How Amicus work with various agencies

Amicus works with various agencies

The Amicus Community address and work therapeutically with a child’s difficulties towards clear aims, objectives, and out-comes to progress them, hopefully from their placement and journey with Amicus, into their next stage placement. There will be many professionals who will support the child and work with the Amicus Community during this placement.

Information sharing

The Amicus community is committed to the outcomes of the Quality Standards and Every Child Matters and they are integrated within our therapeutic practice. We ensure the sharing of information and working together with the children’s Local Authorities, local CAMHS teams, and other external agencies, to protect children from harm and achieve what they want in life and help them to recover from their trauma and develop better mental health.

Social workers

Many of the children who attend Amicus have their own Social Worker who will be involved and consulted with through the child’s therapeutic journey with The Amicus Community. From the first referral, visits, and assessment to informing individual Therapeutic Placement Plans, acting as an advocate for the child, and participating in informal progress reviews, alongside regular education and CLA Reviews. This work extends to supporting the child and Community towards the next stage placement, including support and involvement in managing the transition period. As a community, we are committed to positive, professional relationships with all Social Workers and local authorities which involves our respect and clear and sustained communication to do with the child’s progress and development.

Advocate / Independent Visitor

To ensure the children’s views and experiences are heard and represented in an unbiased way, The Amicus Community can offer the children in residential placement access to an advocate or independent visitor (IV) from an external organisation. The Amicus staff will firstly work with the child to hear their views and will continue to support the children in expressing their views and wishes but with additional external support also. Amicus will work with organisations to identify a suitable advocate/ IV. The identified person will be DBS checked and will have undergone further safeguarding checks to show their suitability. It is hoped that the child and advocate/ IV will be able to build a relationship, so the child has someone outside of The Amicus Community to spend time with and to talk to about their experiences and wishes and ensure these are heard and shared with those involved with the child.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists – Community of Communities

The Amicus Community is a Therapeutic Community accredited by The Royal College of Psychiatrists, and within this is a member of the therapeutic community network organisation, Community of Communities. This enables us to provide a specialist service that is based on the standards of good Therapeutic Community practice. Each year the members of Community of Communities self-review their community and are peer-reviewed by others in the external therapeutic community network. Amicus staff can also be part of peer review visits of other Therapeutic Communities to develop their experience and share best practices. Every three years we undergo a big accreditation review and inspection to ensure we are meeting the core standards defined as part of good therapeutic community practice. The CofC standards create a supportive frame with which enables our therapeutic and psychanalytic practice to take place. The Standards are also used to reflect and share ideas, discuss community structures and practices, and to identify achievements and strengths, and areas for improvement or development within the community. Through this community, we have a strong network of supportive relationships and we can promote best practices through shared learning and developing external links.

Local Authorities

Amicus, collaborate with local authorities throughout the journey of a child’s placement at the therapeutic community. This starts with the initial referral, then the local authority care plan and child’s EHCP being used to inform the Therapeutic Placement Plan when a place has been offered, regular reviews, working towards identified outcomes, and finally support with the child’s next placement. The relationship with the local authority is invaluable for both Amicus and the child as the communication between the parties can make a difference to the success of the placement and the child’s progress and development. Participation and communication with the local authority will include both informal and formal reviews about the child, in particular the Annual Education Review (AER) and Statutory CLA Review.

As a community, we send the local authority, West Sussex, our monthly Regulation 44 reports and 6 monthly Regulation 45 (Quality of Care) Report which provide details on the quality of care and practice and environment. We also maintain regular contact giving updates on the child and their progression and well-being and encouraging and facilitating them to have consistent contact with their child. We consult with local authorities about various aspects of the child’s care and education placement to hear and consider their views and experiences so we can further develop and our environment, practices, and support to the children we work with.

Sometimes children are placed from out of county therefore the host local authority; West Sussex will be informed of new children joining Amicus. Written notification will be given to West Sussex (our host authority) and will include: the child’s name and date of birth, whether the child is placed under section 20 or 21 or subject to a care or supervision order under section 31, contact details for the team manager of the placing authority and the child’s IRO, whether the child has an EHCP, and if so, details of the local authority that maintains the EHCP and confirmation that the funding and placement have been agreed by the local authority’s Director or Children’s Services.

Other External Agencies

Amicus will also work with other external agencies or involve them when necessary, to provide input into the child’s care and education and to always ensure the safeguarding and wellbeing of the child and secure best practice and multi-agency working. This may involve working in partnership with the local safeguarding team (IFD / LADO), Early Help, CAMHS, or any therapeutic services involved with the child and their family.