Developing life skills/discovering potential.
Statement of Purpose
Orkid Lodge Parenting Assesment Centre
DMR Services Ltd
Statement of Purpose
Orkid Lodge, Parenting Assessment Centre.
DMR Services Ltd was developed in 2005, since its conception we have opened four residential
children’s homes. Providing care for children aged between 11 and 18 years of age with a variety
Orkid Lodge, provides parenting capacity assessments. Our aims are to provide families with a
safe and nurturing environment whilst undertaking an independent comprehensive assessment of
parenting capacity. Orkid Lodge has been providing the highest possible standards since 2002.
Joining with DMR Services in 2008. Coming under the umbrella of our parent company has
enabled further opportunities to develop the staff team and the work we undertake, most notable
our the multi-disciplinary team. DMR Services are fortunate to have a highly skilled, multi
disciplinary team of committed staff, who share the aims and vision of the organisation. Our
service has grown over the years and our ranges of skills expertise and services have expanded.
Orkid Lodge changed premises from Vernon Road edgebaston to Osler Street in October 2011
DMR Services have a partnership arrangement with Bellamy Associates and Tranquil Lodge
Psychology Services. This immediately gives us access to a wide range of therapeutic
interventions provided by Tranquil Lodge. Qualified Psychologists are available to undertake
specific work with each child, family and the assessment that they are undertaking. This enables
our staff teams to support families undertaking therapeutic aspects of the service provided.
Overall aims and objectives of the centre
We are committed to improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged
children in our society. Although the children (and in many cases the parents) who use our
service come from diverse backgrounds they have many experiences in common. These may
include offending behavior, addiction, rejection, loss and change in their lives. Some may, in
addition also have suffered, or have been likely to suffer different types of abuse including
emotional, physical sexual or neglect. Our staff teams are trained to work with this client group,
respecting their individual needs and using a consistent approach that includes empathy, clear
communication and consistent achievable boundaries.
Our aim is to provide families with a safe and nurturing environment whilst undertaking a
comprehensive assessment of their parenting capacity. Each family has an assessment and
intervention plan that reflects the objectives of the placement, families will undertake
assessments which are phased according to their individual needs and progress. Orkid Lodge aim
to exceed the National Minimum Standard requirements of a Residential Family Assessment
where ever possible.
Inter-agency work and the ethos of collaboration is at the heart of Orkid Lodge. Parenting
assessments are undertaken in partnership with parents, placing authorities and respective
agencies. We aim to adhere to the child’s care plan within projected and realistic timescales,
regular progress review meetings enable all parties to remain consulted and informed, we pride
ourselves on our all-encompassing final assessment reports and court statements. We will attend
court as required.
The centre aims are to provide families with a safe and nurturing environment whilst undertaking
an independent comprehensive assessment of parenting capacity.
We aim to ensure that every child has the opportunity in their parents care to fulfil their life
potential and we aim to achieve this by undertaking direct work with parents to reduce the levels
of educational failure, ill health, substance misuse, abuse and neglect and therefore we have
integrated the key ethos of Every Child Matters into our assessments.
Orkid Lodge is four bedroomed detaached home situated in a residential urban street in
Edgebaston, City Centre Birmingham; our aim is not to reflect a traditional institutional approach
in our accommodation but a homely welcoming environment. We offer a communal living
environment, accommodating up to seven families. We can accommodate up to six adults at one
time in either double or single family placements. We are inevitably flexible and can
accommodate larger families. All families will have their own lockable bedrooms with en-suite
facilities. All families are encouraged to bring personal items such as bedding, photographs and
electrical items such as TV’s and music systems to make their stay more comfortable. The
Lodge has a full central heating system. Our garden area is divided into a soft play area with play
equipment and a grassy area.
The lower floor of Orkid Lodge provides communal living space comprising
of the following facilities:
Large lounge/activity room
Computer suite for educational purposes
The building has restricted access to ensure the wellbeing of all who reside there. Orkid Lodge
employs CCTV in restricted communal areas as part of our child protection and anti-bullying
policy. However, multiple security cameras monitor the grounds, and record all arrivals and
departures. The outside area offers off-road parking to the front.
The main office is situated opposite the main lounge on the ground floor, Orkid Lodge has an
‘Open Door’ policy ensuring service members have access to assessors throughout the day and
night. There is a further office situated on the top floor of the building.
Service User’s are expected to provide their own food items during their stay; however they will
not be expected to contribute to utility bills.
Service User’s who wish to contact professional agencies may use the office phone free of
charge, however for personal telephone calls a payphone has been provided.
Location and neighbouring community
Birmingham is the second largest City in England and is renowned for its vibrant and diverse
culture. The City Centre can be located a short walk from the centre which is situated in the
Edgbaston area of Birmingham. We may also be accessed easily by a number of routes
including the M5 & M6, and major train and bus routes. We are close to picturesque walks along
the city centre canals, and are positioned close to a natural beauty spot which is utilised for
activities such as water sports and nature reserve. Birmingham has a wealth of cultural
attractions including museums of art, history and science, a burgeoning market place.
Orkid Lodge have established links with local resources such as the local medical centre with
health visitors attached, local pharmacies, nurseries, Sure Start and other complimentary services
such as Community Drug Action Teams, Occupational Therapist and Community Mental Health
Assessors will ensure they accompany new families while they familiarise themselves with the
local area, ensuring their safety and facilitating access to services
Our facility works within all relevant legislation and government guidance to ensure that we are
offering a high quality service, including the ‘Every Child Matters Agenda’ and the Framework
The five outcomes detailed within the ‘Every Child Matters Agenda’ are universally recognized
targets for children and young people. By working so closely with the agenda we have a tool to
ensure that we are delivering best outcomes to the children who are paramount within all that we
DMR Services promotes the use of surveillance cameras on the communal landing upstairs, the
kitchen and areas outside the building for the purpose of safeguarding and promoting the welfare
of our families as endorsed in the homes Statement of Purpose. The families who use our service
are informed of this measure on arrival and the reasons are explained to them, this information is
also contained within the Service User’s induction and the cameras will not impinge
unnecessarily on their need for privacy.
Key legislation is the Children Act 1989 which gives emphasis on safeguarding children and to
promote the welfare of children. At Orkid Lodge the main assessment model followed is the
Department of Health Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families
2000. Following national frameworks means that we are working with a degree of
standardisation of the assessment process. This framework is based on an ecological model that
provides a systamatic way of analysing information. This enables us to further consider the
wider context of the community in which they live to make sense of what is happening in
children, young people and families lives. This information is assessed and collated by our multi-
Working Together under the Children Act (DoH 1991)and Working Together to Safeguard
Children is used within the assessment process at Orkid Lodge. This provides a framework to
enable a coordinated response from professionals and the multi-disciplinary agenices supporting
families to maintain a child focus asspoach.
At Orkid Lodge we pride ourselves on the work we undertake with families with complex needs.
Where assessments are undertaken involving people with a learning difficulties or disabilities we
are experienced in modifying information and communication styles to check out that families
understanding and build on the positive achievements of parents. Building on their stregnths
perspective improves self confidence and self-esteem. In order to work with all service users
effectively we use the Parenting Assessment Manual (PAM) written by Dr Sue McGaw. This is
an assessment resource specifically designed to assess parenting skills and the ability to meet the
child’s developing needs. Assessments are based on knowledge using the McGaw cartoons, as
well as observation and a work book that each parent completes so that any gaps in parenting
knowledge and life skills can be identified. Both the professional and parent’s perception of the
family’s needs are considered. we have found that this has been particularly good practice in
offering people with learning disabilities the best possible opportunities to achieve. The
assessment incorporates observations, questionnaires (written & visual aids) and structured
interviews as well as apparent history.
Parenting in its very nature is unique and will vary based upon many factors such as culture,
race, age and previous experiences of being parented. At Orkid Lodge we value individuality and
actively promote difference. With this in mind every assessment we do is tailor made no single
assessment technique will be adopted; to meet these individual assessment needs.
Observations of family relationships will play a key part in informing the child’s developmental
needs and quality of the attachment relationship between the care giver and child.
In order to build our assessment we use various methods of evidence gathering. Such methods
might include direct or indirect observations & 1-2-1 pro and re active key work sessions which
will use a time limited, task focussed approach to discussing the parent’s individual needs and
identifying future support to enhance their parenting skills which will enable them to develop
and meet their full potential.
The success of an assessment will depend on the parent’s willingness to recognise the concerns
and their motivation to change their current circumstances. Orkid Lodge will facilitate this and
offer as much support as possible however the individual has to choose to want to make positive
change. Orkid Lodge staff adopt empowering approach to enable parents to express their wishes
and feelings for the future of their family.
Multi Disciplinary Team (MDT) Members:
S Neville, Responsible Individual; Sally has sixteen years experience working with children
and their families; and holds a BSc in Social Work, and a Post Graduate Certificate in
Management, Sally is also an accredited Mediator in neighborhood and work place disputes.
Sally progressed from local authority area office to a residential family setting. Sally has held the
post of Registered Manager at the Centre for the past nine years ensuring the day to day running
of the service meets the needs of service members and staff to a consistently high standard.
Jane Cater, Registered Manager; Jane, received her social work qualification from University
of Birmingham on 26.06.2007 and was admitted to the Council’s register of social care workers
on 21.07.2007. She has been employed by Birmingham City Council in a Duty & Assessment
team from July 2007. Jane was promoted to Senior Social Worker on 06.04.2009. Jane
progressed from local authority area office to a residential family setting in November 2010.
Jane is currently undertaking in the second year undertaking post graduate qualification
Specialist Award: Children, Young People, Their Families and Carers at the University of
Phil Coleman: Deputy Manager, Phil holds a Diploma in Child Care and Education, Level 3
Health and Social Care, Level 2 Health and Social Care, Level 2 Leadership and Management,
Level 3 in Management, as well as a Level 2 Advice and Guidance. Phil has certificates in Child
Protection, First Aid, Fire Marshall, Autistic Spectrum Awareness, Domestic violence and Drug
Testing. Phil was a nursery Nurse for three years before working as a shift leader in a residential
children’s home. Phil is currently enrolled to study a Ba Hons Social Work Degree. Phil has
worked at Orkids since June 2005.
Ian Gray, Maintenance Manager, Ian has been employed with Orkid’s since July 2002 he is
responsible for running the maintenance division he ensures all properties are maintained to a
high specification and all aspects of health and fire safety are maintained at the highest level and
adhered to throughout the organization. Ian’s training is ongoing and relevant to his
responsibilities. Including, Health and Safety Level 3, Fire Marshall Certificate, Fire Risk
Assessment Certificate, Fire Safety Management in Residential Certificate, and Practical
Portable Appliance Testing Certificate. Ian has undertaken NSPCC Child Protection Awareness
Certificate, Ian is currently undertaking an NVQ in Math’s, and a Diploma in alcohol and drug
Lindiwe Korfage, Social Worker; Lindiwe holds a Ba Hons in Social Work awarded at HAN
University, the Netherlands in 2007. Lindy has an experience working with Families with drug
addictions, Children and families (community based assessment). Lindy has been employed with
Orkid Lodge as a qualified Social Worker since July 2009; however she has experience of
working with our agency since 2005.
Samantha Turner, Social Worker; Samantha also known as Julie has been employed by Orkid
Lodge as an assistant social worker since 28th May 2008 and undertook the role of Qualified
Social Worker on 13th July 2009. Julie holds a Diploma in Social Work and is currently working
towards her Masters in Social Work qualification at the University of Wolverhampton. Further to
this Julie also holds a (BA) Hons degree in Special Needs and Deaf Studies; she has 8 years
experience of working within a children and families setting. Julie’s previous employment
includes statutory work in Youth Offending Teams, as well as extensive experience of working
with young people within a local authority Youth Service.
Victoria Bardsley. Counselling Support Worker; Victoria has experience in working with
adults who have experienced domestic abuse; she has also worked for Rape Crisis as a
counselor. Victoria has been employed at Orkid Lodge since 2003 and undertakes direct work
with adults under the guidance of the Social Worker and independent Counseling Supervisor.
Victoria has undertaken Child Protection training, Pediatric First Aid and Fire Training. Victoria
has also undertaken Systemic Family Therapy training which she applies in her work with
couples regarding relationship issues.
Support worker Roles and Responsibilities;
All support workers undertake direct work with families under the guidance of the Social
Worker. They undertake the Parenting Assessment Manual, task analysis and parenting styles
observation check lists. They are also responsible for direct observations and direct work, play
sessions and group activities with families. The Shift Leader will oversee the shift and take
responsibility for ensuring that the day runs smoothly regarding children’s routines and ensuring
all appointments are undertaken.
Kashaf Dad, Shift Leader; Kashaf currently holds an NVQ Level 3 in Health and Social Care
and is completing his NVQ in Team leading. He has undertaken training in first Aid, working
with self harm, safe handling of medication, Autistic Spectrum Awareness, fire Marshall training
and Child Protection. Kashaf has been a shift leader in a residential children’s home.
Bally Dosangh, Shift Leader; Bally currently holds an NVQ in Health and Social Care she
has undertaken training in drug testing, first aid, working with self harm, parents with learning
disability, fire Marshall and Childline Counseling. Additionally to this Bally also has a Diploma
in life and living skill, NVQ Level 2 in Advice and Guidance, a Qualification in Supervisory
Management, NSPCC Educare – Child Protection and NSPCC Educare – Child Protection and
Bullying. Bally Is currently aspiring to work towards a Qualification in management.
Sharon Yafai, Child Development Support Worker; Sharon is an experienced staff member,
who currently holds an NVQ Level 3 in health and Social Care. Sharon also has a Diploma in
Play ground practice, child provision in under 5’s she hold an Access to Higher Education in
Psychology, Biology and English. She has previously been employed as a foster carer and a
Kamaljeet Phagura, Child Development Support Worker; BA Hons in Sociology and Social
Policy obtained at Wolverhampton University. Kam commenced her employment during May
2008 and has commenced her NVQ L3 in Health and Social Care and has undertaken Parents
with Learning Disability training, fire safety and child protection
Leanne Dutson, Support Worker. Leanne has worked with the organization for 12 months.
Leanne has a Foundation and a diploma in early childhood studies. Further to this Leanne
currently remains studying in order to achieve a Ba Hons in Early Childhood studies. Leanne has
recently completed training around equality and diversity.
Ruth Brown, Support Worker. Ruth has been enrolled on her NVQ Level 3, she has
substantial experience in working in a variety of children and family settings, including parenting
Paige Rose, Support Worker. Paige is a 3rd year Ba Hons Social work student and works with
us on a part time basis supporting within the assessment process.
Leah Schofield, Support Worker. Leah Joined Orkid Lodge in November 2010 she is currently
working towards her NVQ Level 3. Leah has experience in various roles working with people.
Natalia Biggs, Child Development Support Worker; Is currently in her 3nd year of a
Psychology Degree she has undertaken training in child protection and other courses as
appropriate to her role.
Kudzi, Child Development Support Worker; Kudzi joined Orkid Lodge in 2011 as a 3rd year
social work student. She now works with the organisation as a bank staff member. She is
currently working through her induction and mandatory training program.
Jemma Morton, Child Development Support Worker; Jemma is a qualified social worker.
She has worked for DMR Services for 12 months, she has experiance in residential care for
adolesants. Jemma has completed child protection training and is working through her
mandatory induction training.
Lynn Horton; Waking Night Support Worker. Lynn holds an NVQ3 Health & Social Care.
Lynn has experience in working with adults with a learning impairment, children with
disabilities and with children and their families, she has undertaken a variety of training courses
to complement her roles and responsibilities, including Child Protection, Lynn has been
employed at Orkid Lodge since 2002. Lynn is responsible for monitoring and supporting
parents with childcare tasks between the hours of 10pm till 8am.
Christine Thomas, Waking Night Support Worker; Christine is a second year social work
student and has worked for the organisation for two years. She has experiance covering day and
Gillian Poole, Domestic Operative; Gillian hold an NVQ 3 in Direct Care, she has undertaken
training in Basic risk assessment, Health and Safety, Food Hygiene Manual Handling and
medication, Gill was previously employed by the NHS and has undertaken a supervisory
Supervision, training and development
All new staff will be required to complete an induction work book developed by The Children
Young People and Families Workforce Development Council (CWDC) this is an ongoing
All staff are required to attend 1-2-1 supervision, a minimum of once every four weeks and in
addition all staff are expected to attend the fortnightly clinical team meetings which are attended
by representatives of the MDT Department. The Home managers supervise the Shift Leaders and
Care Workers. Heads of each department are responsible for the supervision of their
DMR Services - Training
DMR services are committed to our training programme. The staff at Orkid Lodge are included
in the central training system and a comprehensive training matrix is maintained.
Criteria for Admission
Orkid Lodge accepts child admissions from newborns to 5 years old and has the capacity to
accommodate up to 4 families at any one time. We take referrals from local authorities, family
courts and solicitors.
The placing authority will have sufficient concerns regarding the parent’s capacity to care for
and protect their children. Placing authorities may have already had significant involvement with
the family and the children’s names may be already included on the Child Protection Register or
subject of court orders.
As a result of prior intervention specialist assessments may have already been undertaken and
will be made available to assessors to ensure our service meets the individual needs of families.
This information may include Core Assessments, Conference Reports, Psychiatric or
If a couple’s relationship is deemed as potentially volatile, couples can undertake family sessions
prior to the placement. These sessions serves to enhance a couple’s understanding of each other’s
and their own needs and their ability to communicate with each other and assessors. Couples also
have the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment and motivation to one another and the
At the start of any placement, the referring authority will ensure that Orkid Lodge is clearly
directed with regard to their specific aims and objectives of the assessment.
A Pre-Placement meeting will be convened prior to admission to enable families to meet
assessors and current members of the Lodge. During this process any working agreements can
be compiled to make sure all parties are aware of the expectations of the placement.
Our value base is one of non discriminatory practice. However, to ensure the safety and
protection of other families, we cannot provide placements in Orkid Lodge for adults whom the
local authority has evidence to suggest may pose a sexual or high physical risk to adults or
children. Each service member will be assessed as to their individual risk and a decision made
Adults who have a current addiction to alcohol or illegal substances will not be prohibited from a
placement but we do require evidence of commitment to rehabilitation. For example, individuals
can demonstrate this commitment by undertaking harm reduction programs which undertake
drug and alcohol screening. Clear results will confirm an individual’s commitment to remaining
substance or alcohol free. Once this has been established, we may then determine it appropriate
to admit the individual and a Pre-Placement Meeting can be convened.
Parents will be accepted for a placement with a minimum age of sixteen; there is no upper age
limit to placement criteria.
Once the placement has been agreed, an initial Risk Assessment and Assessment Plan will be
We believe that any move for a family can be a difficult experience. We recognise that to leave
your home and come to an unfamiliar, communal environment cannot be easy and therefore,
whenever possible the transition should be managed in a planned way. It is considered positive
for the family to be able to visit the centre at least once before the pre-placement meeting.
However, this does not preclude emergency referrals in some instances.
In the event of an emergency placement, Orkid Lodge will require as much detailed information
as possible - this will include details of the reason for the placement, historical experiences of the
person being referred, the family dynamics and current relationships, as well as any potential risk
to the child or family. All the current concerns must be highlighted and the risk posed to the
family from themselves and/or the risks they may pose to others. This information may be taken
over the telephone.
The placement may be refused at this point. If the placement is accepted, this will be for an
initial two week period only.
Upon arrival at the centre, a pre-placement meeting will need to take place with the family and a
social worker from the local authority. The social worker should also insure that all relevant
information is made available at this point whereby this is practicably possible.
Orkid Lodge will undertake a risk assessment prior to the placement being offered. The placing
authority will be required to provide all relevant completed LAC (Looked After Children)
papers, section 47 reports, core assessments and other paperwork which will provide information
about the family and their experiences.
We work with the families to help them understand their behaviour and its effect on their
children, others and themselves, whilst providing an environment that provides a secure base for
nurturing relationships to develop emotionally and mentally to enable them to form positive
attachments with their children and possitive relationships in the future.
Upon arrival service users will be welcomed and reassured, we will ensure the following:
That the family is welcomed and introduced by the Manager, Deputy Manager or Shift
That the family’s bedroom has been prepared for their arrival.
That they have the facility to meet their immediate physical needs.
That they are shown around the building.
That time is taken to explain what will happen next.
That the family has received a copy of the induction pack and a member of staff spends
time explaining it, as appropriate within the learning needs of the family.
That particular attention is paid to the building evacuation section.
That the family has received a copy of the Complaints Procedure and understands their
rights. Also it will be explained that their own local authority will have a complaints
procedure that they may follow should they feel that they need to.
Care is taken that this process is both informal and family centred. It is designed to offer
reassurance and to minimise the anxieties and worries that people experience when arriving at a
A full fire drill/evacuation of the building routine will be carried out within 48 hours of a new
Promoting positive relationships
DMR works to help families to develop positive relationships with others, including their already
established networks, e.g. with their family, friends and local community. We recognise that for
many of the people who access our service their histories mean that developing relationships
with peers and adults can be difficult. Staff will receive training on attachment theory and child
development to equip them to understand the people and work with them to help them develop
relationships and positive networks of support.
Stay Safe Objectives
In response to the Children Act 2004 and the recommendations of the Safeguarding Review
2005, staff at Orkid Lodge remain committed to practices which protect children from harm; are
clear about how to recognise the signs of abuse or neglect; have a full understanding about the
thresholds that apply to safeguarding; and know to whom they should refer concerns or
Orkid Lodge has a clear Safeguarding policy and training is provided regarding procedures.
Staff at Orkid Lodge attend regular supervision and clinical reviews regarding the family’s
assessments. The staff are vigilant in relation to the children’s ongoing safety and protection and
are aware of the indicators, signs and symptoms, when abuse is taking place. They are aware of
the local Children’s Safeguarding Board procedures for managing suspected safeguarding
concerns and are clear about the lines of responsibility and accountability within the home.
In addition to concerns that arise in the community staff are aware of the danger of professional
abuse and exercise caution and vigilance in relation to the professionals who have access to our
families. The home has a Whistle Blowing Policy where staff are encouraged to speak to their
Senior Managers if they have concerns about their colleagues’ conduct towards our service users.
In addition through the new Child Sexual Exploitation Policy adopted by DMR Services, staff
are aware of issues in relation to child exploitation and are trained to monitor and report any
DMR Services has an internal Safeguarding referral form and a Gingerbread Programme. This
serves to identify risks and behaviours pertaining to individuals - it will ensure the allocation of
resources is appropriate to the highlighted needs and concerns. Furthermore this will enable
DMR Services to monitor progress and outcomes more effectively and where applicable, adapt
At Orkid Lodge we recognise that good communication is a key factor in protecting children and
their families. We aim to develop open and honest relationships with service users in order to
demonstrate and gain trust within appropriate boundaries. In order to maximise this, each family
will have allocated key people within the home that have specific responsibilities regarding their
duty of care towards each family.
We will ensure that the opportunities for sharing information are maximized by undertaking
regular review meetings. This will ensure that progress is reviewed, risks are assessed and
evaluated accordingly and also that risk management and assesment plans are updated.
Each family will have a Assesment Plan that is individual to them and addresses their diverse
needs, individually. It is recognised that where risk assessments indicate that higher levels of
supervision are required, that this shall be undertaken in a manner that continues to recognise
human rights and dignity.
Staff at Orkid Lodge place a high value on the education that is afforded to our service users. In
order to support individuals’ learning and education, Orkid Lodge will offer group work and
individual key work sessions that maximises the potential of service users to protect themselves
and their children from abuse by supporting topics such as misuse of substances, exploitation,
bullying and safeguarding etc.
The organisations Safeguarding Officers are: Jo Mountford & David Miller and they should be
contacted in the first instance should you have a safeguarding concern.
The Designated Safeguarding Children’s Officers (DSCO) for this home is Jo Mountford, Jo can
be contacted on 07584 705664.
Orkid Lodge is fitted with all the required safety devices and equipment to prevent and detect
fires and will be regularly inspected by the local Fire Authority and OFSTED. All staff receive
training in fire prevention and will be aware of their responsibility to monitor and check that all
equipment is in place and working satisfactorily.
There will be regular fire drills and all staff and service users will be aware of the emergency
exits and evacuation procedures. We will keep a record of all fire drills and equipment checks in
the Fire Safety Folder located at Orkid Lodge.
Staff at Orkid Lodge will consult with the service users who reside within the unit in an attempt
to foster trust and ensure the views of such people are taken into consideration in the decision
making process. Communication needs which have been unrecognised, ignored or set aside in
the past, will be, wherever possible, viewed as a basic human need.
Attention will be given to different methods of communication, if:
English is not a first language
If the service user has auditory impairment
If the service user has visual impairment
If the service user has communication impairments
If the service user has learning difficulties.
Service users have a right to express their views and feelings and have them taken into
consideration in all matters that directly affect their future. Orkid Lodge recognises the Children
Act 1989 Article 12 that it is the right of the child to independent representation in legal
proceedings and will ensure this right is exercised where appropriate.
Each service user has the opportunity to attend regular residents meetings.
Children’s Rights and Anti Discriminatory Practice
The Convention on the Rights of the Child Treaty denotes the basic human rights that children
everywhere, without discrimination, have:
The right to survival.
The right to develop to the fullest.
The right to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation.
The right to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.
It is the aim of Orkid Lodge to promote and uphold these basic principles of the Convention on
the Rights of the Child and to ensure all children are given the opportunity to develop with safety
and security. DMR Services is an organisation committed to equal opportunities and anti-
discriminatory practice both in terms of the staff it employs and the families.
Staff at Orkid Lodge believe that all people – colleagues, service users and visitors should be
treated with respect. Disruptive or offensive language or behaviour will not be tolerated and will
always be challenged. When such incidents are perpetrated by service users they will be dealt
with in a way that promotes better understanding and encourages a change of attitude and
Policy statement on Harassment
Orkid Lodge is committed to a working and learning environment that is free from any form of
harassment. Harassment adversely affects working and social conditions for young people, staff
and visitors, and is unacceptable. Any incident of harassment will be regarded very seriously.
Persistent or gross harassment (in particular, sexual or racial harassment) will be treated as
grounds for dismissal or termination of placement.
Harassment causes distress and anxiety. It interferes with people’s ability to work and study and
may be so serious and unrelenting, that the person being subjected to any form of harassment
may feel traumatised and isolated. Harassment is personally offensive and is detrimental to all
aspects of an individual’s wellbeing.
Orkid Lodge will, therefore, take harassment to include any behaviour that is offensive,
intimidating or hostile. Behaviour which interferes with an individuals’ environment or which
induces stress, anxiety, fear or sickness on the part of the harassed person, is unacceptable. The
defining features are that the behaviour is offensive or intimidating to the recipient and would be
so regarded by any reasonable person.
It is important to remember that differences of cultural attitude, social background and the
misinterpretation of social signals, can mean that what is perceived as harassment by one person,
may not seem so to another. Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be admitted
as an excuse for harassment by Orkid Lodge.
Anti-Bullying and anti discriminatory Policy
Orkid Lodge aims to provide a safe and supportive environment which enables young people to
develop their confidence and empowers them to acquire the skills necessary to make the
transition to independent living. Without exception, all forms of bullying are not acceptable.
This policy incorporates both members of staff, the children in our care and any visitors to the
Sexual harassment always involves unwanted attention which emphasises sexual status over
status as an individual. It can occur in a variety of circumstances but always has a distinctive
feature: the inappropriate introduction of sexual comments or activities into teaching, learning,
administrative working or social situations. Orkid Lodge will report any incident of sexual
harassment to the relevant authorities.
Racial harassment is any hostile or offensive act, expression or incitement to commit such an act,
by a person of one racial or ethnic origin to another. Those who may be particularly affected are
those in a minority and for fear of ridicule or reprisal, find it difficult to complain.
Any difficulty in defining what constitutes sexual and racial harassment should not deter staff or
young people from complaining of such behaviour which causes them distress. Nor should
anyone be deterred from making a complaint because of embarrassment, fear of intimidation or
publicity. Orkid Lodge will investigate and take the appropriate action with regard to any
complaints of sexual and racial harassment. Any complaints will be treated with the utmost
sensitivity and confidentiality.
It is the responsibility of all members of staff, young people and visitors, to contribute towards
preventing harassment through an active awareness of the issues involved and also by ensuring
that standards of conduct for themselves and for friends and colleagues, does not cause offence.
Complaints and representation
At DMR Services, we believe it is important that people are able to talk freely about the service
they receive and to complain if they are unhappy about anything while living at the home.
Orkid Lodge’s has a Complaints Policy (in which all staff has received training) which is
available on their arrival and which the key worker explains at an early stage of their stay. It is
also available in a form which can be understood by the person in question.
At DMR Services we have a positive attitude to complaints and see them as an opportunity to
improve the quality of care we provide for young people. All complaints, whether major or
minor are taken seriously and responded to in a timely fashion in line with our policy. People are
reassured that they are free to complain at any time about anything without fear of reprisals.
All complaints are recorded and regularly reviewed to ensure proper implementation of the
policy and to address any general issues or concerns which emerge.