01 Understand the development of children and young people in residential childcare
To show that you understand the cycle of monitoring, assessment and intervention for children and young people’s development
3.1 Explain how to monitor children and young people’s development using different methods
Observation can be carried out by either specialists such as physiotherapists and mental health professionals, or by staff that provide more holistic care. Observations of everyday life are a good way to obtain information and can be more informal; making the young person more relaxed. Monitoring the young person’s development in this way is vital as it allows for individuals that need extra support or are at risk to be identified so that early intervention can take place.
At different times, professionals involved with the young person may use a variety of standardised measurement to monitor development. In most cases, this is carried out by medical practitioners and its function is to ensure that the young person is growing at a healthy rate compared to what is the “standard” for their age.
Assessment frameworks provide a set of parameters and allow professionals to monitor the progress of the child and match it against large groups of peers in the same age group. These frameworks are used in a variety of areas, including auditory assessments, health assessments, reasoning assessments, and cognitive aptitude assessments.
Information from Others
Monitoring the development of a young person requires data and input from a variety of individuals with different relationships to the young person. Parents and carers for example can have a more in-depth understanding of certain areas, as they spend a great deal of time with the young person. The behaviour of a young person outside of a setting can differ wildly, and a parent or carer who sees them in a variety of different situations has a unique perspective.
listening to the CYPs
It is vitally important to involve the young person in the assessment and monitoring process and to listen to their views. Other assessment methods, while essential, can often be fairly abstract and assumptions can be made when assessing data. Listening to the young person allows professionals and carers to factor in their unique perspective on a variety of issues.
4.2 Explain the particular significance of early identification of speech, language and communication delays and disorders – how can difficulties in this area impact on all areas of development?
Often, if a young person has a delay or disorder in one developmental area such as speech, it can have a knock-on effect on other areas, for example; the ability to form relationships. Such a delay can suggest a particular language difficulty, but can also be an early indicator of a larger problem such as autism or developmental delay. If these issues are not identified early in the young person’s development, it can affect their ability to communicate their thoughts, feelings and needs. This can result in the individual becoming frustrated and impatient, being shunned by their peers, and feeling isolated. Delayed development can also affect the development of spelling and reading skills, as well as general literacy. In all cases, identifying the problem and providing support early is essential, as this maximises the efficacy of the intervention.
To show that you understand the effects of transitions on children and young people’s development
5.1 Explain how times of transition can affect children and young people’s development and evaluate the effect on children and young people of having positive relationships during periods of transition by completing this table.
Type of transition –areas of development which may be affected. Both positive and negatives effects How having a positive relationship can helpMoving School/House
A young person who has moved house or school may feel insecure and disorientated, as they unfamiliar people around them. Their behaviour may deteriorate, their social development may be affected due to the number of new variables. In some cases, the move may be linked to negative family circumstances, which can affect the young person’s emotional development. The sleep patterns of the young person may also be affects, having a knock-on effect on their academic development.
On the flip-side, a move such as this can challenge a young person in a positive way. For example, the move may present them with new opportunities in the shape of facilities, support or funding that can assist with mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. Additionally, the young person may initially be apprehensive but end up becoming a more outward-looking, confident person; something that aids in their ability to form strong relationship bonds and aid their social development.
Positive relationships in this period are hugely beneficial. It may be that the young person has the chance to be a “buddy” with an individual who has experienced a similar transition to help demystify the process. Also, for example, the individual may have access to a school mentor or guidance councillor who can reassure the young person, provide information, and start to encourage the young person to develop trusting relationships.
A young person whose parents are going through divorce or separation can feel uncertain and apprehensive as to what the future holds; something that can affect their mental health. Depending on the parent’s agreement, the young person may not see one parent as much as they like, and will struggle to understand why. In addition, the young person’s frustration may turn into aggression and they may become withdrawn and isolate themselves, affecting their social development.
Conversely, a divorce or separation can be a positive for a young person. For example, if the one of the parents is abusive towards the other parent and/or the young person, then moving away from this situation will improve their mental and physical wellbeing.
The young person may be part of a youth group or outreach service and have positive relationships with staff and their peers. This can serve as an effective distraction from the difficult home situation.
Entering the care system
This can be very traumatic for the young person, as they will likely lack the capacity, or education to understand why they are going into care. This can lead to the young person blaming themselves, or lashing out at others; affecting their social development, as well as the physical wellbeing of their peers. The absence of former role-models can leave a void and affect their emotional development.
Entering the care system can also be a positive step, as it may be the case that the young person’s physical, social and mental needs were not being properly addressed outside of care. A care setting can allow for targeted support to aid development in these areas.
Positive relationships such as a supportive social worker, relatives and care professionals can ease the transition for the young person. The number of different individuals involved in the multi-agency approach adopted by care settings can result in the young person feeling valued, and fulfilled.
Leaving the care system
This can be a big change for the young person, as the more controlled, safe environment of the care setting differs wildly from the “outside world”. The young person may not have fully developed the skills needed to integrate and communicate. Also, the sheer number of variables can appear daunting and scary for the young person. As a result of these things, the young person can feel isolated and ill-equipped. This can impact their social development and mental health.
The flip side of this, is that the young person may feel liberated and ready to put to use the skills they have developed in care.
A good transition plan, with positive professionals, peers and family members involved is essential. This can assist the young person with information, guidance, and emotional support.
04 Promote effective communication and information handling in residential childcare settings
To show that you are able to meet the communication and language needs, wishes and preferences of individual children and young people
2.1 Explain how you would establish the communication and language needs, wishes and preferences of a child or young person
Obtaining this information requires a thorough, holistic approach. Consulting parents and information gathering through face to face meetings, phone calls and email correspondence can help establish some of the key points. If a specific need is identified, such as the young person needing adaptive technology to communicate, then I would speak to the speech and language team involved with the child, as well as meeting with the parents and the young person to establish their preferences in this area.
Home visits are also a useful tool, as it allows me to observe the young person in a “safe space”, making it easier to observe their needs and preferences. Talking directly to the young person is essential, as it helps to “humanise” the information previously collected, and provide context.
To show that you are able to use communication skills to de-escalate situations of tension or conflict
4.2 Use reflective practice to review the impact of own communication in situations of tension or conflict – give an example of when you used communication in a situation of tension or conflict, how well do you think this worked in defusing the situation, what would you change in a similar situation in the future?
I observed one of the students I support (student B) telling a staff member he did not want to go out for an activity, and was getting progressively more agitated and not engaging with staff. We encourage choice wherever possible, but in this case, B had been requesting to stay behind and play games consistently, which if continued would impact on his development. Attempts to communicate with B directly using BSL were unsuccessful and only serving to escalate the situation.
I had knowledge that B often struggles to take in information and needs time to process and respond. With this in mind and knowing he likes to write things down, I used a white board to write down what was happening, why it was important that he try to go out, and detail a few choices he had linked to the activity. B was unsure at first, but having the information in front of him meant that he could take in the key points and respond. B and myself used the whiteboard to negotiate a way for him to go out and take part in the activity. At the end of the negotiation, B agreed to go and appeared excited at the concept of going out.
In this instance, my approach was effective, and achieved the desired result, whilst empowering B to feel involved in the process. That said, the situation could’ve been diffused earlier if B had been provided with clear, written information. As a resulted, I shared this strategy with the team and updated his care plan to include the approach as a de-escalation technique.
5.1 Explain the term ‘confidentiality’ – please include information about the new GDPR
At its most basic, confidentiality means that information about people should not be shared without their permission. With the new GDPR, the storage of personal data must be justifiable, and the location of the storage should be provided. One of the key points of the GDPR is the ‘integrity and confidentiality’ principle, which states that the appropriate security measures must also be in place to ensure that the personal data is secure and protected.
4.2 Describe ways to maintain confidentiality in day to day communication
There are a variety of ways to maintain confidentiality in day to day communication including:
Send emails through encrypted software to avoid confidential information being intercepted
Protect confidential information by using password-protected software and websites
Keep sensitive, confidential hard-copies in a locked cabinet
Keep confidential information out of work text groups, or daily gossip between staff to avoid the information “falling into the wrong hands”
Shred unwanted confidential documents to avoid information spreading
5.3 Explain the boundaries of own role and responsibilities in relation to confidentiality and disclosure – what can you keep confidential, what information must you share and with whom and who must you not share this information with?
One of the key points of confidentiality that links to my role is that a student’s personal information cannot be shared unless consent has been obtained by the parents, or if there are serious safeguarding concerns. Similarly, if a student comes to me to make a disclosure, I must inform them that this information must be shared with social services (where appropriate).
05 Support risk management in residential childcare
Summarise key points of the legislative framework for health, safety and risk management in residential childcare settings for children and young people
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAW or HSW)
This is the main over-arching piece of legislation relating to health and safety, and requires all employers to “to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work”.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
This is a UK government body tasked with creating, sharing and enforcing health and safety in the workplace legislation. In addition, the HSE ensures that the legislation is current and effective through case studies, observations and meeting with professionals.
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)
This is legislation that requires employers to make arrangements for the safe storage and usage of hazardous substances.
Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)A set of regulations requiring employers to report deaths, major injuries, diseases, hazards and dangers in relation with the workplace.
To show that you are able to manage risks to health, safety and security
3.3a + 3.3b
Recently, I completed a risk assessment for a group of our students going swimming. I visited the pool prior to completing the risk assessment and found that they have changing rooms with non-slip surfaces, a sizeable shallow end, and a life guard sat at the edge of the pool at all times. In addition to this, I identified the hazards as drowning, slipping on wet floors and outcomes of challenging behaviour in the pool.
This information informed the risk assessment, where I detailed that staff must keep the students close-by at all times and inform the lifeguard of the fact that the students are deaf, and of their special needs. I also included a guidance point instructing the staff to keep the students in the shallow end, as the students were mixed ability, but staffing was limited. The specific needs of the students attending were included on the risk assessment and this informed the staff guidance I included. For example, a student with an unsteady gait was required to have a member of staff assisting them to walk on wet flooring.
06 Support group living in residential childcare
To show that you understand theories that underpin work with children and young people in group living
1.1 Summarise theories about groups as they relate to group living with children and young people – what needs to be considered in order for the group to live comfortably together e.g. number of YPs, ages/levels of understanding, staffing levels, choosing/sharing activities to do together as a group, etc and why each of these is important to make this a positive experience
1.2 Summarise theories about how the physical environment can support well-being in a group setting – please include information about communal and private spaces and why each is important and how they contribute to making group living a positive experience (NEED GUIDANCE PLEASE – 1.1 AND 1.2)
To show that you are able to support children and young people to live together as a group
2.3 Give an example of an occasion when you supported children or young people to resolve conflict and disagreements – what was the conflict/disagreement about and how did you resolve this?
Two of the students I support (L and B) had an argument as a result of one of the students using the other’s phone without permission. The students were signing and vocalising in what appeared to be an angry manner. To diffuse the immediate situation, I asked them both to go and take some time out to calm down in whatever way they chose. Following this I sat down with B to discuss the incident, her feelings, and how L might have felt. I instructed my colleague to do the same with L. Following this, we brought B and L together to discuss the situation, tell each other directly how they felt in a controlled environment, and look at strategies to help avoid a re-occurrence. This procedure is employed for a variety of situations and is broadly known as a ‘Restorative Approach’.
2.4 Explain why it can be beneficial to work with some conflicts and disagreements rather than seek to resolve them
Conflict is something that is experienced by everyone and it’s important that young people learn the skills to resolve conflict independently. If staff members are always prompting and guiding the young person through conflict resolution, then they will become too dependent on these individuals; impeding their development. Conflict resolution is a social skill, as conflict primarily arises from two opposing individuals, so by developing this skill, the young person is developing their social awareness. It’s important to note that conflict resolution can also require an individual to be self-critical in a positive way; allowing them to analyse mistakes, and learn from them.
5.1 + 5.3
I have made a number of improvements that positively impact on the experience of group living for the young people I support. Last year, out 6th form students were commenting that they felt like they didn’t have enough independence and that they felt that they were stuck doing activities with the younger students. As a result of this feedback, I proposed the idea of converting one of the unused bedrooms to a 6th form common room. After the team agreed, I met with the 6th form students to ask them what they would like in the room, and what rules they would like. The students and myself negotiated an agreement that the younger students were not allowed in the common room, and that they could have a TV and comfy seats in the room.
That said, I believe I could’ve involved the students even more in the process; something that speaks to the larger goal of myself and the team; giving the students more say. In the future I aim to task students with developing solutions to the problems they identify, as this gives them greater independence, while also helping develop their, independence, social, and problem-solving skills.
Towards the end of term, as part of the weekly team meeting, myself and the team identified that our student feedback system could be clearer and more accessible. As a result, I have a plan to develop a more visual “how-to” poster for the students, as well as tasking one my colleagues to create and deliver a presentation on the subject. Following this, I will task another colleague with gathering feedback from the students on the process. This will enable to students to feel like they have a say in what goes on in their group living environment.