Acorns - East Sussex County Council

Acorns - East Sussex County Council

APPENDIX EDorset RoadChildren's Resource CentreAcornsStatement ofPurpose and Function130 Dorset Road, Bexhill, East Sussex TN40 2HTResponsible Authority:East Sussex County CouncilSocial Services DepartmentCounty HallSt Anne's CrescentLewes BN7 1SWTel: 01273 481000 April 20021

EstablishmentAcornsOperations Manager– ResidentialAntony JulyanAddressRegistered ProviderHelen DaviesAssistant Director,- Children & Families,Social Services Department,County Hall,St. Anne’s Crescent,Lewes,East Sussex.BN7 1SWTelephone: 01273 481000Registered ManagerNina BarberContact130 Dorset Road, 01424 732288Bexhill,East Sussex.TN40 2HTCore Statement“Acorns” at Dorset Road Resource Centre provides respite care for up to sevenyoung people of either gender between the ages of 10 and 19. The resident groupcomprises young people who have severe learning disabilities.2

1. Operational Policy1.1 Acorns is a residential unit which forms part of Dorset Road Children’sCentre. It is an integral part of the residential accommodation servicefor East Sussex County Council Social Services’ Dept. embracingrecommendations as described in the Quality Protects agenda andprovides services to young people and their families across the county.1.2 Acorns is registered with the National Care Standards Commission andcomplies with the national minimum standards. It operates within theChildren Act 1999 and the Children’s Homes Regulations 2001.Alongside this, Acorns complies with the operational policies, guidanceand instructions laid out by East Sussex Social Services Department.1.3 Acorns has a clearly definable admissions procedure, which provides afirm structure to the case planning process. It also ensures thatrealistic timescales are identified and agreed for a young person’s staywithin Acorns.1.4 The management structure and Acorns internal scheme of delegationis clearly defined and ensures that effective decision-making in relationto the needs of the young people within Acorns is made. It is amanagement task to assess that placements are appropriate given theneeds of the young person, taking into account the mix of residentscurrently within Acorns. Clear and firm expectations of the placingsocial worker during the initial placement phase, increases thelikelihood of meeting targets consistent with the care plan objectivesand that any placement drift will be highlighted and resolved at an earlystage.1.5 Acorns aims to provide a caring and comfortable environment in whicha young person can feel safe and secure. The key principle enshrinedwithin Acorns operational ethos is that residential care can be apositive experience, which offers an opportunity to be both creative andinnovative within the care planning process.1.6 The core concepts for practice within Acorns are based upon a clearplanning, intervention and evaluation. All young people admitted toAcorns are participants within this process, which provides thefoundation for individual care planning at all levels of their period ofaccommodation.1.7 The health of a young person is considered of paramount importanceand to support this, the services of a General Practitioner, ClinicalNurse Specialist and local Health Centres are available to the unit tohelp support staff, young people and their families and contribute toeffective and cohesive teamwork3

1.8 Whilst we do not offer formal education within Acorns, staff members,in conjunction with parents and social work colleagues, remainproactive in attempting to secure formal education in a recognisedestablishment within East Sussex.1.9 The philosophy and care culture within Acorns actively promotes thenotion of protection of individuals rights. All residents are encouragedto participate in activities outside of the centre and to maintain familycontacts on a regular basis. All young people have unsupervisedaccess to a telephone.Information from East Sussex Social Services Department’sComplaints Department at County Hall is easily accessible to youngpeople within the Home.1.10 Emphasis is given to ensuring an effective and efficient service ismaintained via comprehensive quality assurance systems. As requiredin the Departmental Best Value Performance Plan, systematic userfeedback is obtained in order to measure outcomes.1.11 The Warner recruitment process is rigorously observed to for all carestaff appointments and the TOPPS induction programme is in place forall new recruitment’s. Individual and team development plans are seenas crucial to our work and these are processed through regularsupervision, personal development systems, individual training profilesand a comprehensive training package.1.12 Comprehensive Team Plans are clearly linked to Governmentagendas, in particular Quality Protects objectives. Our main serviceobjectives fall under the following 5 headings:-• Promote learning and development opportunities for staff• Constantly strive to improve the quality of service we provide• Meet the health and educational needs of all young people we lookafter• To actively involve users in planning and delivery of service• To develop effective partnership with other agenciesSpecific practice standards are contained primarily in the following documents:Children’s Homes Regulations 2001The Children Act 1989The Children Act 1989 Guidance Volume 4The Children Act 1989 Guidance Volume 6Care Standards Act 2000Children’s Homes National Minimum StandardsThe Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000E.S.C.C. Departmental Operational InstructionsEast Sussex Child Protection Procedures4

Human Rights ActHealth and Safety legislationData Protection ActSocial Services Best Value Performance PlanQuality Protects Management Action Plan2. Facilities“Acorns” is a place where young people live. Therefore, it is our intention toprovide as normal living surroundings as possible.2.1 Attention is paid to furniture, soft furnishings, equipment and fittings.This is with a view to creating a warm and relaxed atmosphere. Themain living area has enough space and facilities to promote activitiesand relaxation via listening to music, watching videos, indoor gamesand arts and crafts activities such as painting and drawing.2.2 Each young person has their own bedroom which is personalised withfamiliar objects, toys, pictures and posters so that the young personchild will be able to identify what is their own space.2.3 In the same building at Dorset Road we are able to offer the followingfacilities:• A soft playroom with integral ballpool.• A large playroom with karaoke machine, table tennis and snookertables.• A large garden with swings and cycle/go-kart track, a range ofbicycles, tricycles, etc.• Additionally Acorns has an adapted bus with lift which can be usedto travel to events in the local community.3. “Acorns” Staffing StructureOperations Manager|Unit Manager|1 Resource Officer| | | |7 3 1Senior Care Night Care Admin 1 Driver/Handyman 6 Relief CareOfficers Officers Asst. Officers1 p/t Cleaner5

4. Staff Qualifications - ExperienceUNIT MANAGERNina BarberPrevious experience – Residential Social WorkerDeputy Unit Manager – Teenagers with emotional and behavioural problemsUnit Manager – Leave Care UnitResource Officer Children with Learning Disabilities16 years residential experienceNVQ AssessorSCIP TrainedRESOURCE OFFICERJanice Payne20½ years residential experience with children with learning disabilitiesNVQ 3SCIP TrainedSENIOR CHILD CARE OFFICERSDavid WilsonN.E.B.S. Management CertificateWorking towards NVQ 318 years residential experienceSCIP TrainedMarie CarterP.P.A. Diploma in playgroup practise8 years residential experienceNVQ 3SCIP TrainedAnne Priestley5 years working with pre school special needs S.O.S.5 years Glyne Gap School (special needs) Teaching Assistant4 years residential experienceNVQ 3 with endorsement in supported livingWorking towards NVQ AssessorSCIP TrainedAlison DaveyB. Tec National Diploma Business Studies / SecretarialAssociate IlexSpecial Needs Assistant NCFE5 years residential experience working towards NVQ 3SCIP Trained6

Teresa Moon6 years residential experience with both children and Adults with DisabilitiesNVQ 3SCIP TrainedSharon ProsserPass in Understanding Health and Social Care, Open University Component5 years residential experienceJanet Mileham15 years class room assistant Glyne Gap School4½ years residential experienceNVQ 3PPA Foundation CourseCertificate in Applied Professional Studies – Special Needs CourseS.C.C.O. WAKING NIGHT STAFFTracey Corrigan13 years residential experience with children with Learning DisabilitiesNVQ 3NVQ AssessorSCIP TrainedGlen Parker14 years residential experience with children with learning disabilitiesSCIP TrainedJackie Fuller17 years residential experience with children with learning disabilitiesWorking towards NVQ 3SCIP Trained5. Staff Development5.1 The selection of staff is critical to the provision of a quality service andensuring the protection and safety of young people accommodated.Acorns recruitment process is rigorous and challenging and in line withthe “Warner” Committee report on staff recruitment and selection withinresidential units.5.2 Clear expectations are placed upon staff within Acorns in relation totheir commitment towards achieving high standards of practice andcare for service users. Strong emphasis is placed upon individual staffsupervision and practice competency planning through the TOPPSinduction and foundation process for all newly appointed staff.7

5.3 Every member of staff has a personal development review whichmeasures their performance against departmental, and team plans andincorporates a development action plan for the year ahead. Themonitoring of PDS forms part of regular supervision and individualagreements are tailored to the needs of the individual supervisee andreviewed on a six monthly basis5.4 In addition to this, an active commitment is given to professionaltraining and development through individual and team trainingprogrammes. A rolling programme is in place for all staff to achieveN.V.Q. Level 3, Caring for Children and Young People. On site wehave 4 N.V.Q Assessors and one N.V.Q Internal Verifier.6. Services Provided6.1 The young people admitted to Acorns have very complex emotionaland behavioural needs. We aim to meet their psychological, social,emotional health and educational needs within a non-rejecting homelyenvironment.6.2 In almost all cases, admission to Acorns will be planned Identificationof the young person’s co-ordinator within Acorns will have taken placeprior to the first tea visit, ensuring that the primary service users areable to meet the co-ordinator within the residential setting beforeadmission.6.3 Agreement as to the purpose and duration of the placement isconfirmed at this pre-admission stage and emphasis is placed uponthe social worker to provide relevant and accurate information withinthe “Looked After Children” framework.6.4 The core assessment model is primarily based on the Framework forthe Assessment of Children in Need and their Families (HMSO2000)Assessment”6.5 A plan of intervention identifies targets for measurement which areregularly evaluated for their effectiveness. Individual care planningallows the opportunity to focus on outcomes from both the initial andongoing process. This is formally monitored via the Looked AfterChildren’s review process6.6 Additional services which could form part of a young person’s careplan include:-• Group work• Family work• Art/Play Therapy• Independence Training8

• Pre and post placement support work• Joint work with the Leaving Care Team• Joint work with the Fostering and Link Teams• Leisure and recreational activitiesAll aspects of the service provided are within the context of achievingthe aims of the care plan and meeting the identified needs of the youngperson.7. Referral and Admission Process7.1 It is the intention of Acorns to provide short-term respite care to youngpeople with severe learning disabilities often combined with physicaldisabilities.7.2 Occasionally young people have stayed for longer periods of timewhen there has been a breakdown in their home care arrangementsand there has been no suitable alternative accommodation available.However, it must be stressed that it was never intended to providesuch a service at “Acorns”, as it is not considered to be in the bestinterests of any young person to be placed for a significant length oftime in an environment with a constantly changing and residents group.7.3 In order to procure a service to “Acorns” for respite care the followingprocess is followed:• Family/living placement agree with Social Worker and following anassessment that respite care is needed.• Social Worker presents a referral to the Disability Service Respitereferrals monthly meeting.• If a service is agreed the parents/guardian and child are invited tovisit “Acorns”.• If the parents/guardian and young person are happy with what theysee, a member of staff from Acorns will meet with the parents andyoung person to arrange a “Care Plan”. The Care Plan will givedetailed relevant information about the young person’s needsduring their stay. Any other relevant information from otheragencies such as the young person’s school and other supportservices will be recorded in the Care Plan. Once the Care Plan iscompleted the parents/guardians will receive a copy. In thisprocess the member of staff will:• Gain written permission for emergency medical treatment, if it isneeded.• Explain the Medical Procedure endorsed by the Social ServicesDepartment.• Gain a written agreement from the parents endorsing the use ofresidential respite care.9

7.4 Wherever possible the young person involved will be encouraged toparticipate in this process.7.5 The young person will be invited for up to three “tea visits”. Thesenormally take place after school and give the young person anopportunity to spend a few hours in Acorns to acclimatise. If thistransition is successful then the young person will come for anovernight visit.7.6 If the overnight visit is successful, i.e., the young person appearshappy to stay, then the agreed amount of respite care can commence.7.7 The core principal of the unit mean that they are not primarily to beused for emergency admissions. However, the reality is that youngpeople who have challenging behaviours and who are in placements(family or otherwise) that cannot meet their needs, will exhaust theplacements to the point where it is untenable. In such situations theremay be no where else to place a young person. Therefore, emergencyadmissions can only be countenanced if:• Not to place a young person in the unit would render themhomeless.• The young person meets the criteria for the unit they are to beplaced in.• All other options have been explored (e.g. fostering, link extendedfamily) and are not viable.• The placement is agreed at Operational Manager level or above.• The placement is reviewed urgently after the admission.• The underlying principal should be that emergency admissions areavoided.8. Involving Young People in the Running of Acorns8.1 Young people’s views about the running of the home are activelysought in the following ways:-• House meetings.• Individual sessions with “preferred” members of staff.• Feedback at meetings/reviews.• Use of viewpoint software on computers.• Access to advocates via “Xpress”• Access to inspectors, County Councilors and Reg. 33 “off lineinspector”.• Access to a complaints officer.10

8.2 All the staff involved in the running of the units are acutely aware ofpast mistakes and scandals involving residential care nationwide.They are committed to seeking and valuing young people’s feedbackabout their feelings and perceptions of the care they are receiving andhow the home is functioning.9. Young People’s Rights, Representation and Complaints9.1 Acorns is visited by independent representatives from XpressAdvocacy. The Unit is frequently visited by these representatives whogive young people the opportunity to meet with them privately andconfidentially to discuss any matters which the young person wishes.9.2 The allocated Social Worker is expected to visit regularly and a youngperson has a right to contact them. On admission, young people areinformed of their rights, which includes their right to complain aboutaspects of the service being provided to them. All young people areencouraged to raise concerns in a positive way, with the intention ofresolving difficulties. Acorns displays prominently the informationrelating to the Independent Representative and the DepartmentalComplaints Officer. Records of all complaints are kept, in line withdepartmental policy.9.3 If someone is particularly pleased or impressed by any aspects of theirchild’s care then they can report this verbally, or in writing to Acornsstaff, Resource Officers or Unit Manager.9.4 We welcome any comments which may help improve the serviceprovided in Acorns.9.5 In addition to the above, Acorns is inspected twice annually (oneannounced, one unannounced inspection) by the National CareStandards Commission.9.6 Acorns is also the subject of an unannounced visit once monthly by anappointed officer from the County Council but who does not work in thehome. This is carried out in accordance with Regulation 33, Children’sHomes Regulations 2001.9.7 Additionally, the new legislation has added another dimension tocomplaints in that the National Care Standards Commission can alsoreceive complaints from young people, staff, family members andothers involved with young people of the home outside the home. TheNCSC can be contacted at Ivy Terrace, Eastbourne.9.8 Every resident has the right to pursue a normal pattern of life in thecommunity, irrespective of the origin, status, ability, sex, age, creed orcontribution to society.11

9.9 Every person has rights to self-determination, choice, responsibility,value and dignity. The home aims to provide an atmosphere whereyoung people can experience a safe and caring environment.9.10 Research has proved that young people in care (Looked after Children)lose out on “life chances”. Therefore the young people resident havethe same rights and should have the same opportunities that anyyoung person deserves. Any stigmatisation for Looked after Childrenmust be avoided at all costs. “Quality Protects” objectives are a veryuseful reference point for this section i.e. that young people gainmaximum life chances, are supported when leaving care, are securelyattached to carers and are protected from significant harm.10. Health10.1 The unit actively promotes awareness for young people in relation totheir health and general fitness. All staff encourage residents to take aresponsible attitude towards their health and general welfare. Attentionis given to general hygiene, personal care, exercise, diet andrecreational activities.10.2 All young people have access to local G.P’s. Alternatively, wherepossible we endeavor to retain their own GP. Strong emphasis isbased upon ensuring that a young person is subject to a medical uponbecoming a resident and that dental and eye care checks occur. It isrecognised that many young people with physical and learningdisabilities often have complex medical needs. Therefore, it is vitalthat prior to any admission a very clear protocol for a young person’smedical needs is in place in the young person’s Care Plan.10.3 Any medication needed for the young person during their stay ischecked on admission. Medication must be prescribed from the youngperson’s G.P. and must be in its original packaging/bottle. If thisprocedure is not followed then it is possible the young person will notbe admitted for respite care unless their medication is correctedimmediately.10.4 Once the young person is resident, two staff on each shift will checkand cross check medication times and quantities in order to ensureaccuracy and safety. Any medication administered is recorded on thecorrect form in their Care Plan.10.5 In the event of a medical emergency, medical assistance, i.e. a Doctoror ambulance will be summoned immediately. The parent or guardianof the young person will also be informed of the situation as soon aspossible.12

10.6 Young people who are suffering from contagious conditions such aschicken pox, scabies, etc. will not be admitted to “Acorns” until thecondition has cleared up.10.7 If the young person has a change or addition to their medication, thestaff at Acorns must be informed of this in writing.11. Promoting Education11,1 As carers for young people the staff have an obligation to supportyoung people to attend and succeed to their potential in their schooling.Each young person will either have a Statement of Educational Needsor a Personal Education Plan which has the investment of all relevantparties and will outline what support is needed for each young personthroughout their education.11.2 The following key principals underpin the ethos supporting a youngperson’s education.• All young people will be encouraged to attend school regularly.• Key workers will identify the named person at school with whomworkers will liaise at any given time.• Any attendance issues will be dealt with promptly and thenecessary people informed of non-attendance, i.e. school, parents,Social Worker.• Staff will ensure that a young person’s Individual Education Plan isunderstood and supported.11.3 Staff will actively encourage young people to complete homework,ensuring they understand what is being asked of them and assist inidentifying any useful resources that could help.11.4 At other times staff should support and encourage young people toread as much as possible.11.5 Staff will ensure knowledge of any communications sent by the schoolin relation to after school clubs and activities as well as parentevenings. Young people resident at Acorns are expected to attend theirusual school. Parents, social workers and Acorns staff are expected toliaise with the school to ensure that transport is arranged so the youngperson can attend.11.6 A “communication” book is a vital tool in letting school and parentsknow of any day-to-day events or significant incidents that have or willbe occurring.13

11.7 Whilst there is a formal education offered via the school we alsobelieve that “education” can also be seen in a broader context of youngpeople learning from different activities and experiences outside ofschool11.8 Facilities for homework or private study• Each young person has a room where they can go to completehomework, study or read.• Additionally each unit has at least one computer which youngpeople can use to access information off the Internet or to use forword processing or constructing documents.11.9 Recreation sport and culture• Acorns has facilities which offer the opportunity for young people toenjoy music, television, indoor games, art, crafts and individualhobbies. The staff team are encouraged to explore outsideopportunities for the young people to become involved in, such asfootball, scouts, brownies, swimming or any other activities or clubsyoung people belong to. This process is underlined by the ethosgenerated in Quality Protects and Social Inclusion. It is appreciatedthat young people “Looked After” for a significant amount of timecan become isolated and excluded from the community.11.10 If there are specific cultural issues, activities or anniversaries e.g.Christmas, Easter, Ramadan, Divali which the young people haveexpressed an interest in or are directly culturally linked then the staffwill ensure that they are celebrated and acknowledged.12. Maintaining Outside Contact12.1 Contact by family and other persons identified by the young person asimportant are actively promoted through visits home. Contact throughcorrespondence and telephone is agreed with the young person’sSocial Worker and ensures that any child protection issues areaddressed and adhered to.12.2 Contact with Social Workers, legal advisers and independent visitorsare unrestricted and private.12.3 We have a duty to maintain contact for young people in the Unit;however, we also have a duty to ensure that those who contact theyoung people are “safe” people who will not pose any threat to a youngperson’s emotional or physical wellbeing.14

13. Religious Observance13.1 On admission to the unit staff ensure that enquiries are made intoreligious and cultural background of each young person as part of theoverall case plan. Special effort is made to help a young person makecontact with a local church or group of adherents to the young person’sreligion. Special privacy is afforded for the purpose of prayer duringthe day. We feel it is important that a young person recognises thatevery possible consideration is being given in respect of their religious,cultural and dietary needs.14. Reviews14.1 In order to promote the welfare of each young person, it is importantthat, when considering placement, there is a clear view as to what ishoped to be achieved by admission and how this fits into the overallcare plan. If a young person is “looked after” for less than 120 days ayear and for not more than four weeks at a time, the above pattern ofreviews can be maintained. However, if this is not the case the abovesequence will be changed as per instructions in Section 26 of theChildren Act 1989.14.2 Statutory reviews held under Section 26 of the Children Act 1989.Service Reviews or case planning meetings are also held to ensure ayoung person’s welfare is safeguarded and promoted throughcomprehensive planning. These meetings focus on a young person’seducational, behavioural, social, emotional and health needs andmonitor how the placement plan is progressing in the context ofachieving the overall care plan.14.3 All young people, parents and other interested parties are encouragedto attend. In the event of a young person not wishing to attend, the coordinatortakes steps to ensure that any feelings or wishes that theyoung person may wish to have voiced at the meeting are presentedand recorded. Also an Advocate may attend to represent the youngpersons views.14.4 The use of “Viewpoint” can also be used to help young people expresstheir views at reviews. This can be done via either a documentproduced by the young person for each member of the review or adocument to be used as an aide memoir for the young person inassisting their verbal feedback, if they are confident enough to do this.Additionally, Co-ordinators will also produce a written report inconsultation with the young person for the planning meeting.14.5 The meeting will be recorded on the appropriate LAC review forms andany salient points will be recorded on the CRC6 forms in the youngperson’s file.15

15. Measuring Outcomes15.1 Acorns is a respite provision and intended to assist and advise parentsand carers with the care and support of disabled young people.15.2 It is possible that young people may attend Acorns for several years aspart of a rolling programme of respite stays.15.3 It is important that outcomes are considered for both the young personand their siblings and carers.15.4 Regular six monthly reviews are held throughout the duration of ayoung person’s involvement with Acorns, these provide an opportunityfor discussion and feedback on outcomes for young people and theirfamilies.15.5 Young people have individual Care Plans giving details of theirpersonal care and any programmes currently being followed. Theseare regularly updated by co-ordinators in consultation with the youngpeople and their parent/carers, these provide a useful indication ofoutcomes.16. Child Protection16.1 All unit staff receives training in the signs and indicators of abuse. Thestaff members have key roles in identifying possible abuse and thereare clear procedures, which they have to follow as set out by the EastSussex Child Protection Committee.16.2 The underlying principles, which dictate practice in this matter, are:The East Sussex Child Protection Committee believes that:• Children are entitled to protection from neglect, abuse and exploitation.• A child’s welfare is the paramount consideration.• Working in partnership is the paramount consideration.• Working in partnership with families and supporting parentalresponsibilities are vital to the protection of children.• Child protection must take account of the racial, linguistic, cultural andreligious needs and differences of families and children.• Personnel from different agencies must work together constructively.• Suitable forms of supervision and support are essential for persons whoare formally responsible for protecting children.• Confidentiality is essential amongst agencies.16.3 If any member of staff is concerned about a young person’s well beingthey must inform the On-Call Manager.16

16.4 If for some reason a Resource Officer or the Unit Manager are notavailable during Office Hours then they contact - either OperationsManager.16.5 No form of bullying is acceptable within Acorns. Staff raise awarenessof bullying by:• Dealing with bullying when it occurs.• Developing a culture in which respect and consideration for othersis fundamental.• Developing staff understanding through induction and training.• Staff being vigilant and consistent.• The young person being able to report bullying and it being takenseriously.• Incidents being investigated and recorded.• Giving young people the opportunity to talk about bullying in generalterms.17. Control and Discipline17.1 The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations state: -“A major determinant of good behaviour and positive ethos of the homeis the quality of the relationships between the staff and the children.Relationships between the staff and the children need to be based onhonesty, mutual respect and recognised good professional practice.”17.2 The ethos of each unit emphasises that we believe the regulation to becorrect and that our methods of work are planned accordingly. Westress the need for mutual respect and fairness, combined with clearconsistent boundaries, which help establish a safe and caringenvironment. However, there will be times when disciplinary methodsare necessary and the following sanctions are approved:• Restitution: i.e. the use of a proportion of pocket money to makerestitution for damage, stolen money or goods, or to pay finesimposed by a court.• Reparation: i.e. where appropriate, making good or repairing anydamage.• Curtailment of leisure extras.• Additional house chores.• Increased supervision.17

17.3 In reality it is extremely rare for a young person to be subject to formaldisciplinary sanctions as the staff on shift will strive to de-escalatesituations using diversion tactics. However, if a member of staff doesneed to impose such a sanction, then it must be clearly recorded in the“Control and Discipline” or “Sanctions” Book, and the action must beendorsed by the Manager.17.4 On occasions, physical restraint may be necessary to ensure the safetyof all concerned.17.5 Physical restraint is only exercised as a last resort in the followingcircumstances: -When a young person is:• Likely to cause themselves physical harm.• Likely to cause another person physical harm.• Likely to cause serious damage to the fabric of the building and/orfurniture or fittings.17.6 In every case, no more than the minimal necessary force is used withinthe shortest timescale possible to achieve the objective. The youngperson is given repeated opportunities to exercise their own self-controland the restraint is ceased at the earliest opportunity. The youngperson is talked through the incident, with the intention of ensuring theyare fully aware of why it happened and what can be learned andunderstood from it.17.7 All incidents are fully recorded and monitored by the unit manager anddiscussed in detail at the following team meeting, in order to ensurethat any practice issues are identified and rectified if necessary.18. Unauthorised Absence of Young People18.1 Upon discovering that a young person is missing, police may beinformed immediately and a ‘missing persons’ form completed and sentby facsimile to the police. The following people are also informed:• Resource Officer• The young person’s parents/guardian• Social Worker• Emergency Duty Service• Any other relevant person18.2 On return all relevant people are informed. The circumstancessurrounding the absence will be investigated and discussed with theyoung person, to ascertain their whereabouts and activities whilst theywere missing, with a view to helping the young person to keepthemselves safe in the future.18

18.3 Every effort is made to return the young person safely and all incidentsof going missing are collected centrally within the Department andsubsequently transmitted to the National Missing Persons Help line.19. Electronic or Mechanical Surveillance19.1 No forms of electronic surveillance are used in any of the units save a“baby listener” at Acorns. This is a portable device, which can helpalert staff (especially Night Care Officers) to a child becomingdistressed or suffering an epileptic fit.19.2 All the bedrooms have call points, these are fitted to allow youngpeople to summon assistance and do not have any surveillance facility.20. Fire Precautions20.1 The Unit is inspected by the East Sussex County Fire Officer to ensurethat fire precaution conditions are satisfactory. We maintain thefollowing: -• Adequate precautions are taken against risk of fire.• Adequate means of escape in the event of fire.• Adequate arrangements are made for detecting, containing andextinguishing fire.• Adequate arrangements are made for warning of an outbreak of fireand for evacuation in the events of fire.20.2 Fire drills are held at least monthly at different times of the day and afull record kept. No advanced warning is given. All staff are aware ofthe procedures to be followed in the event of a fire alarm sounding andthese are explained to the young people at point of admission.Footnote:We trust that this booklet has been helpful and should you require any additionalinformation, please do not hesitate to contact us.19

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