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Living at Orchard House

What will my room be like?

The bedrooms are clean, well decorated and spacious. Most of the bedrooms are double rooms with an en suite bathroom. The rooms are furnished with beds, chest of drawers and a tv. We can put a cot in the room if you want this for your baby, or we have moses baskets on stands or co-sleeping nests. There are lots of pictures and some videos here.

 
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Will I share a kitchen?

Both of the houses have large kitchens with large range cookers, fridges and freezers. You will share this with other families, although you will have your own cupboard space and fridge shelves. There are extra kettles for bottle making and space for sterilisers. Because of the hot cooker and the kettles, babies and children are not allowed in the kitchens. We have stair gates to make sure they are safe.

 
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Can I have post sent to Orchard House?

Yes, of course. The address will be given to you as soon as your assessment has been confirmed. This can be used for friends and family to send post to you, online shopping, or for legal papers to be sent to you.

 

Who else will be living there?

There will be other families, mostly with children under one year. We try to make sure that there is a good fit between the families and plan this carefully. All families have been checked in terms of their history and any police involvement and they are not allowed to come to Orchard House unless we are sure that we can keep everyone safe. 

Although you will be living together and parents generally get on and support each other, please don't share why you are at Orchard House, get involved in other people's assessments, or lend/borrow other parents money.

 
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Can people come and visit me?

Yes. Family time is very important. If you have other children we will make sure that you are able to see them if that is agreed for them, especially if they need to spend time with their brother or sister.

If you would like grown-up family or friends to come to see you and your child, all we ask is that your child's local authority social worker fills in a very short form with some details. You can then plan time with family and how it can fit in with your child. We have a play room at Canon Lodge which is generally the best place for this.

 

Is there wi-fi?

Yes.

 

I want to say what I think of Orchard House. How do I?

We understand that if something goes wrong, you want us to fix it quickly and accurately. We want to know if we get it wrong, and how we can put things right and make sure it doesn't happen again.

If there is anything that you are unhappy or upset about or you need more help whilst you are here, then please speak to Nancy or Sharon and ask for a complaints form. (There is also one provided in your welcome pack.) We can help you fill this in if you would like us to.  You will get a written response within a week. If you are still not happy, then please contact Freda, Director of Services. You can do this by filling in the form here or by asking at the office for an appointment.

If you still feel that this has not been made good in a way that you are happy with, then please get in touch with either OFSTED, or the Children's Commissioner for England.

Although complaints are very helpful and they let us know how we can improve, it is also useful to hear what you thought we were doing well. There is a compliments form provided in your pack too, so you can let us know what you would like us to do more of, or what went particularly well.