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Thinking Of Working In Children’s Home

(24 Posts)
Dave20 Mon 27-Jul-20 22:52:23

Hi everyone, my names Dave ( ok name changed) and I’m an occasional Mumsnet lurker. My first thread and post.
So I’m currently furloughed as my job as a truck driver. Been doing the job about 5 years and now looking for a new challenge.
I think being furloughed has made me look for pastures new and maybe now this has really given me the chance to do something different.
Anyway was looking at job opportunities and saw a saw a job working at a children’s home. It’s a residential job, obviously working with young children. Working in social care is something I never considered before. But now I’m genuinely interested in this. It sounds a cliche, but I’d like to make a different and be a role model.
I’ve never worked with children before, I was briefly a police officer for about 2 years but left shortly after probation. Basically the job wasn’t for me, dealing with society’s nasty side, plus it was at the start of the cut backs and the job was genuinely dangerous. Left nine years ago.
DW doesn’t really think it’s for me, although she supports me. She thinks I’m too laid back and an easy touch... admittedly I’m very easy going and it takes a lot to get me annoyed about things. I have two kids, a seven year old and a two year old.
So that’s me really, a 42 year old father of two thinking of working in a kids home. Am I mad for considering it? Is it more of a females job? ( Apologies, not meaning to be sexist). Has anyone worked in one and if so did you enjoy it?
Appreciate any advice.

OP’s posts: |
Langsdestiny Mon 27-Jul-20 22:58:50

I have managed childrens homes, there are different types of childrens homes, do you know what kind of home it is. I loved it but there are also childrens homes which I know I wouldn't have been suited to. I worked with quite a lot of men during my time. Being laid back is probably a strength.

GreatestShowUnicorn Mon 27-Jul-20 23:04:59

We need more men in childcare and care of young people, as a children’s home it’s more likely to be teenagers then young children. Give it a go you have nothing to loose.

GreatestShowUnicorn Mon 27-Jul-20 23:05:35

Give them a call and ask to go in for a chat/look around before you apply.

Dave20 Mon 27-Jul-20 23:12:04

Thanks for your advice... Langsdesyiny, I’m sorry I don’t know much about the homes themselves, other than the children’s ages are 10-17.
The job is a residential worker, again I’m not sure if it’s a large children’s home or a house type of accommodation.

OP’s posts: |
MrsZlatan Mon 27-Jul-20 23:29:52

I’m a SW for children that are Looked After and I have two young people in two different children’s homes. Both boys and both enjoy the company of the male workers over the female staff and yes being ‘laid back’ is definitely a strength. These young people have been let down usually by the people who are supposed to protect them the most and a positive role model that cares about them makes the word of difference to their self esteem, self confidence and improves their life chances. Go for it !

WarmthAndDepth Mon 27-Jul-20 23:42:56

I have taught children who live in residential care, and their circumstances were some of the saddest, most gut-wrenching imaginable. They were also very challenging young people, who required careful, sensitive and patient handling. If you have a huge heart, the patience of a saint, boundaries of steel and have lived a life garnished with events which have given you occasion to truly face yourself, and which has endowed you with a liberal amount of empathy, imagination and compassion, it may be a good fit.

bookmum08 Tue 28-Jul-20 00:22:52

I would of thought you would need to have a relevant qualification to do this job. One like City and Guilds Health and Social Care (there are various levels). If that is the case and you are serious about this type of job then you would need to get the qualification. Also doing volunteer work in youth groups would be a good thing to do to gain experience of working with that age group.

Dave20 Tue 28-Jul-20 17:00:12

I believe some places offer training, I think the care sector is understaffed from what I understand of it... not really a secret I guess.
Are some homes like normal houses? How many children would typically live there, and what were the staffing levels like? What sort of shifts were they?

OP’s posts: |
Langsdestiny Tue 28-Jul-20 18:07:37

Its impossible to answer that without knowing the type of home. Shifts can be 8 - 9 hours or some homes do 12 hour blocks. If it's a sleep over its 24 hours. If the job title is residential worker then
I would expect some level of qualification but there are some entry level jobs as well. The job advert will give you job requirements.

mosquitofeast Tue 28-Jul-20 18:13:27

I'd say go for it. Being laid back is good! Experience in the police is good! Being a father is good! Being male is also good. A lot of youngsters who have been abused by men benefit from learning they could choose to be a good man. Being a little bit older is good too. Also, being a driver is good! Nothing you have said sounds negative to me.

Dave20 Tue 28-Jul-20 18:26:56

Yes residential worker. Does say experience not necessary. The advert doesn’t really talk about size of house or anything like that.

OP’s posts: |
Finfintytint Tue 28-Jul-20 18:35:03

I’m a retired police officer and did a stint as a children’s home liaison officer for a couple of years during my service. I’d echo what Warmthanddepth has said. The children can be very challenging due to the abuse and neglect they have experienced. It’s not a job for the lily livered but can be very rewarding.

MrsZlatan Tue 28-Jul-20 22:27:07

The two local authority homes where I am have four children / young people in each. Have technically room for six but keep it to four as it is a lot better for the young people generally.

There are privately run children’s homes aswell which I don’t have much experience in as they’re avoided due to the astronomical cost to LA’s - I don’t agree with how much the staff are paid compared with the ££££ the directors get etc etc.

Is your job with a private provider or a local authority?

midnightstar66 Tue 28-Jul-20 22:34:47

You should be able to find out more about the home via google. It looks good at interviews if you do this and reference it. How does your wife feel about a residential position when your dc are so young though? That leaves a lot falling to her and affects work. Having worked with dc in a woman's refuge, having good Male role models is absolutely invaluable so definitely not a womans job.

Dave20 Tue 28-Jul-20 23:06:27

It’s a private company that run the care homes, they run 14 all over the country. I was curious to how they work, let’s say four children live in it, presumably atleast one worker would be in duty at any time in the house? I’m assuming you would have to prepare meals? I’m not the greatest cook! Having never worked in the industry it’s very hard to see exactly what the job entails. I’ve emailed the company a few basic questions.
With regards to my home life, I work varied shifts anyway, normally out the house for 12 hours a day. The job is 40 hours a week, in real terms again I don’t know how the shifts work yet.

OP’s posts: |
Langsdestiny Wed 29-Jul-20 07:17:03

You wouldn't be on shift on your own, the norm would be 3 staff. Occasionally homes have a cook but usually its down to the residential staff.

Crystal87 Wed 29-Jul-20 07:30:15

A close friend of mine does this job. She loves it and finds it rewarding but very stressful and the hours are long. She does a lot of overtime and at times has spent most of the week sleeping at the home and being there more than her own home.

Sycamoretrees Wed 29-Jul-20 07:58:56

Have a look at the homes inspection report, it will contain information about the setting as well as their judgments (although inspection reports need careful interpretation, and not just s surface read!).

Sycamoretrees Wed 29-Jul-20 08:02:42

Working in this kind of environment would certainly be an eye open, whilst it has the potential to be hugely rewarding, it can also be shocking frustrating and heart reaching at times.

katie2812 Wed 29-Jul-20 08:19:28

My nephew was in a children's residential care home. It was mainly 121s so 1 social worker for every child there as. A lot would try to run off albeit it is very secure. It is like a normal house you wouldn't have thought it was a children's home. It changed his life and it would've been challenging for social worker and residential workers for sure. One time he came to us and he ran off and they spent all afternoon looking for him. You also take them places and take them to supervised visits at their home. One time a social worker was falling asleep on our sofa. It was quite funny but he did prefer males to females. There was normal house rules e.g. phones handed in at 7pm, TV for an hour a day, school runs etc. Hope this offers an insight. I would go for interview as if you don't like it you don't have to accept and you might not get it so it opens the door for you by just going

notacooldad Wed 29-Jul-20 08:23:36

I would of thought you would need to have a relevant qualification to do this job. One like City and Guilds Health and Social Care (there are various levels)
Not necessarily. For residential work some qualifications are seen as desirable rather than essential. Once in post the employee will be put on to a course.

Our hours are roughly 12/11 sleep over then 7/1. We work 4 days and have 3 off.
Out of a staff team of 22 roughly half are men.
Our work in residential has changed a lot and we are also doing work with the families in some cases.
Sometimes the children come to live with us on a temporary basis before returning home. Some are with us until a foster placement is found.
was curious to how they work, let’s say four children live in it, presumably atleast one worker would be in duty at any time in the house?
I work for local authority.
It's always a minimum of 2 staff.
The job in many ways is like day to day living with the young people. Getting them up, taking them to school, making tea, shopping etc. Then there is the reports that need to be written up. You would normally have your own key cases so attend meetings about them etc.
It can be a doddle sometimes and other times really bloody challenging eg if they go missing from home, if they have suicide idealistion, if they self harm. If they have poor mental health etc.
I have been attacked on more than on occasional. Over the years staff have had their cars smashed up. Over the years we have had two children kill themselves by hanging. Two out of the first staff that were on duty the night the last child died left and are still in a bad way with the trauma of finding the body after a sleep over. The inquest devastated them and they were made to feel on trial even though there was no change in behaviour from the young person.
So residential isnt for the faint hearted. When its good, it's great but when things go wrong it is stressful.
Look up the National Standards for children's homes. It will give you inf6about the regulations which will help you in a job interview.

user1493413286 Wed 29-Jul-20 08:26:00

Positive male role models are always a good thing in children’s residential homes

My0My Wed 29-Jul-20 08:37:18

I think there has to be an understanding that no child in a children’s home is going to be there because everything has bern rosy for them. Often they are the most damaged dc in the country and have been fostered out but it’s broken down. They are often the ones who cannot settle in a family. These dc often don’t get the level of help they need either via education or health support. It’s well documented that such children find it more difficult than others to gain meaningful qualifications and jobs. Even moving on from homes is frought with problems. There are few choices regarding where to live.

By all means have a go at a job like this. If you remember some of the groomed dc in notorious grooming cases were in care. It is an area of work that needs better people working in it (In my opinion) as so many dc are let down in so many ways.

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