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Mutual Care

We are totally committed to providing a unique home-from-home experience that will always ensure the best possible outcome for every child and young person in our care.

"Our aim is to make a difference for every child and to help them to achieve the very best opportunities in life."

Welcome To Mutual Care

Here at Mutual Care, we understand that in order to create a bespoke child-centred care package, there is a need to engage with the child/young person whenever possible.  Indeed, at times there is also need to try to guide them into new ways of thought and behaviour. 

To that end, we’re strong believers in not only “doing the right thing”, but also “doing things right”. 

To achieve this,  proven techniques involved in “systemic thinking” are used to ensure that care planning is not only tailor-made but is creative and unique.  We understand the need to be empathetic, yet open and direct with our communications.  

Our view of a “Child-Centred Approach” is to try to avoid our own subjective opinions, and allow the child to lead the way, either consciously or not, and help them to bring about a positive resolution based on their own terms. 

From our experience, we know that children and young people in care often represent the most disadvantaged, marginalised, vulnerable and alienated individuals within our society.  So our goal is to constantly strive to create an environment that will help them develop their need for personal growth and positive change and to provide them with a toolkit of knowledge, skills, and ability to lead healthy, pro-social lives in the future.  

The aim is to provide time, care, respect, energy, enthusiasm and determination from each professional involved in each child’s care.  The ultimate goal is to ensure that their future resilience is as strong as possible and that their prospects are developed and protected. 

From the moment a child / young person is placed with Mutual Care, they will receive a service which aims to reproduce a home from home environment. There will be a clear absence of no-go areas in the home.  It will resemble a normal balanced family environment created for the child’s journey with us from day one. 

We create clear goals and outcomes from the very first day that a child / young person joins us.  Short term, long term and permanent goals that we will set, monitor and measure during day-to-day management within the home. 

They will have a key worker who will work directly with them regarding specific issues. The aim is to have weekly key worker sessions, yet the child can meet with their key worker at any time if they are available. The key worker session will focus on specific pieces of work which might be identified by either the child themselves or through their care plan or life experiences. 

Our staff will have an understanding of, and the ability to communicate, the following: 

    • That the home environment and culture generates expectations in behaviour, and that disorganised environments can instigate, escalate or perpetuate crisis behaviours. 
    • That a well-managed and safe physical environment is conducive to self-discipline and nurturing childcare.
    • That their physical health needs are catered for. This will include promoting nutritious and healthy diets; ensuring that clothing is appropriate and does not separate young people from their peer group within the community. 
    • That they have access to appropriate health services and recreational opportunities.
    • That their emotional needs are met and that care staff are able to appropriately express to them that they are valued and cared for. 
    • That staff recognise, praise and encourage them and promote opportunities for personal growth, and value all progress made to develop their identity and self-worth.
    • That proactive crisis management will be provided; by understanding their normal functioning state, typical problem-solving behaviour, and typical responses. 
    • Staff will additionally provide the following:

An environment which facilitates, encourages and enables them to engage in age-related and normative behaviours where appropriate. 

Involvement in the decision-making process within the home, valuing their views and opinions, alongside constructive opportunities to have control over their lives by promoting choice and personal decision-making. 

A structure in their day-to-day lives, and interactions/opportunities to develop and practice effective coping strategies.

An environment where they can develop positive relationships with their care team and feel safe and confident with that team. 

Encouragement to engage in the same social and leisure activities enjoyed by their peers.

Preparation for the transition of leaving care. They will be given opportunities to develop skills which will aid them in this process.

In order to achieve such effective day to day management, Mutual Care will be heavily investing in staff development, training, and continued professional development to ensure that each specific outcome for a child remains focused upon. 

Such training will include, but is not limited to:

De-escalation and conflict resolution skills.

Evidence-led behavioural management approaches.

Understanding of complex needs such as developmental trauma.

Motivational approaches towards behavioural change.

Here at Mutual Care we do not believe in “standard packages of care” and tend towards expecting the unexpected with all of the children who are placed with us. We believe that all children and young people require bespoke and individualised placement plans which are continuously reviewed and evolving in order to meet their specific needs.  

Also to recognise that, whilst the best-laid plans may be made, our team will often be presented with difficult and challenging situations. Our experienced team will manage those situations and ensure that the child/young person knows that the staff will support them in a consistent way and, in doing so, will gain their trust.

In order to make the decision as to whether a child or young person is suitable for Mutual Care, and of course that we are suitable for them,  a Matching and Pre-admission Assessment Process is carried out as follows:

  1. Submit Placement Referral that will provide a holistic overview including historical and up to date information about the child / young person. 
  2. Arrange initial discussion with the Registered Manager and the staff team regarding the child / young person.
  3. Send Initial Expression of Interest to the Local Authority providing a brief overview of the package of support and placement we can offer.  

The Local Authority must then provide the following information:

        • Child / young person’s history in more detail including previous placements and family relationships.
        • Purpose of the placement.
        • Current psychological, emotional, social and intellectual functioning.
        • History of aggression or violence, verbal, physical or sexual.
        • Education – current and historical.
        • Details of any offending behaviour.
        • Health issues including sexual health.
  1. Arrange Placement Planning meeting with the social worker to discuss and create a bespoke package of care for the child / young person.
  2. Liaison with the other social workers of the children already in the home to discuss any matching concerns before making a decision. 
  3. Where appropriate, a transition plan created to include staff from the home meeting the child / young person at their current placement and/or visiting the home before they move in. This visit will include the staff from the home meeting the child / young person, who will be given information about the home, together with a welcome pack to take away with them.
  4. Completion of Impact Risk Assessment and Compatibility Risk Assessment 
  5. Arrange moving in date with the child / young person and Local Authority.

We understand that for most children a plan of long-term residential care is not appropriate. Therefore, Mutual Care will work on preparing children for foster care from the start of their journey with us. When the time is right Mutual Care will work alongside the identified Local Authority foster carer to ensure a successful transition into the child’s new placement. 

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Our Service

Our homes are registered and compliant with Ofsted Regulations and comprise of trained, dynamic staff, 24 hours a day supporting children on either a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio.

Our Promise

Mutual Care will always work with the local authority to avoid having to give immediate notice on a child.  We aim to make a difference for every child and to help them to achieve the very best opportunities in life.  

Our staff are fully committed to face the toughest challenges, celebrate all the highs and accept all the lows to truly inspire and, hopefully, positively change a child/young person’s life for the future.   

Should it become apparent that a child/young person needs to move on, we will work with the placing Local Authority to ensure transitions are as child-centred as possible.

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Who We Are

With our team holding over a combined 45 years’ experience in Children’s Services within the child care environment, Mutual Care is a forward-thinking organisation established solely to provide children and young people with a unique home from home experience that will ensure the very best outcomes for the children and young people in our care. 

All of our Directors  have a passion for improving children’s lives in the local area. We believe that strong communities create a foundation for the support and development of all children and young people and our ethos is to create a home from home environment that becomes part of the local community. 

View Our People page for more information

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