Therapeutic Residential Care
Amicus provides high-quality therapeutic residential care for vulnerable and traumatised children, from the ages of 5 – 16 years old (no older than 11 years old on admission). This is done through two family-sized homes located in the local community called Jasmine and Bluebells. Jasmine is registered to take up to 5 children and Bluebells 4 children. The structure and practices within our therapeutic milieu are designed to meet the needs of children who are unable to manage or be managed within a family environment, whether birth, adoptive or foster. At the same time, they are children who require therapeutic intervention and whose young emotional age and emotional vulnerability will make a placement in larger traditional children’s homes unsuitable and inappropriate.’
At Amicus, every day is a ‘therapeutic day’ for a child as we work to understand the children’s behaviours and know the importance of routines, boundaries, and structures and the pivotal significance of relationships with others. We provide informal and formal spaces to use daily, as an individual, and in a group. In our homes, this includes a Children’s Meeting, ‘Get Togethers’ and sharing mealtimes and activities. Each day is planned for the individual child to give them the opportunities they need to build trust, share feelings, form relationships, communicate appropriately and feel cared for. Over time all children are supported to develop a sense of belonging and are helped to develop their creativity and sense of hope which have often been diminished through their difficult experiences.
All the children in placement in our therapeutic community have intensive specialist support available from experienced and trained therapeutic staff, and a supportive peer group. Forming healthy attachments is a challenge for many of our children so our staff provides the therapeutic support and environment to work on these attachments, which over time can help to build new pathways to re-learn what healthy relationships are like. This work gradually enables many of our children to move on to a more ordinary family environment, with either parent, relatives, or in foster families, and into mainstream schools with support.
A structured therapeutic environment
Amicus bridges the gap between the children’s need for a well-planned, professionally staffed and supervised environment and their equal need for a safe, small, nurturing, family-sized living therapeutic experience. By providing a carefully considered and structured therapeutic environment which is tailored to the individual needs of each child we begin to help the children achieve a greater understanding of their inner lives, emotional views of the world and past experiences and relationships. This assists and enables the child to achieve improved mental health and being able to develop secure, trusting and appropriate attachments, and to achieve positive outcomes in their lives.
Where it is not possible or appropriate for a child to live with their family of origin, Amicus, in collaboration with the child’s local authority, will assist in finding an alternative. In both cases, Amicus plans a structured programme of work with the child’s parents or future carers. This work is vital in facilitating the child’s successful transition into their next home post Amicus and in building secure attachments.
The structure and therapeutic milieu of Amicus allows the children to live in small and domestic but professionally staffed households which are carefully planned and thought about. This helps the children to feel safe and secure while also enhancing the opportunity to begin building more trusting and dependent relationships/attachments with adults and other children in the home so essential for their long-term healthy emotional and intellectual development.
Developing for the future
Our therapeutic homes and school also form a broader, interconnected therapeutic community. This has the benefits of allowing the children to encounter the larger group experience, helping them develop the capacities to work and play in groups essential for their future familial, social and educational success. Being part of, and learning to live within, the larger group can often bring out important emotional issues for the children that may otherwise remain hidden. It can also help them understand that they are not alone and isolated, a feeling common amongst many children experiencing emotional difficulties and who have experienced and are working through trauma.
The homes are situated in an ordinary neighborhood, becoming, where appropriate, part of its life and routines. The children, therefore, are able to share and benefit from the relationships, amenities and expertise it has to offer. This aims to remove some of the feelings of exclusion that are often ingrained in vulnerable and traumatised children and adds to the process of gradual integration.
Bluebells – Therapeutic Children’s Home
Our therapeutic children’s home called Bluebells takes up to four children from the ages of 5 – 16 (maximum 11 years old on referral). It is a five-bedroom, two-bathroom family-sized 1930s house with a garden in a small town location. It is kept in a good state of decoration and repair. This is achieved by our Maintenance Team, who carry out the works required in the home.
The ground floor consists of a hallway, straight ahead there is a staircase leading to the bathrooms and bedrooms. Leading to the right, there is the living room and children’s meeting room and downstairs cloakroom. To the left there is a living room. At the end of the hallway is the kitchen and dining area with side access to the back garden. Through the kitchen, there is a small utility area and cloakroom.. Stairs from the hallway lead to first floor accommodation. three bedrooms are on the first floor, two of which are the children’s bedrooms and one is also the adult bedroom/ sleep-in room. On the second floor there are two children’s bedrooms and a children’s bathroom as well as a small office for staff use and a second sleep-in room if required. Each child has their own bedroom which is a good size and they are able to be involved in choosing how it is decorated. All bedrooms are accessed from the landing, as are the family bathrooms. There are two family bathrooms, one on the first floor and one on the second, both have a toilet and basin and both have baths with overhead showers. The staff bedroom has an en-suite bathroom. There is a medium-size gardens to the back of the property. There is also an outhouse/ garage which is currently used for storage and there are plans for this space to be renovated/ developed.
Jasmine House – Therapeutic Children’s Home
Our therapeutic home; Jasmine House is able to take up to five children from the ages of 5 up to 16 years old (maximum age 11 years old on referral). It is a six-bedroom, three-bathroom family-sized 1930s house with a garden in a small town location. It is kept in a good state of decoration and repair. This is achieved by our Maintenance Team, who carry out the works required in the home.
The ground floor consists of a small hallway leading to the right, the children’s meeting room and downstairs cloakroom. To the left there is a living room, and dining room and kitchen area with a small utility area and access to outside. Off the dining room there is a large conservatory. Stairs from the hallway lead to first-floor accommodation. Four bedrooms are on the first floor, three of which are the children’s bedrooms and one is also the adult bedroom/ sleep-in room. There is an additional very small room which would allow for a second adult to sleep in if required. On the first floor there is a small room that can be used by the children for computer use and contact calls. On the second floor there are two children’s bedrooms and a children’s bathroom. Each child has their own bedroom which is a good size and they are able to be involved in choosing how it is decorated. All bedrooms are accessed from the landing, as are the family bathrooms. There are two family bathrooms, one on the first floor and one on the second, both have a toilet and basin and one has a bath whilst the other has a shower. The staff bedroom has an en-suite bathroom. There are large gardens to the front and back of the property and a large patio area.
The Paddocks – Therapeutic Children’s Home
Our therapeutic home; is our newest therapeutic children’s home-opening in early summer 2022. The Paddocks is able to take up to five children from the ages of 5 up to 16 years old (maximum age 11 years old on referral). It is a six-bedroom, three bathroom large family-sized two storey detached house with the original section of the house dating back to the 18th century. It has beautiful mature gardens and is in a small town location and is located next door to our therapeutic SEN school. The home has been recently renovated to a high standard and is kept in a good state of decoration and repair. This is achieved by our Maintenance Team, who carry out the works required in the home.
The ground floor consists of a welcoming hallway leading to the right, there is a snug ./ reading area, children’s meeting room, downstairs cloakroom and an adult sleep-in room. Straight ahead as you enter the home from the hallway there is the lounge, form the hallway to the left is the manager’s office, dining room and kitchen area with a small utility area and access to an outside courtyard. Stairs from the hallway lead to the bedroom and bathrooms. There are 5 bedrooms for the children and 1 bedroom is also the adult bedroom/ sleep-in room which has an en-suite bathroom. The bedrooms are of varying sizes and have different features and characters. Each child has their own bedroom and they are able to be involved in and are encouraged to choose how it is decorated. All bedrooms are accessed from the landing, as are the family bathrooms. There are two family bathrooms on the first floor. both have a toilet and basin and one has a bath whilst the other has a shower.