Home from Home
Above everything we want children to be healthy, happy and safe here at Acorn Park. Within purpose built individual homes, small family groups of two or three carefully selected children will live together with their carers. The homes are well equipped, with huge gardens, bright and spacious communal living areas and large bedrooms most with ensuite bathrooms.
Children and young people get involved in every aspect of family life, from decorating their bedrooms, to helping with the cooking, where it’s appropriate, and even organising social activities. Depending on the needs of the children, some carers will sleep overnight in the home and others will stay awake.
For residents with communication needs, the homes are equipped with signs using Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and we have ground floor rooms for those who struggle to use stairs. As they get older, we encourage young people to develop greater independence by cooking, cleaning and budgeting for their weekly needs.
Our Residential School
Meet Sam Milward, the Residential Manager at Acorn Park, and find out why she demands the children in her care have the very best.
A Children’s Guide to Acorn Park
Each child has a key worker and a small team of carers with whom they develop strong and trusting relationships. Each family home will have two teams of carers who share the responsibility for supporting children in that house. The carers will be there when the children get up in the morning, they’ll help them get ready for the day and they’ll also pick them up from school, prepare their meals and put them to bed.
Carers take on many parental responsibilities by helping children to make healthy choices, setting and enforcing the appropriate boundaries and monitoring their development. They also help children and young people through times of sadness or disappointment, celebrate their successes and simply have fun together.
Continuity of Care
Continuity of care is so important at Acorn Park and we are fortunate to have teaching and nursing staff onsite working with carers to help our children flourish. The teaching staff who support children during the day give a detailed handover to our carers, so their education can be supported with activities at home.
In addition, our wider team of speech and occupational therapists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists are on hand to support children with very specific areas of their development as needed.
We’re also fortunate enough to have a full time extra-curricular co-ordinator to plan specific activities, both on and off site, to help each child develop their own interests and broaden their experiences.
Meet our Registered Manager – Sam Millward
Sam Millward leads our residential team. She holds a foundation degree in Therapeutic Practice and a postgraduate qualification in Management Studies as well as the relevant NVQ qualifications and the Registered Managers’ Award.
What makes Sam really stand out is her years of first-hand experience supporting children with a range of complex needs. Having worked within caring services all her working life, Sam takes a pro-active, hands on approach to leading our team of carers.
She has an impressive history of helping residential homes to achieve outstanding Ofsted status, which she puts down to her commitment to the children under her care. We never give up on our children and Sam makes sure the team have the right skills and resources to care confidently.