You want the absolute best for the young person in your care, and you also want to be able to work effectively with the provider you choose. It is a question of trust and confidence.
The Directors and Managers have a wealth of experience in residential childcare and subsequently earned the trust of several Local Authorities and commissioning consortia. They are confident that, having worked closely with us in the past, we will always work closely with them and will support the child no matter what. We have proved, previously, that we can provide care for the most challenging young people.
When you place a child with us, we provide a complete solution designed specifically for that child.
Placing a child with Priority Childcare means you can expect:
- The best care and therapeutic environment for the specific needs of the child, supported by experienced and qualified residential childcare workers.
- An appropriate, supportive environment for the child
- Continuity of childcare through nominated key workers who take a special interest in the child
- Specialised health expertise providing timely advice on health and well-being.
- A partnership where we work with you and the child towards clearly articulated and tangible objectives
- A stable, cost effective placement
Transition to family placement
‘Focused Future’ – Therapeutic Transition Programme
Priority Childcare fully appreciate that a residential environment is not appropriate for all looked after children. Equally the opposite can be said of some children’s experience within a family placement environment. Sometimes the individual needs of a child cannot be met solely by a single placement environment.
Priority Childcare has had experience of planned programmes of transition, both from foster and family placement to our residential services and vice-versa. As a result, there have been positive outcomes for the people concerned.
With this experience in mind, we have established a partnership and service level agreements with the Charitable Foster Care Provider Forum (TACT Cymru, Barnardo’s Fostering Service and Action for Children Foster Services ) who are based in South Wales. Our organisations aim to provide a quality service to the children, where individual needs and positive outcomes are integral components to this unique, therapeutic programme. We also work very closely with the Local Authority fostering team to provide the best value and continuity to placing authorities.
All individual therapy is carried out by qualified and independent professionals experienced in working with traumatised children. We call on experts in psychology, cognitive behavioural therapy, play therapy, psychotherapy and life-story work.
Experience and research (e.g. Sinclair et al 2004, University of York, 2007) have indicated that a planned and focussed transition can improve outcomes for children. Particularly troubled children, who have had disrupted family placement experiences, benefit from a transition programme where the child is fully assessed, where emotional issues are considered (using our experienced therapeutic team if required) and where the matching process is based solely on the needs of the child.
The programme can be implemented over a period that is flexible to cater for the individual needs and circumstances of the child.
It consists of a four-stage process whereby the needs of the child are matched with carers who are best able to meet those needs or a return home is appropriate.
Whilst any assessed therapeutic work is undertaken with the child, carers are identified and build positive relationships with the child whilst in the residential environment.
There follows a period of joint involvement, including activities and overnight stays with the carers until the child is considered ready to live, on a full-time basis, with the carers.
At such time, the residential key worker maintains contact on an outreach basis for an agreed period.
The main emphasis for the child is involvement, needs and positive outcomes.
The four-stage model is based on:
- A period of stability for the young person
- Delivery of an agreed programme of therapy (this is done using Local Authority professionals or Priority Childcare consultants at cost)
- Identification of appropriate move on hosts (including training to them)
- Support in the transition process (including 6-month support to hosts post placement)
Ty George in Bridgend and Trafle Lodge in Swansea follow this model.
Transition to Independence
Priority Childcare has a programme of independence training within each of the homes working with young people over 15 years of age whose care plan is to move to independence.
The programme provides key skills essential in independent living including, cooking, health and safety, social skills, financial skills, first aid and employment skills.
In partnership with Swansea Council Training Department and Agored Cymru, we have developed an accredited route for our independence programme in the form of a QCF level 2 qualification entitled ‘Moving Forward’ supported by our Transitional care staff and our Training Centre Manager. Our full-time Independence programme assessor works with the young people to achieve successful outcomes.
At Rhos Cottage, Beech Tree Farm and Forestry House locations, we have established fully contained semi-independent flats to enable young people to enhance the skills they have learned, whilst having support of care staff at hand.
Behavioural Issues and Complex needs (link to therapeutic provision)
Working in partnership with the Barnardo’s Seraf Service we can provide a therapeutic provision to meet the needs of young people vulnerable to CSE. This ‘wrap around’ provision incorporates care education, therapy, semi-independence and transition to family placement of independence.
Barnardo’s Cymru Seraf Service was set up in 2006 to provide intensive support programmes for young people at risk.
The presence of multiple vulnerabilities and risks in the lives of children and young people at significant risk of sexual exploitation often means that they are described as “difficult to engage”. By the point in a child’s life where they are significantly at risk or are already abused through sexual exploitation, they are subject to a complex pattern of life experiences which impact negatively on each dimension in their life. Evidence from research and practice identifies that a key feature of successful work with children and young people at risk is its long-term nature. As a result, the support programme is no less than 12 months.
After an assessment, a Seraf practitioner (guided by a Psychologist) will undertake one to one intervention to reduce their risk-taking behaviour, using therapeutic resources. This will be for a minimum of six months (reviewed after 3 months) and post intensive intervention. During this time, Seraf provide care consultation to inform key professionals, working with the child, of the child’s progress.
Priority Childcare staff will not only provide the daily accommodation care required but continue the work undertaken by Seraf in support of the outcomes for each child or young person agreed in the therapeutic care plan.
Staff are trained by Seraf in direct work skills specific to their model and ALL Priority Childcare staff are trained in the therapeutic model unique to the organisation (see therapeutic programme).
 Scott, S and Skidmore, P (2006) Reducing the Risk: Barnardo’s support for sexually exploited young people. After year evaluation. Barnardo’s Barkingside
Also, working in partnership with the Barnardo’s Taith Service, we provide a therapeutic service to young people who have displayed sexually harmful behaviour. The programme follows well researched practice to help young people manage their inappropriate behaviour.
The Taith Service, in tandem with the statutory agencies, aims to prevent sexual abuse by young people. They know that young people with sexually harmful behaviour have frequently experienced trauma, disruption and difficulties. The Taith Service believes a holistic approach is most suitably taken with such young people, in order that their needs are addressed and focus is retained on appropriate risk management.
They promote the potential of young people to form positive social and sexual relationships.
The Taith Service works with us and the families of young people. This assists with assessments, informs as to the strengths of the young person and maximises the ongoing support available to him/ her. This is significant to reducing risk of sexual re-offending and to the broader social and developmental needs of the young person.