The Six Stages of INDUCTION to Support Services
How do we introduce the Aspired Futures Therapeutic Support Service to newly referred children and young people?
Assessing whether the child/young person would like to access the service
The initial assessment focuses on the child or young person. We will follow up each referral with an initial home visit to meet the child or young person in their home environment. We will explore whether the child or young person would like to come to our therapeutic centre for an introductory visit, on their own or with their parents/carers. We will explain what our service is all about and explore with them what they feel we could do for them and what challenges they face. It is essential, at this point, to get the perspective of the child or young person and also to make clear to them that they have a choice in accessing our services. It is for the child or young person to decide whether or not they wish their referral to proceed. We begin their individual assessment against a recognised assessment framework to capture the child or young person’s circumstances and challenges needing to be overcome.
Initial introduction visit to our therapeutic centre
If the child or young person is showing an interest we will set up a first visit to our home-from-home therapeutic centre. Qualified members of our team will provide safe return transport to and thereby remove any barriers to accessing the service. We will use this opportunity to further assess their needs, interests and challenges. This is the first opportunity to start building a link so that the child or young person starts to understand what we offer. The lay out and homely environment of the therapeutic centre always has a positive impact on each new visitor and sends out a message of care, respect and trust.
A taster session at one of our most suitable sessions during the week
We have a variety of sessions to meet the presented needs of each child or young person which means every child is given a place in the session at which they will feel most comfortable and able to settle. We will take into consideration their personalities, interests and challenges against the personalities and talents of our volunteers and sessional therapeutic workers to achieve a good match. Additionally the AF core team will be offering one to one support and mentoring to each child, during the week, outside the therapeutic leisure and play sessions. The team will also be committed to attend multi agency meetings in relation to each child or young person including supporting them during periods of transition, change or/and crisis.
A Child or young person is comfortable and settled into one of our sessions and receiving additional ‘mentor’ support if and when needed.
Together with the child or young person we will explore whether they are comfortable in the chosen group and start, through observation, communication and one to one support in the group, mapping our his/her interests and challenges. Together we will design personalised coping mechanisms for each child to improve behaviour, concentration, communication and overall life and social skills. The child or young person will be able to practice newly learned positive behaviour in a safe environment in the centre. Their progress and achievements are recognised and celebrated using schemes like the Awards4Achieving and are recorded in their personal Goal Record. Progress is also formally mapped on our assessment tool.
The Child or young person is fully settled in the group and enjoying positive relationships with other children/young people, volunteers and sessional workers and is no longer struggling with extreme behaviour.
At this point the child or young person is ready to concentrate on the wide variety of activities and often has identified what they would like to focus on. The AF team will nurture that interest and start to seek external opportunities to further develop skills and talents. We strengthen their overall motivation through seeking and offering a wide range of opportunities.
The child or young person is willing to give support to others in the group
We offer every 14 year old at AF the opportunity to become a Helper. From the age of 16 they are given the opportunity to become a volunteer, and start leading some of the activities and looking out for the more vulnerable children and young people in the group, becoming aware of the needs of others and the group dynamics.