Located in County Durham, Hazelcroft Children's Home provides a happy, safe and nurturing environment for up to seven children and young people. Our dedicated staff team work with young people in building their own identity by listening and involving them in their support plans, and provide opportunities for new and exciting experiences.
Here at Hazelcroft Children’s Home, we want our young people to be happy, have fun and feel valued. We achieve this by offering a safe and nurturing environment with the support of a staff team, who are dedicated to working with young people in building their own identity by listening and involving them in their support plans to build aspirations.
Our rural location allows our young people to be part of the local community and access a range of activities to further enhance their living experiences with us, which will enable them to develop interests, build friendships and feel a sense of belonging.
For children who require 52 week care, we are proud to be able to provide them with a home environment that will give them the stability, support and encouragement they need. We offer an integrated package of high quality 52 week residential care and education, in conjunction with our schools, that consistently allows children to realise their potential, both academically and socially.
Each children’s home provides a superior group living experience within a welcoming and warm domestic setting. Young people have their own en-suite rooms and all homes are furnished and equipped to the highest of standards.
Our passionate, experienced and skilled staff team support each young person to develop their social and independence skills, which allows them to consistently achieve and develop. Additional support is available, as required, from our comprehensive team of therapeutic professionals.
All young people are supported in maintaining contact with parents/carers, family, friends and other significant people in their lives. The nature of this contact is determined by the young person’s Placement Plan and is agreed with the placing authority. We are able to negotiate additional support on an individual basis if required; for example, by facilitating attendance at meetings and providing supported travel.
Young people are actively encouraged and supported to participate in a range of activities which take into account their race, culture, language, religion, interests and abilities. Witherslack Group Children’s Homes strive to integrate the young people in our care into activities and groups within the local community. Young People develop their confidence and self-esteem from participation in activities they enjoy, learn how to use local amenities and have the opportunity to widen their social experiences by mixing with other young people outside of the home environment.
We believe that in order to maximise educational opportunities it is essential that teaching and care staff work co-operatively in an attempt to provide a meaningful and relevant 24 hour curriculum. Education is not limited merely to the classroom; education is a continuous process which occurs throughout the waking day. That is not to say that education can not be enjoyable or fun; there are many educational activities which occur naturally in our work with young people.
A simple trip to the shops is an excellent opportunity to practice skills in both numeracy and literacy. The use of money is an obvious example of supporting number work and encouraging young people to read signs and notices in shops also promotes social literacy. Many of these tasks are routinely completed, whilst others may need to be engineered in order to address specific deficit areas in a young person’s educational development.
We recognise the importance of staff working together co-operatively with care and teaching staff, who liaise on a regular basis. Key Workers have regular planned meetings with each young person’s teacher/tutor in order to review Individual Care and Education Plans (ICEPs). These close working relationships are designed to promote multi-disciplinary working and a consistent approach to the education and care of young people.
Through our approach to improving a young person’s social relationship skills, we recognise that social development cannot be separated from other learning experiences whether they be aesthetic, creative, moral, physical, spiritual, recreational, etc. Moreover, formal learning, social and leisure clubs, ad hoc activities, group work, and indeed all situations and environments within and external to the home are appropriate to enabling children and young people to improve their social skills.
We undertake a holistic baseline assessment during the first 6 weeks of placement to ensure our initial planning is correct and to take account of the response of the young person to our provision. This involves a multi-agency team of therapists, teachers, residential support staff and parents/carers. We use Conner’s Profiling, standardised English and Mathematics assessments and speech and language and psychological assessment. Where appropriate, we involve our clinical psychiatrist in this process. This gives reliable and comprehensive baseline assessment enabling us to accurately assess progress, progression and ‘value added’.
Our commitment to delivering outstanding therapeutic support to all young people is based on attachment principles. We believe that unless a young person is able to feel emotionally secure they are less likely to fulfil their personal, social and educational potential.
We have an extensive Clinical Team which is able to offer young people within our schools and children’s homes a truly personalised and comprehensive package of therapeutic support. Each of our children’s homes is supported by our own on-site therapists for a minimum of two days a week, with further support, as required, from our Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists.
Our unique approach to supporting young people allows us to achieve uniquely outstanding outcomes, which in turn enable our young people to go on and aspire and succeed in their futures.
In addition to children’s homes we also offer Integrated Therapeutic Learning Centres which provide an individualised approach to meeting a young person’s therapeutic, education and care needs. Young people attending the Integrated Therapeutic Provision live in the children’s homes, which are located on-site. There are close links between the home and the onsite learning centre to ensure the best possible outcomes are achieved for each young person.
This fully integrated care, education and therapeutic provision consists of a children’s home and separate learning centre all on one site. The learning centres are staffed by a range of qualified Teachers and Teaching Assistants and offer the full national curriculum with highly personalised and structured educational support.