Coming to Orchard House
Can we visit before the assessment starts?
Yes, of course. We are more than happy to give you a tour around and answer any questions you have.
We try and make sure that the house that you see will be the one you then come to but we take families in crisis and babies from hospital and this means we can't always plan this. There are pictures of both Greenway Road and Middleway here.
Do I need to bring a baby monitor? Towels? Sheets? Do I have to pay rent?
There is a list for printing of things that you need to bring with you here.
You need to pack:
- Clothes for your family and laundry powder
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, shower gel, things you need every day
- A baby monitor
- A changing bag with nappies and wet wipes
- Some food for your first day or so
- If you or your child has prescribed medication make sure you pack some as it’ll take a while for you to register at the local doctors
- Some of your child's favourite toys, blankets and clothes.
Some of our families come to us as an emergency from hospital or from Court. Don't worry if you haven't have chance to get what you need together, we will make sure you have what you need.
Orchard House buys
- Tea, Coffee and Sugar
- Cleaning products and a shared hoover
- Hand soap and toilet roll for all the bathrooms
- Kitchen Equipment (pots, pans, glasses, plates, tea towels etc)
- Beds, co-sleepers, cots and moses baskets
- Duvets and bedding for parents and children
- Baby baths and seats
- We also have some baby bouncers but some parents choose to bring their own
- We have a selection of toys for different age groups and each house has a craft cupboard.
You don't need to pay us rent and we pay for the gas and electric. You only need to pay for your own things and for what your baby or child needs. This usually means food, clothes, nappies, and milk.
What will happen when we first arrive?
The door will be answered by a family support worker. They will offer you a cup of tea or coffee and make sure that you and your child has everything she or he needs. You will be shown round the downstairs (the kitchen, living room). We understand that you are likely to be a bit overwhelmed by being at Orchard House and you may have had a long journey so we try to keep everything as calm and clear as possible.
Then you will meet with your local authority social worker and someone from Orchard House to have a planning meeting. This makes sure that we all know what is expected of you and of us, and also the practical things like which doctor your child will be registered with, and when your friends and family can come and visit. There is some paperwork which is signed by you, us, and the local authority social worker. If you have questions about this later, it is fine to go back to it and you can ask your Orchard House social worker to go over it again once you have settled in.
We will then show you your room and help you unpack.
The first afternoon is often spent food shopping and making sure that you have everything you need to care for your baby. One of the team will then go through the parents' pack with you. This is all the information you need and also signed agreements about what we can and cannot do with your child and with the information we hold about you and your family.
What is Taunton like?
Taunton is a town in Somerset in South-West England. The town centre has lots of shops for when you need to go shopping. You can walk into town in 5-10 minutes, or you could pay for a bus / taxi if you choose. Morrisons, Tesco, Lidl and Sainsbury's supermarkets are all within a short walking distance.
Both houses have big parks close by with ducks to feed and play areas. Find a map of Vivary park here.