Situated in a busy suburban area with easy access to local amenities, Swanley House is a delightful 8 bedroom home offering care services for children aged between 10 and 18 who have been identified as having mild, moderate and severe learning disabilities who may also have physical problems and associated complex care needs. This may include mobility issues, needs arising from sensory deprivation, communication needs and associated health needs i.e. epilepsy. Swanley House offers a home that values young people regardless of their disability, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. As such, qualities such as tolerance and acceptance are the driving force behind our work at the home.
We believe that young people grow and flourish as a direct consequence of good parenting and by being involved in the daily decisions of the family group. As a consequence of this, we believe our home will be able to provide service users with quality individual time, the development of meaningful relationships with keyworkers and development of qualities such as tolerance and acceptance others by living as part of a group. Our ultimate aim is to provide young people with the skills necessary to successfully transition into adulthood.
Staff members are always very welcoming and happy
I am always very impressed with the positive atmosphere in the home. The staff members are always very welcoming and happy to share information. The children’s rooms are kept clean and the rest of the home is also kept to a very high standard.
They provide a wide variety of food taking into consideration the children’s cultural background.
I think that the staff members at Swanley House have been doing their best to ensure that my young person lives in a stable home. They have provided additional support during very challenging times to prevent the placement from breaking down.
There is a clear routine in place for my young person which is also important as it helps to reduce his anxieties and he is very familiar with the staff members.
Settled, happy and calls Swanley House her “home”
JH talks positively about staff and peers and of her experience of life in the home. I put this down to the excellent and efficient support that the staff have provided JH with.
They have already provided her with a strong and secure foundation to this new stage in her life. I have excellent communication with manager and staff which ensures JH needs are being advocated for and met to a high standard. JH is settled, happy and calls Swanley House her “home”. This is very reassuring for me as her social worker.
Driving for excellent accommodations
In the initial planning stages of the home, we recognised that accessibility can often be a significant challenge for people with disabilities. Therefore, we are proud to have Swanley House situated in a busy suburban area with good access to public transport facilities, including busses and trains into London, as well as local facilities, which include;
- Shopping Centre
- Health Clinic
The home has 8 single occupancy rooms with room sizes starting from 10 square metres up to 20 square metres. Swanley House enjoys a warm and homely feel due to the furnishings around the home, with specialist equipment being stored away when not in use to create a more homely environment for the young people. In order to create a more personal connection between the service user and the home, we are able to accommodate the views and preferences of a young person who moves in order to decorate the room and create a space they can call their own.
The importance of good nutrition can never be underestimated, and we believe this is especially relevant when caring for children and young adults. We encourage children and the staff who support them to enjoy mealtimes and to eat well prepared and nutritious and well cooked food, and to see mealtimes as opportunities for people to enjoy themselves and give time and space to talk about news, events and the day’s activities. To equip the children with the skills needed for adulthood, they are given the chance to learn skills associated with food preparation and presentation. Children will also be supported to incorporate both foods from their own cultures and foods from other cultures into their diet.
Our care staff are all highly trained in the area of food preparation and planning, with all staff members holding an QCF level education in this area as well as completing Food Hygiene training. By investing in staff training, we are able to ensure the highest quality practices are upheld in the home, including the understanding of service user choice and the recording of information relating to nutritional requirements for children who may have such needs.
The excellent physical surroundings and facilities, combined with a dedicated staff team reflect our commitment to enabling children with learning disabilities to develop and maximise independence, however challenging their behaviour.
Driving development through opportunity
The principle of service user choice is a core value of all of us at The Drive Care Homes, and so every effort is made to ensure that the care team at Swanley House are aware of the individual preferences of each service user at the home. Given the varying complexity of needs of individuals, our care staff are able to utilise innovative and creative methods to gain an understanding of what activities children like to partake in. Our staff are also able to support children to try new activities, as we believe this is the best way to determine if the child enjoys the activity. The home is able to offer a wide range of both in-house and external activities, which include;
- Playtime – using toys, books, painting and other tools.
- The opportunity to assist with domestic chores such as cookery and housework.
- Computer use for both educational and leisure purposes.
- Cinema trips
- Shopping trips
- Park visits
- Visits to zoos and the coast
The attitude underpinning our approach to service user activities is that we believe that children in our care should be offered the same opportunities to experience different activities, hobbies and experiences as we would offer our own children.
Swanley House has 8 available places for children who have been identified as having mild, moderate or severe learning difficulties with associated complex needs. Such needs may include;
- Physical disabilities
- Speech and language difficulties
- Sensory impairments
- Autistic spectrum disorder
We would also be willing to consider accommodating a young person who, in addition to a learning disability also had negative experiences in their past, for example ‘abuse’. However, our care team have not received the same industry leading training in this area, and so the help of external specialists would be used in such a scenario so that we can determine if we will be able to meet the needs of the child. Please contact our referrals team on 0800 7833 779, or complete our enquiry form to learn more about availability at Swanley House.