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Out of Home Care

Shared Living Space Settings - our Out of Home Care Services 

For some young people in our society it is not an option to remain in their family of origin throughout their childhood. A multitude of reasons may lead to the decision that young people have to be cared for outside of their family home. Our out of home care settings aim to offer a closely as possible living experience to a family home situation for young people living there. Young people live in a home with professionals that have decided to live together with young people in their care. 

At the same time we are aware that every child and young person has her own family of origin which we cannot replace. Our respect and acceptance of the young person’s family are an important and underpinning value of our work with young people and their families.

 

We are aiming to create an environment in which:

  • Young people are safe and free from harm
  • Young people are valued as unique human beings
  • Young peoples' needs are constantly considered and supports developed and provided to meet those needs
  • Young peoples’ family of origin and other significant others are respected, accepted and encouraged to stay involved as much as appropriate and possible in the young persons’ life
  • Young people are included and consistently encouraged to participate in important decisions concerning their lives.

 

Principles of our approach - Social Pedagogy

In the social pedagogical understanding of providing care and development for young people, a number of core concepts provide a theoretical understanding and allow for a commonly shared theoretical framework in working and living with young people in our care.

 

Shared Living Space

The central characteristic of the "Shared Living Space" model of care provided in the houses, is the concept of a shared living space. Most traditional residential homes represent two different milieus. For the young person it is their living space, for the practitioner it is his/ her working place. We want to overcome this idea. In the house the home is a shared living space for both young people and house pedagogues. House pedagogues are qualified social care professionals that have chosen to live with and care for young people in their care. This shared living space creates the family home like experience.

The young person needs to feel that the home is actually their home; the house pedagogues understand that it is not only their working place. The shared living space provides an immediate and real environment for young people and the house pedagogues in which issues and conflicts can be solved in other ways than previously negatively experienced.

Expectations of living together in this shared living space are developed and held by the house pedagogues, the shared living space allows however for genuine participation and development of co-ownership of this shared space amongst all people living in it, age appropriate and when and if appropriate.   

Other professionals form part of the wider community. Each child has an activity pedagogue assigned to them, an adult with qualifications in the social care field, who has a primary role in developing and maintaining activities and routines with the young person in accordance with their individual placement plan.

 

The Common Third

The concept of the ‘Common Third’ is important to our model of practice in our "Shared Living Space" houses. Essentially, the Common Third is about using activities to strengthen the bond between two people and to develop new skills. This could be any activity, be it cooking pancakes, tying shoelaces, fixing a bike, building a kite, playing football together, enjoy gardening together or going on a fishing trip together. Any of these activities can be so much more than merely doing something. It is about creating a commonly shared situation that becomes a symbol of the relationship between the adult and the young person, something third that brings the two together: they are sharing an activity, and to be sharing something, to have something in common, implies in principle to be equal, to be two (or more) individuals on equal terms, with equal rights and dignity.

In the houses we are actively and consciously creating such activities with all young people, both individually and in group settings where appropriate. It is about finding activities in which the adult and the young person are both genuinely interested. In this sense, the Common Third suggests a child-centred approach and full participation of the young person into every step. The young person has to be involved on equal terms in all project phases, from the beginning to the end.

  

Our Houses

We currently operate three "Shared Living Space" houses, two are located in the town of Ballina, Co. Tipperary and one in Tralee, Co. Kerry.

All referrals for placements are coming through the national placement team of TUSLA Child and Family Agency.

Once it has been assessed that a young persons' needs would be best met by living in a shared living space, we will start a process of engagement.   

During this referral process we aim to have all relevant people who are involved in a young persons' life participating in the decision making in relation to the young person moving into the shared living space setting. This of course includes the young person and their view.

The three houses cater for both girls and boys. Young people have to be 13 to 17 years of age and living in those houses is for medium to long term duration.  

             Fairview House                                 Shannonview House                            Tus Nua House

Tus Nua HouseTus Nua House

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

For enquiries about our Out of Home Care Placements, please contact Conor Sherlock at conor.sherlock@compasscfs.ie, complete our contact form or call Conor at 085-8001239.    

Compass Child and Family Services CLG, Registered Charity Number (RCN): 20144180, CHY Number: 21990