The health and welfare of the children at Amicus is carefully considered and actively promoted taking into account children’s race and cultural needs. Our Placement Plans and Health Action Plans contain comprehensive health information and are written with a holistic approach. Children are encouraged to contribute to their own Therapeutic Plan.
The Placement Plan and various other reports cover all aspects of the children’s life at Amicus, including the living-learning elements, education and formal therapeutic input. It also recognises the therapeutic process and an individual’s experience as well as outcomes.
The child’s mental and emotional health is seen as a priority and as such, the creation of a therapeutic and nurturing culture is central to the successful operation of our services. Our staff team support new children to understand, adapt and contribute to our culture and practices. Each child is assigned a Link Worker who plays an important role in the preoccupation and advocacy for the child. The children are encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings, one of these times being in the daily Children’s Meetings. Issues raised are responded to in a non-judgemental way by creative and reflective thinking.
Our staff conduct themselves as positive role models and children are encouraged to form relationships with others and are supported to understand that there are different types of relationships: positive and negative. We show the children that there are reparative and non-punitive ways of resolving hurt, conflict and damage, which are followed through to a meaningful outcome.
Amicus encourage children to eat a healthy diet, which meets their individual dietary needs. The children contribute to the choice of meals and are encouraged to participate in the preparation of food. Our staff are trained in health and safety and food hygiene. The children’s relationships to food are carefully thought about as often this can have some symbolic significance to the child.
The Amicus Community is situated in a small rural town with plenty of opportunities for activities and exploring the countryside. There is a large park with a lake, which also has a basketball and football pitch a very short distance from the home. The children are encouraged to exercise both during school time and also outside of school. The children often enjoy various sporting activities and there is the opportunity to join various local clubs once they are settled in and they can manage this.
Amicus recognise that bedtimes can induce fear and anxiety to many of the children placed with us. Therefore this is carefully thought about and planned. The homes offer a night-time culture for children where individual adults are seen to be able to confidentially and effectively look after them.
This is achieved through building up experiences for children of quiet, attentive, predictable and caring nurture from the individual care workers. It is this and the corresponding attachments which contribute to a feeling of safety and security around night times for children. Each child will have their own 1:1 settling time with an adult. This recognises the importance of sleep in children’s development.
The Amicus Community integrate the therapy into the everyday routines, structures and thinking around the children’s care and education. If required, we also offer weekly individual therapeutic play session, if it is felt he child will benefit from this experience and contained space.
We have a comprehensive system to manage the children’s health needs and medication and to safeguard their needs. All our staff receive medication training and medicines are robustly stock checked and kept securely.