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Guide for Young People

What to expect and what is expected at Swanwick Lodge.

Guide to Swanwick Lodge


About Swanwick Lodge

Swanwick Lodge is a secure Children’s home for young people aged between 10 and 17 years of age for boys and girls.

Swanwick Lodge can look after up to 16 young people at any one time. There are two units, both for up to eight young people on them.  These two units are called Lakeside and Woodlands.

Young People are sent to Swanwick Lodge by the courts either on criminal or welfare grounds.

What happens after you’ve been admitted?

Once you have been through the admission process and you have answered lots of questions you will be taken down onto the unit, either Woodlands or Lakeside. We will encourage you to make contact with a family member or someone else important to you as soon as possible after you arrive.

Staff will show you to your room, introduce you to the other young people and answer any questions you may have. You will be offered a drink and something to eat.

Admission Medical

Within two days of being admitted to the Unit all young people have to have an admission medical. The Care staff will arrange for a local General practitioner to come and see you. The medical is just a quick check up to see that you are fit and well.

Daily routines

Basically you will be called in time to get up on a school day and we will expect you to shower and have breakfast in time to go to school at 9am.

All young people attend school at Swanwick Lodge.

There will be a break in the morning and again for lunch. Each day after school you will be expected to do homework or take part in an activity before dinner.

After dinner everyone has their chores to do. After these are finished the group decide what activities they would like to do before bedtime at 9:00pm, (See Bedtime).

Weekends are slightly different though there are still chores to do which everyone joins in with.


Enrichment activities

These are a variety of activities we offer you throughout the week and at weekends. They include a variety of sports and arts as well as special events such as cookery and archery. Sometimes the young people do activities as a group and sometimes as individuals.

We have a programme of activities every school holiday and you will be expected to take part as this is part of your plan for your stay at Swanwick Lodge.

All activities are subject to your risk assessment.

Your records

A record of your referral, care plan, daily living, meetings and other information is kept while you are at Swanwick Lodge. You can have access to your unit file by asking your key-worker. You will be able to read contact sheets and care plans and you will be asked to comment on them and sign them. If you would like to look at your whole file you will be asked to apply using the Hampshire County Council process.

How do I make myself heard?

We think it is important that you can make yourself heard in a variety of ways -

  • Young People’s meetings – These are held every week for you to discuss issues that are important. It is also the place you will get information. We listen and things change as a result of these meetings.

  • Key-work sessions – As we’ve said before you will have at least two keyworkers. These are people who can spend time with you and you can ask any questions.

  • Independent visitors – These people are volunteers who spend evenings on the unit. They are not employed by us and are happy to listen to your concerns and can speak up on your behalf


There is a staff team of fifteen residential care workers on each unit. Some of these staff are duty officers and work on both units. There is also a unit leader.

In the learning centre there is a team of teachers and instructors.

We also have a therapy team who will introduce themselves to you.

You will also see our domestic assistants, cooks and maintenance staff and support services manager, though it is unlikely that you will meet our admin or reception staff but they are there and all part of the team.

We have a deputy manager and a registered manager who will come and see you within the first few days of your stay.

From time to time there are other visitors to the unit.

E’s Up

E's Up is a locally based agency that works with young people who are using illegal substances or alcohol. They see all young people for an initial assessment and write a short report. They visit individuals and run groups on substance misuse, smoking and alcohol at Swanwick Lodge.

Independent Visitors

Some young people are a long way from home or have no-one to visit them. The independent visitors are adults who volunteer to come and spend time with young people. You can ask for an independent visitor through your key-worker.

We aim to support you to reach your potential

Swanwick Lodge Learning Centre

The Teachers, Instructors and the Care staff in the Centre are here to help, guide and support you, so if you have any questions, please ask.

Don’t worry if your memory of school hasn’t been very happy. It really doesn’t matter now as this is a fresh start. We believe that education is for life and we will try to make your time in school useful and enjoyable. That is why you have to attend school at Swanwick Lodge every day. Everyone does!

All the staff have a lot of experience and they are committed to helping you make the most of your time in the Learning Centre. They are able to offer you a wide variety of subjects and opportunities, as well as provide a great deal of support in what you do.

When you first arrive you will be given an induction by one of the school staff. You will be asked about your previous experience of school, this is done so that we can work out how best to move you forward in your education.

Whatever your length of stay at Swanwick, it is important that you make the most of every opportunity. You will be asked to sign a contract which will set out the expectations of the Centre. They are simply to help you to raise your level of achievement and behaviour, and ensure a successful return to your community. Don’t let yourself down.


When you come to the Education Centre

  • Be positive - Come to school in a positive frame of mind, if you do, all will go well.
  • Go to the toilet before you come to school.
  • Leave food and drinks (including crisps and sweets) in your room.
  • Try to keep your files in good order and put all your work away in the right place at the end of each lesson.
  • Glasses - Bring them to school with you at the beginning of lessons.

The School Day

There is a Timetable and a ‘Group Sheet ’on your Unit notice board.  The timetable shows the lessons for all the groups throughout the week. The Group Sheet shows you which group you are in. Check them each time you go to lessons to avoid wasting time!

It is important to remember that the care staff will be with you in school all day. They are there to help you. It is also likely that they may offer to take you to the craft rooms in the evenings or at weekends so that you can do individual work.

You walk to the Centre following the path in the courtyard. Lessons start at 9.00 in the morning and finish at 3.45. There is also a half hour reading period at 1.30 and a half hour maths session at 4 o’clock.

This is how the day looks:

  • Lesson 1 9.00 - 9.55
  • Lesson 2 9.55 - 10.50
  • Break 10.50 - 11.05
  • Lesson 3 11.05 - 12.00
  • Lesson 4 12.00 - 12.50
  • Lunch 12.50 - 1.30
  • Maths 1.30 - 2.00
  • Lesson 3 2.00 - 2.55
  • Lesson 4 2.55 - 3.45
  • Literacy 4.00 - 4.30

You have PE twice a week, it is important that you have the right clothing, including trainers which must be tied properly to avoid any accidents. This is to keep you safe.

Help us to help you to enjoy learning and achieving.

Behaviour Expectations

We expected you to:-

  • Be up and ready for breakfast each day.
  • Eat all meals in the dining room, in a polite manner.
  • Keep your room clean and tidy.
  • Have a bath or shower every day and after exercise.
  • Wear clean clothes, appropriate to the activity.
  • Negotiate with staff and other young people, resolving problems without these escalating.
  • Respect your living space, looking after the furniture and use the rubbish bins.
  • Speak to staff and other young people appropriately, no swearing threats or abusive language.
  • Respect other people’s personal space, no inappropriate physical contact, no fighting, no play fighting.
  • Listen to staff when they ask you to do something and respond positively when asked what to do or where to go.
  • Attend all education sessions and meet educational targets.
  • Settle at night without causing noise or disruption.
  • Participate in any groups you may attend, making a positive contribution.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I smoke?

Swanwick Lodge has a no smoking policy so whatever age you are you cannot smoke during your stay here. We appreciate that not smoking can be difficult and we will try to help if you are experiencing difficulty.

Can I use a phone?

You can ring your main carer, social worker or youth offending worker from the office phone, we’ve also got phones which you can use privately to call family and professionals. There is a time limit put on these calls to allow everyone a chance. Also personal calls can be made and received on the unit payphone, you can buy a card for this, they cost £5 each. You can make calls after 5pm on school days and anytime up to 8:30pm. At weekends any calls can be made until 8:45pm.

Am I allowed visitors?

We know how important it is for you to have visitors so we do our best to make sure they happen. All visits have to be booked at least 24 hours in advance and all visits by family and friends will be supervised by care staff.

Visits can be made between 6:30pm and 8:30pm on school days. Weekends and school holidays are by arrangement.

Visits are for usually no more than one hour unless family have had to travel a long distance.

Professionals may come and visit you during the school day.

Can I send/receive letters?

All young people are encouraged to write home and to keep in touch with important people. When you have a letter which needs to be posted staff will do this for you. You will have to buy stamps for letters to anyone other than a parent, social worker or solicitor.

What happens in case of a fire?

You will be told about the unit fire drill when you arrive. You will also be reminded of this at every young people’s meeting. At different times through your stay you should expect to take part in fire drills.

Will my room be searched?

Sometimes it may be necessary because we think there might be a risk that we have to search your room. We will try to tell you when we are going to do this but there are times when we can do this without your knowledge. You will always be told if we have removed something that you should not have. We will respect your belongings and keep disruption at a minimum.

Will I have any meetings?

Yes! There will be a meeting soon after you arrive to decide on a plan for your stay and to decide what should happen at the end of your time with us. Your key-worker will always write a report for these meetings and will either go with you or arrange for someone else to attend with you. They will help make sure that you are able to say what you need to. You should always be told in advance about these meetings and be told who will be at them.

What if I need to see a doctor?

If you want to see a doctor a local doctor will be called out to see you. The doctor sees you in the medical room and the discussion you have is private. If you are prescribed any medication staff will get the prescription and keep the medication safely, giving it to you as the doctor instructed. You will be asked to sign for medicines that you take.

What if I need to see an Optician and Dentist?

If you need to see either of these a special arrangement has to be made for you to go to them. You will have escorts for these visits.

What about my religion?

If you want to see someone from a church or faith that is important to you we can arrange for them to visit you. We will plan this as part of your care but we may not know unless you tell us.

What is a key-worker?

A key-worker is a named person who is most involved with you. You will have two keyworkers from the care staff and one key-worker from the learning centre staff.

They will help you with anything you are worried or concerned about and will support you in meetings.

Will I get Pocket money?

All young people get pocket money. This is kept in a safe. You can ask your key-worker to buy things like magazines for you out of this money. Any pocket money you are given by visitors must also be handed in and will be kept in the safe. At times there is a tuck shop running where you can spend your money.

When is bedtime?

Bedtime is 9:00pm. But if your behaviour during the day has been good you might be allowed to stay up until 9:30pm.

What about the food?

We give you three meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a snack after school. We encourage healthy eating and provide a good choice of foods.

  • Everyone sits in the dining room to eat their meals
  • Hot and cold drinks are always available up to 8:45pm

It is important that you tell us when you arrive if you have special dietary needs or have any allergies. We will then arrange for you to have a choice if there is nothing on the main menu you can eat.

Permitted and prohibited items?

Please note that due to the nature of maintaining a secure environment and in order to protect young people, staff and visitors alike the following is a list of permissible and prohibited items.

Permitted items

These must be checked by a member of staff before being given to the young person.  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 young person is working to at the time

  • Clothes for young people as agreed with unit staff
  • Personal items such as photographs and posters
  • Toiletries (not aerosols)
  • Gifts for birthdays.
  • Money to be added to the young persons’ account
  • T.V. or stereos or games consoles if young person has achieved that status

Prohibited items

  • Cigarettes, tobacco, cigarette papers
  • Sharp objects
  • Matches
  • Solvents
  • Lighters and lighter fuel containing solvents
  • Batteries
  • Medication
  • Any food or drink including sweets
  • Blu Tack or similar
  • Glue stick
  • Non age appropriate magazines
  • Cameras
  • Pornographic material
  • Razors and razor blades
  • Tins
  • Aerosols
  • Glass items
  • Pencil Sharpeners
  • Drinks in cans
  • Mobile phones
  • Recording devices (inc MP3 players and similar devices)
  • Tools
  • Jewellery/Valuable personal items
  • DVDs or videos certificated above the young person’s age
  • Any object which could be used as a weapon


Being heard

An extract from our young people’s guide

meetingWe think it is important that the young people who are at Swanwick Lodge can make themselves heard and in a variety of ways:

Young People’s meetings

These are held every week to discuss issues that are important. It is also the place to get information. We listen and things can change as a result of these meetings.

Key-work sessions

A young person will have at least two keyworkers. These are people can spend time in discussion and will answer any questions raised.

Independent visitors

These people are volunteers who spend evenings on the unit. They are not employed by us and are happy to listen to concerns and can speak on a young persons behalf

Bullying is not acceptable

We know that bullying happens in lots of different ways. Not just the obvious ways of physical violence but name calling and trying to make others feel uncomfortable or not liked and different. We also know there are lots of reasons that someone becomes a bully.

  • If you feel you are being bullied, please tell a member of staff.
  • If you are a bully do not expect to get away with it.

How to complain?

We want each young persons stay at Swanwick Lodge to be as trouble free as possible, but there may be times when they feel they need to make a complaint. This could be for a number of reasons.

We encourage young people who feel they need to make a complaint. It may be an issue which can be solved by speaking to a member of staff or may need a written complaint and if needed we will help in writing it. Alternatively speaking to a manager or one of the independent visitors may resolve it.

We use a restorative approach when there is any disagreement or conflict. This means that everyone affected gets the chance to say what they think is the problem, how they think and feel about it and what should be done to resolve the problem or make sure it doesn’t happen again.


Statement of Purpose

Bedroom view

The reason for having a statement of purpose is to explain what we aim to do and how we are going to do it.

Swanwick Lodge is a purpose built Local Authority Secure Children’s home for young people aged 10 – 17 for boys and girls.

At Swanwick Lodge we can look after up to 16 young people at any one time.  There are two units both having up to eight young people living on them.  These two unit are called Lakeside and Woodlands.

We have the living areas, recreation and sports facilities and a school on site.

We aim to identify needs, try to help look at the reasons that may bring a young person to Swanwick Lodge and then assist returning young people into the community.

In addition to our care staff  we have education staff who provide learning for a wide range of subjects.  We also have a therapy team available.

Our approach is supported by what the Government call Every Child Matters 5 outcomes which are listed below –

Be healthy

We want young people to get and stay healthy, physically and emotionally.  We have sports facilities, provide healthy diet and provide facilities to enable personal hygiene care.

Stay Safe

We aim to keep young people safe.  We do this by having security systems such a CCTV and key locks.  We don’t think it’s right to be discriminated against or to live somewhere that bullying is accepted.

We expect all young people to follow our boundaries and those who can’t will be given a sanction.  If young people are able to keep to the expectations we reward good behaviour.

Enjoy and Achieve

We provide not only education but loads of opportunities to take part in sports, hobbies and ideas of how to use free time.

We will work with people who know the young person in the community to make sure that when they leave us they get the support they need.

We use a restorative justice approach which means we listen and take account of thoughts and feelings.

Making a positive contribution

We want to listen to thoughts and requests made and to help us do this we have young people’s meetings every week.  We also encourage comments and listen to complaints so that we can make sure that what we are doing is helping.

We will challenge any behaviour we think is not acceptable and will help reflect on how things could be done differently.

We will treat young people with dignity and respect and expect them to show tolerance and respect for other young people, their property and for themselves.

Achieve Economic Well-being

We aim to provide the opportunity to enjoy and achieve in education through leisure.

We also help think about the reasons that young people may find themselves in Swanwick Lodge and will support change so young people are are less likely to need to come back to a secure unit.

A summary

Our Statement of Purpose says:

  • We aim not to judge
  • We aim to listen and involve young people in both planning and decision making
  • We recognise that there are important people in the young persons life who we need to listen to
  • We recognise there are important people in a young persons life that they still need to have contact with
  • We aim to encourage reflection on life
  • We aim to make young people feel better about themselves
  • We recognise that young people have the right to live free from discrimination and bullying