The Isobel Family Centre
The Isobel Centre for Families brings together specialist advice and professional support services in one location to improve the life chances of children with severe sensory impairments and other complex health challenges. This setting, where our specialist advice and professional support service work in partnership with families, has a significant impact in providing integrated support and advice and helping parents to acquire the knowledge and confidence they need.
The Family Centre gives the families we support access to an unparalleled range of information and training. It also offers them, for the first time, a fully accessible venue to share experiences with others facing the same challenges.
The Family Partnership Model
The Family Partnership Model in Practice:
Induction for all new staff
As part of our comprehensive Induction Programme we train all new staff on the key aspects of the Family Partnership Model. We emphasise the ethos of Linden Lodge in supporting both children and their families through working in partnership. Whilst the staff at Linden Lodge have considerable expertise in their chosen field we also acknowledge and value the expertise that families have and we encourage staff to tap into that experience and knowledge.
As part of their Induction Training, staff gain an insight into the enormous task families have in providing 24-hour care for their children and the conflicting demands that parents have on their time. We highlight this and require staff to be as understanding and flexible as possible.
Training for staff: Working in partnership with parents
Linden Lodge School has made a significant investment in training staff on the Family Partnership Model. This training has been provided by the Munro Centre at Guys Hospital where the programme originated.
During the five-day course staff develop the skills of active listening and exploring with parents. Out of this solutions and new ways of thinking about a challenge can present themselves.
"I have worked with parents for over 20 years as a specialist teacher of children with a sensory impairment. However after the training I realise I used to spend more time talking to parents than with them." - Teacher following the course.
Training for parents: The Family Partnership Model
We realise that parents also value training on working with professionals for themselves and can equally benefit from opportunities to develop communication and listening skills. Parents have a large number of professionals to deal with on a weekly basis and we want to make sure parents get the most out of professionals for the benefit of their child.
We have devised our own unique training course for families based on the Family Partnership Model. During the five-day course parents learn about the models of working that professionals use and how to clearly and calmly communicate their needs and concerns. Parents also develop assertiveness and communication skills particularly useful for large Team Around the Child meetings.
"This is the best training course I have ever attended." - Parent following the course.