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Living in a children's home

What's a children's home like?

Children's homes look after children and young people who can't live with their parents. You might also hear a children's home being called 'residential care'.

You'll be living with other children in a house. You'll share rooms like the kitchen, but you'll have your own bedroom (which will be private). You can decorate your room however you like.

The home will have staff members who look after you and the other children. So there will always be someone around if you need help.

When you arrive, you'll be introduced to everyone so you feel less nervous. The staff will get to know you, including the things you like and dislike. They'll also help you get to know the other children in the home.

When you're in the children's home, lots of things will carry on normally. You'll still go to school, college, or work. You'll still get to talk to and see your family, unless we think it would be harmful to you. Your social worker will visit you and make sure you're doing okay.

Your children's home is somewhere to live, have fun, and make friends. You'll be safe and supported the whole time. One of the most important people in the children's home will be your key worker.

Your key worker

Everyone in the home will look after you, but your key worker will be the main person who helps you.

When you first get there, your key worker will make sure you're introduced to everyone. They'll tell you what all the grown ups do. They'll make sure you understand all the rules, like when bedtime is.

You'll get to spend time alone with your key worker. You can tell them about any problems or worries that you have. You can tell them about good things too, like if you've made a new friend!

Your key worker will make sure that you have the best time possible in the children's home. They'll make sure you go to school and do your homework, see the doctor and dentist when you need to, and have things to do at the weekend and during school holidays.

They'll also work with your social worker to make sure you get the care and support you need.

Your plan

Your plan is very important. It's a record of what we think is best for you, and we write it by speaking to lots of different people in your life and asking them what they think. We'll talk to people like your family, who know you really well, as well as adults who know a lot about the best ways to help children.

Sometimes, what your plan says might not be what you want or what you've asked us for. We always want you to have a say and we always listen to you, but sometimes the things you want might not be what's best for you.

You can ask questions about what's written in your plan and why, and your social worker will explain it to you.