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Guide for Parents/carers

Swanwick Lodge is a secure children’s home for young people between 11-16 years of age, who are all detained by a court order.

Swanwick Lodge takes boys and girls on two identical units - Lakeside and Woodlands. These units are mixed gender and take up to 8 young people at any one time.

What happens on arrival?

On admission, staff will answer any questions raised by your child. They will be taken to their room and offered something to eat and drink. They will meet the staff and the unit rules will be described briefly, as well as the fire drill.

They will be shown around the unit and be allowed to make a phone call to let you know they have arrived. At this point they will be introduced to the other children staying here.

Admission Medical

After being admitted to the unit, all children have to have an admission medical. The care staff will arrange for a local General Practitioner to come and see your child. This can be either a male or a female but we need to know in advance if there is a preference.

All children at Swanwick Lodge must have a medical. It is just a quick check up to make sure your child is fit and well. Once this has been done your child can take part in activities such as using the gym.  

A medical consent card and unit consent form will be sent to you for you to fill in and return a.s.a.p. – either on your next visit or by post.

 

Visiting

All visitors must have a letter of introduction, which will be provided by your child’s Social Worker or Youth Offending Officer, without which entry will be denied. We also ask that you bring with you some other form of photographic identification,

All visits must be booked in advance and these will be supervised by care staff.

Visits can be booked between 18.30-20.30 on school days. Visits on weekends and school holidays is by arrangement, however no visit will last longer than one hour.

Permitted and prohibited items

All items you bring in for your child  must be checked by a member of staff before being given to them.  The checks may not be possible in time for the visit but will be completed as soon as possible.  

All items listed below are subject to the risk assessment the child is working to at the time.

Permitted items

  • Clothes for your child as agreed with unit staff
  • Personal items such as photographs and posters
  • Toiletries (not  aerosols)
  • Gifts for birthdays
  • Money to be added to your child’s account
  • T.V or stereo games consoles if your child  have achieved that status.

Prohibited items

  • Cigarettes, tobacco, cigarette papers
  • Sharp objects
  • Matches or Batteries
  • Solvent based products
  • Lighters and lighter fuel
  • Medication
  • Any food or drink including sweets
  • Blu Tack or similar
  • Non age appropriate magazines and books
  • Cameras
  • Razors and razor blades
  • Tins; Aerosols or glass items
  • Mobile phones
  • Recording devices (inc MP3 players and similar devices)
  • Jewellery and valuable personal items
  • DVDs or videos certificated above the child’s age
  • Any object which could be used as a weapon

Any visitors attempting to bring prohibited items onto the unit may have their visit terminated and permission for future visits cancelled.

Lockers are provided for visitors to safely store any items not permitted within the unit.

 

Education and activities

Education

The learning centre provides a wonderful opportunity for children of all ages to improve their level of achievement and attainment through national accreditation and develop the essential skills and strategies to be successful in their next educational placement.

The timetable is set for 30 hours a week plus daily literacy and numeracy homework.  During the summer holiday we provide a further four weeks of literacy and numeracy based work, complimenting the activities programme.

Our classes have a maximum of four children with a teacher or instructor and a member of care staff.  There is a real focus on individual educational plans to maximise the level of support.  In technology, the classes are smaller and all literacy and numeracy support is on an individual basis.  

The facilities include three general classrooms for Maths, Sciences, English, Humanities, PDL, Modern Foreign Languages, Drama and Music.  There is a good quality library supported by the County Library Service. We have a fitness suite, a gym and an outside five a side court with a focus on individual targets in leisure, fitness and diet set by our Healthy Schools Award.  All this any a multi vocational workshop offering your child the chance to learn skills in electrics, plumbing and more.

Every child placed in this Centre leaves with a portfolio of achievement, a record of accreditation and files of work.  We try to help reduce the anxieties of a return to the community through developing good relationships with the next placement prior to discharge.  This is done in the knowledge that education can make a difference for all the young people wherever they are.

Care staff attend education with the children to ensure continuity of care.

Therapy

Swanwick Lodge has a very experienced Therapy Team who are able to offer to undertake individual and/ or group sessions. They are also able to offer family and play therapy.

Recreation/Activities

Swanwick Lodge offers a wide range of activities including; sports, hobbies, arts and craft every evening and weekend.

Outside Agencies

Swanwick Lodge uses several other agencies which cover a wide range of topics, for example alcohol and substance misuse.

 

Processes

Access to Files

Your child will be able to read their file and is encouraged to do so. Hampshire County Council have a policy and process for you to follow if you want to see your Children’s Services file.

Meetings

There will be a number of meetings whilst your child is at Swanwick Lodge. Your child’s case manager, Social  Worker or Youth Offending Officer will inform you of these and invite you to attend.

Rewards and Sanctions

We have a belief that all positive behaviour should be rewarded and we have a scheme of privileges and rewards which we are sure your child will tell you about.

At Swanwick Lodge we expect a standard of behaviour which means that everyone shows respect to everyone else and everything we have.  If a child is not able to achieve this they may receive a sanction which may be extra homework or restricted access to a particular activity for a short time.  If a child becomes violent and aggressive or threatening to others we may need to intervene and escort them to their room or hold them to prevent them from injuring themselves or others.  We use a method called Team Teach.  The main aim of which is to stop an incident happening in the first place but then to be able to manage incidents safely if physical intervention is needed. If anything like this happens we will contact as soon as possible after the incident.

Case Manager

All children are allocated 2 case managers from the care staff and 1 from education. It is these people you should contact in the first instance. However, please feel that you can talk to all members of staff, especially if there is a problem you think we should know about.

Bullying

We do not tolerate bullying, though we understand it can happen for a variety of reasons. We have a clear anti-bullying policy and a range of responses should an incident of bullying occur.

Complaints

Your child will be told about the complaints procedure. This may be an issue which can be solved by speaking to a member of staff or it may need to be a written complaint addressed to The Manager.

If you have a complaint which you wish to make you can speak to the Duty Manager or write to The Manager at Swanwick Lodge.  All written complaints are responded to likewise.

Alternatively you make complaints to  

Hampshire County Council, The Castle, Winchester SO23 8OQ

Tel:  01962 841841

Or

OFSTED, OFSTED Regional Office, Freshford House, Redcliffe Way, Bristol BS1 6LX

Tel: 08456 404040

Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Smoking

Swanwick Lodge has a no smoking policy, regardless of age. We understand this can be difficult but we aim to help any child experiencing difficulty.

Phone Calls

Your child can make calls to yourself and key professionals on the office phone, although we discourage these during the school day and these calls are time limited. Your child will have access to a pay phone for which they need a phone card (cost £5). Calls can be made or received on this phone after 17.00 on school days and anytime up to 20.45.

We also make available telephone hand sets for children to use in their rooms for personal calls to authorised numbers.  

Letters

All children are encouraged to write home and keep in touch with important people. We have a post box for letters which is emptied and mailed daily.  When your child receives a letter, they will be asked to open it in front of staff to ensure that nothing is in the envelope. Staff do not read your child’s mail.

Religion

If your child would like to see someone from a particular church or faith that is important to them, we can arrange for them to visit.

Belongings

Your child’s belongings will be listed on admission. Supply of clothing remains with those with parental responsibility.

Your child can send their clothes to the laundry daily or take responsibility for using the laundry equipment in the social skills suite.

Pocket Money

All young people get pocket money, appropriate for their age.   If you wish to give your child extra pocket money it must be handed to a member of staff.  This money and their pocket money is credited to their account.

Accommodation

Your child’s unit is made up of 8 en suite bedrooms, divided into groups of 4.  Each living area has a dining room, a lounge area, a ‘quiet’ area, a kitchen, a spa bathroom and an office. There is also a shared games room.

Dietary Needs

If your child has any special dietary need or specific food allergy, Swanwick Lodge can deal with these appropriately.

Doctors ,Opticians & Dentist

If your child is unwell, a local doctor will be called. The visit will take place in the medical room and may be in private if that is what your child wants.

If medication is prescribed, staff will get this and keep it safely in the office. Where appropriate or emergency treatment is required arrangements will be made to safely transport your child to the place of treatment. Those with parental responsibility will be contacted where possible.

 
 
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