The living and learning environments at Options Kinsale recognises that children with complex needs require individualised, child centred, flexible and responsive intervention and educational programmes within a highly structured low arousal and containing environment.
- Children have input into developing all aspects of the Home, including the planning of activity programmes and menus
- Complementing the physical environment, staff provide a feeling of emotional safety through a high standard of care
- The home is decorated and equipped in accordance with the principles of individual needs for children with complex needs
- The bistro host theme nights, discos and parties and children are encouraged to assist in every way
Weekly programmes of activities both within and out of the home – offers aselection which is broad, balanced and reflect the needs of the group and individual – and where appropriate allowing time for free time and choices. All children are able to access weekly outdoor education activities and the service work with a professional outdoor pursuit organisation who hold AALA licences and have fully qualified staff.
Options Kinsale use consistent care and communication systems to help young people express their needs and wants, and to become more independent.
The aim of the children’s home is to provide an innovative positive caring environment that promotes development of the whole child and demonstrates an understanding in practice of the individual needs of a child. Emphasis is given to developing social and life skills including recreational and leisure skills, both within the home and outside.
These can include elements of several approaches, tailored according to the preferences of each child, such as the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and Makaton. Tools like these, along with visual timetables, photographs for people and places, and Boardmaker symbols, enable everyone to communicate in the way that best suits them.
Outside of school, regular activities are planned by the Activity Coordinator to help children develop their skills in different environments. Shopping expeditions, walks in the country and trips to the swimming pool, local play park and disco are all used to boost learning and cultivate new interests.
Alongside this, a Behaviour Support Programme, which is delivered both in and out of school, encompasses the individual behaviour support strategies and targets for each student. Key workers, teachers, parents and therapists are invited to contribute to these at regular Child Centred Planning Meetings.
The services clinical team includes a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Assistant Psychologist, Occupational Therapist and a Speech and Language Therapist who works closely with the education and care staff to develop appropriate strategies to enable children to achieve progress on agreed targets.
Options Kinsale has a range of accommodation suitable for students with varying needs. In the main building, we have 5 flats which each house 2 to 5 children. Children have their own large bedroom, with en-suite facilities if appropriate, and each flat has a large living/dining area and kitchen. We also have a 2-bedroom flat for those making the transition to more independent living. Day to day, everyone gets involved with the running of the flats including the cooking and cleaning! We also have a separate 2 bedroom respite flat which is used to accommodate children on short break/respite packages.