker and other key stakeholders as appropriate.
Our assessment and therapy services are an inclusive element of our residential care provision and attract no additional funding requirement.
In addition to our therapy services and panel of consultants, each of our homes have direct access to a health promotions worker and, in the event of any significant health concerns arising, oversight from a registered, dual diagnosis nurse. This ensures effective, professional guidance in respect of health profiling, together with the immediate and ongoing health needs of each individual child and young person placed in our care.