The Trust’s Children’s Home provides long-term care for children who need a permanent placement and for whom a family-based placement has not yet been identified or is not appropriate.
The Home also provides planned residential care for term-time boarders who attend Doncaster School for the Deaf, as well as respite care for pupils, on a short term basis.
Up to nine children and/or young people can be accommodated on a planned residential basis - either permanent, during term-time or on a short term basis - at any one time. Permanent and term-time boarders will be given priority.
Care is provided for children and young people of both sexes up to their 18th birthday who have sensory disabilities and/or other disabilities associated with sensory loss. However the Home will consider an extension of care arrangements beyond a young person’s 18th birthday if:
- Agreed in advance by Ofsted
- A full Risk Assessment has been carried out and
- The request is part of a clear transitional plan with a specific end date.
Emergency provision for any child or young person will be considered after fulfilling three specific criteria:
- There is a clear service requirement
- The Home will be able to respond to the needs of the young person and
- The child or young person being admitted will not impact negatively on the other young residents at the Home.
The range of disabilities will usually be at the profound level i.e. a combination of sensory and/or associated disabilities. The needs of all children and young people accommodated in the Home will be fully assessed prior to admission and will be based on a planning meeting/review decision. A planned introduction will take place, unless referral is via an emergency or a crisis.
Admission to Dickson House is by direct referral or application. Referrals are usually connected with a request for an educational placement at Doncaster School for the Deaf. All referrals are assessed by the school’s Senior Management and the Registered Manager for Dickson House. All possible care is taken to ensure the children accommodated in the Home meet all of the criteria for registration, placement continuation and eventual transition, as appropriate.
The assessment and approval process will always consider the needs of any new child concerned, and the likely effects of their admission upon the existing group of residents. This ‘best-fit’ matching for all children ensures no one child can risk compromising the safety or developmental opportunities of any other.
The Home aims, where possible, to follow a model of admission which:
- Informs the child concerned, along with any person with parental responsibility of the pre-admission assessment
- Considers all information provided by authorities, professionals and parents involved with the child
- Provides opportunities for the child to visit the Home prior to admission and arranges visits before they move in, when requested and appropriate
- Sets out agreed tasks, preferred outcomes and the time limits of the placement, as outlined in the care plan.