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The most difficult part of the process was the start; you have to persuade yourself that it is possible. This is the most difficult decision you have to take. The rest is coincidence, happenstance, depending on your being ready for the service and for the reactions of the people in your local community, which is crucial, too... ..and, finally, it all depends on your expectations. We opened the first flat in the autumn of 2013. Following our two-year experience with the flat for schoolchildren, we then opened a flat for pre-school children. We opened the second flat in 2015. Go ahead, try it one more time. See, it works... We provide this service in two flats for 8 children in total. Each flat has two day shift workers and one night shift worker. Ideally, there will be an educator present in one of the flats. At the beginning, we found it very hard to locate the first flat… …and to present ourselves as a goal-oriented organisation that does meaningful work… and to persuade the landlord to rent the flat to us without a deposit, and that we would be committed to pay the rent on time Renting the flats has both advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage is that we are not the owners. There is a fundamental advantage, though, and that is the obligation of the owner of the flat to maintain and make repairs on the building. That means, for example, that he fixes the broken heating when you call to tell him that it needs fixing, etc. In my opinion, when one takes into account the government administration or the length of time involved in a public procurement process, this way is much more flexible than constructing majestic buildings which would take, at a minimum, two years to build I think that a child of practically any age could live in a flat, provided that you set the conditions in the way the child needs them to be. The preparation of the flats involved communicating with the staff and children. The children chose the colours of their rooms, furniture and carpet. The idea was to design the flats the way the children liked... the children painted the walls, decorated the walls with images of animals etc... – Saša, what have we got there? - That’s the kitchen, that’s where we cook What else do we do there? Have breakfast, lunch and dinner. And... wash dishes. Right?! Where are we now? This is the living room. This is the living room where we... what do we do here? This is where we watch TV and play. Right, like the girls are doing now. Before moving, it is very important to explain to the staff about the daily routine of the flat, so that the staff are prepared for the work there… and for the intrinsic elements of institutions to be eliminated, and to ensure that the environment is similar to what we all have at home. You are stirring, Honza, right? Look at you! Aren’t you amazing? The children who moved were selected by an assessment process which took time. This was undertaken by their keyworkers who worked daily with the children Please, take it to the table. The idea was to select a group of workers as a well as a group of friends that are able to get on well, communicate, have fun and play together. That is a carrot cake, Saša, there is no bone inside it, believe me. There is something strange inside it, though. that must be a piece of carrot or nut then. To my positive surprise, some employees wanted to work in this service. Some were placed in the service by their employer. Staff working in this service have not changed their jobs. They have remained in their posts. The staff certainly have their say here; they choose activities they would like to do. On the other hand, the responsibility is higher, there is no manager on site and if an unexpected event occurs, then the staff have to make quick decisions about the best and most suitable option, and bear the responsibility for that decision. The provision of the service in the flats, outside the main building of the institution, has its particularities and its own specific character. Where is the dog? Would you press the dog... The main scope of work in an institution is nursing. In the flats, the work includes educational and counselling activities. The children in the flat experience much faster development due to the individual care which they receive. ...the carers speak to the children and play games that stimulate their development and learning. One of the essential points is the preparation of the carers. From the very beginning we have strived to explain to the carers that the purpose of the service is to move the client on, not to let the client stagnate in one institution. We worked hard to persuade them that the service is beneficial to the client. Some negotiations took a long time, others were relatively brief. The trust in the social care system is what matters. The icing on the cake is when the parents of the children find out that they are able to take care of their children themselves. They see how it works in the flat and they gain confidence that they are able to take care of their child in the same way at home. We had a client called Michal here. His own parents started to have contact with him; they started seeing him and were interested in taking him back home to his family. First, they came and took him for walks. Later, they took him home so they could spend weekends with him, and at Christmas time he spent the whole holiday at home. After Christmas, they told us they had arranged all the necessary steps to take him back home, and they did take him back home. I think that, it was much easier for them than if Michal lived in some kind of institution. The main reason for establishing this service is the fundamental difference in the speed of the progress and development of the client outside a major institution. The flat does not create institutional habits in children. He could see the way the bread was cut and prepared for eating, how the food was cooked and how the cleaning was done. The carer is talking to a child. One more spoon and that’s it, let’s clap our hands... The main goal is to provide children with similar experiences to those of other children… to let the child experience happiness; to be with other children; visit after-school activities and clubs; visit regular schools; and to make visiting the city an ordinary, common experience. Saša is talking to the shop assistant, does the shopping, pays for the shopping and says ‘goodbye’. The neighbours have got accustomed to us, even though they had several worries at the beginning. The flats are well accepted now; in fact, they are just like other flats in the community. And this is what I consider to be our mission – to get the children back to where they belong. The carer teaches the girl poems while dancing with her... - I got it! - That’s great!

Video Details

Duration: 11 minutes and 19 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 27
Posted by: louise.tanner on Dec 5, 2017


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