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SANCTUARY ICAS and Pathway to independence LTD have collaborated to provide a new innovative project which is based in Jamaica.  This initiative has been developed as a response to a number of inquiries received over the past year requesting information, advice and services pertaining to Education, family support and behavior management.

The Sanctuary provides residential programmes in the following areas:
1.      Private Fostering/ Education
2.      Family intervention Programme
3.      Behavior modification programme 

Private Fostering/ Education
Over the past year ICAS have received a number of inquiries via the website from parents who wish to have their children educated in Jamaica as the educational system is of a higher standard and the values of discipline and control differ from that of the UK. The only facility available at present is that of a traditional boarding school or with family members who have little or no experience of life in the UK and subsequently find it difficult to support the child through this transition of change. Consequently children in this situation may experience loneliness, a sense of abandonment and difficulties conforming to a new way of life.

What makes the sanctuary different?
1. The Sanctuary provides a nurturing homely environment.
2.  We have a strong, supportive staff group who are trained in a number of disciplines and are equipped to respond to the challenges which inevitably come with change.
3. The Sanctuary provides the natural separation between home and school
4. Transport to and from school is provided
5. We have established links with various educational facilities which afford parents an element of choice.
6. Isolation is alleviated by the fact that the child is not alone, they share a common experience with other children from the UK.
7. The Sanctuary recognize the value and importance of maintaining a high level of contact between the child and the parents, in implementing this we ensure that weekly communication is maintained through various mediums such as telephone, SKYPE and emails.
8. Parents are encouraged to visit the children in school holidays; this will provide the opportunity to review their educational progress. In the best interest of the child it is important that visits are planned and do not take place during the school term as this may disrupt the child’s routine.  

How do I refer to this service?

The service can be requested by a parent, guardian or professional working with the family. Initial inquiries can be made via the website www.icas-services.org  or telephone contact to Pathway to Independence tel: 07939927632.

Referral forms are provided upon request. As this is an educational programme referrals are considered 3-6 months prior to the term beginning. This timeframe will enable all of the necessary information to be gathered relating to the child’s current and previous educational attainment and identifying any additional support needs that they may have  which would be required when approaching schools. This process is aimed at facilitating a smooth transition at the beginning of a new academic term or year.

What is the cost for this service?
The cost for the service will vary in cases as this will include school fees, educational materials, uniforms, school medicals, enrolment fees, transport and board and lodgings.  

Family Intervention Programme
Being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs in the world, one which brings many challenges along with it, you are not trained to be a parent it just happens………. We are now living in a very multicultural society which brings with it a wealth of cultural values, religions and customs. Parenting styles have been passed down through the generations and children are being brought up with some overlap of intergenerational parenting traditions.

The Family Intervention Programme works from the baseline of empowerment; we support parents in identifying their strengths and transferring these into strategies to better manage their day to day situation. We aim to meet the needs of children and young people whose behavioral, psychological, and family problems prevent them from living at home, or in large residential units. These problems are generally associated with various types of risky behavior (e.g. self harm, aggression, sexual misconduct, substance misuse and persistent offending behavior) that cannot be tolerated or managed in other settings.

As an organization we are committed to providing high quality residential care within the safety of the Sanctuary aimed at reintegrating the young person back into their families and communities at the end of the programme. The Sanctuary acts as a safety net for the young person, an environment where they are taught lessons in life and living based upon better equipping them to make informed decisions regarding their future. This programme has been developed in response to inquiries received via the website related to parents experiencing difficulties managing their child’s challenging behavior. Many of the inquiries have identified a desire to send their children home to the Caribbean to be looked after by family members or friends as they believe that this experience will make a difference to their lives and future.

Case study

Karen Jenkins is a single mother caring for 3 children aged 7, 14 and 17 years. For the past 3 years Karen has been experiencing difficulties with her 14 year old daughter Natalie, the behavior has now become unmanageable. Natalie is now involved in crime, she has anger management problems, she is out of control, does what she wants when she wants, does not listen to her mother, is highly disrespectful, spends days at a time out of the home and has been excluded from school so is registered with a PRU but rarely attends. 

The families have an allocated social worker who has made referrals to CAHMS and other agencies but Natalie fails to engage, Natalie is also connected to the YOT due to her offending behavior.  Karen contacted ICAS stating that she wanted to send Natalie over to Jamaica to stay with her relatives as she was at the end of her tether and didn’t know what else to do, she feared for her daughter’s safety as she was spending increasing time out of the home and her whereabouts could not be accounted for. Karen had directed her concerns to SSD asking for help for Natalie to be accommodated but felt that her cry for help was not being listened to.

What can the Family Intervention Programme offer this family?
The ethos of the Children’s Act 1989/2004 is embedded in the work of the Sanctuary; we believe that children are best cared for within birth families and communities, and that this needs to be encouraged by the provision of culturally sensitive and holistic services to address the identified needs. The Family intervention programme involves the whole family as opposed to focusing upon the identified child as the problem within the family.

We provide a 24 week programme of intensive assessment, support and intervention, the progamme is broken down as follows:

Phase 1
Pathway to Independence  provides a 6 week programme of intensive assessment and support for the whole family, this will include undertaking risk assessments to ensure that the programme is suitable for the young person. As an organization we pay heed to systemic theories, including Family Systems theory. Systemic approaches help us identify how the family relates to external systems (e.g. CAHMS) how the young person relates to his/ her family, and how the various systems influence one another. This is the foundation stage, aimed at gaining further insight of the problems within the family, exploring family dynamics, bringing the family together to talk through the difficulties and begin to draw up a plan of support and intervention. This is an important part of the process as the young person needs to feel safe and motivated enough to move onto phase 2 of the programme with the support of the family.

Phase 2  Phase 2 of this programme will take place in the Sanctuary residential unit which is based in St Ann Jamaica.  The unit is situated in a tranquil residential area; this environment will be conducive to the therapeutic programme of positive change as the ambiance will allow staff and young people to focus on the issues which were identified in phase 1. In acknowledging the risk factors associated to this client group we have ensured that appropriate safety measures are in place within the unit to safeguard the young people.

The young person will engage in a structured 12 week therapeutic programme which is aimed at addressing the following areas:  
-  Build self esteem ·      
-  Discover self- reliance ·      
-  Help set personal goals/ cycle for change ·      
-  Learn new skills ·     
-  Improve numeracy/ literacy skills ·       
-  Reward and reinforce positive behavior ·       
-  Broaden their awareness and perspective ·        
-  Explore the positives and negatives of peer pressure ·        
-  Develop personal and emotional growth ·      
-  Develop positive attitudes ·      
-  Address health and fitness ·      
-  Training and moral reasoning ·      
-  Responsibility and accountability  
-  Anger management 
-  Relaxation techniques
-   Forming healthy relationship
 -  Improve Communication skills 

How will you deliver the programme?
The programme will be delivered on a 1 to 1 basis group work, outward bound activities, reflective diaries and experiential learning which will include exposure to new cultural and educational activities involving integrating with young people from the community and surrounding areas.  

What is the makeup of the staff group?
We have a multidisciplinary staff team consisting of Social workers, mentors, psychotherapist, counselors, teachers, house keeper, handy person, security officers and driver. 

What systems are in place to facilitate communication and connection with the family and referring officer?
The young person will be encouraged to maintain regular contact with their family through emails, SKYPE, and telephone. In addition the allocated key worker will provide the referring officer with weekly written reports on the young person’s progress; these will be submitted via email.

How are Child Protection concerns managed?

The Sanctuary has clear Child Protection Procedures which are followed in the event of any allegations or concerns which may arise. We will advise the referring officer of all CP incidents immediately, and where necessary refer onto the CDA for further investigation. 

What is deemed as a suitable referral?
·  Young people displaying challenging behavior within the family unit
·  Young people excluded from school
·  Young people with unresolved anger management issues
-  Young people who have had multiple placement breakdowns
·  Young people with poor self esteem and lack of direction
·  Persistent young offenders
·  Teen parent
·  Young people exhibiting anti social behavior

Please note that all young people referred to the Sanctuary undergo an initial induction and thorough assessment to ensure that they are suitable for phase 2 of the programme. 

What are the benefits of this programme for society at large?  
The client group that we have identified is currently responsible for utilizing a large amount of public expenditure and many would have exhausted more localized service provision. The Sanctuary is a new and innovative programme which provides a multi serviced and cost effective approach to addressing challenges aimed at making a difference to the young person, the family and inevitably the community that they will be returning to.  

Phase 3   Phase 3 is the final part of the programme providing 6 weeks of intervention and support in the UK by Pathway to independence staff aimed at reintegrating the young person back into the family and community. In some cases the reintegration back into the family unit may not be appropriate and alternative support services will be explored.