The Sitting Service team-what we do
The team are made up of experienced and skilled staff with a background usually in care, health or education staff or students. Many members of the team wish to spend time working for the service on a part time basis but work only for the service for many hours each week.
The team meet the care and social needs of children and young people needing planned short breaks that the council must offer i.e. time out to enjoy themselves appropriately and achieve agreed outcomes. Within each family home they will have a Sitting Service file that gives you details about the care needs, risk assessment etc. for that young person. This file must be read by the Sitting Service team member before they start working with the family and the information will offer ongoing updated information about the changing needs. At the end of each session the Sitting Service team member will provide a written record of the session for the young people and their families. If there is time a verbal report will generally summarise the issues from the session.
The work can be varied: In some families the child or young person would like to have trips to various events. Others tend to stay at home watching the TV or play on a computer or play games. Some would like to work on their semi-independent skills such as cooking and tidying up. Whereas in other family settings you might be offering personal care, provide medication and managing challenging behaviour. Although very rare it might be necessary for a team member to provide basic first aid and manage the evacuation of the building. Before meeting a new family you will have the opportunity to receive a briefing about the social and care needs of the young person which will help you to consider whether your skills and abilities match the young person’s needs. The team leaders will carry out observations of new staff during their probationary period, to check that they have the appropriate levels of support needed to carry out the work correctly and to check that the matching to the family is still acceptable. The new members of staff will also be offered shadowing opportunities with experienced members of the team to show them what is needed. At all times ensure safeguarding, equality, diversity and respectfulness practices are met.
All members of the team will be provided with a range of basic training. If the team member requires it they will complete additional specialist training that they need to carry out their specific role with a child or young person e.g. to manage certain medications or conditions. Training needs will be discussed during each supervision session and it is important that the team member provides evidence of any up to date county council or NHS training that has been completed that is relevant to the job role during supervision.
The members of the team will be matched to families through an introductory visit to see whether this is a suitable arrangement between the families and the member of staff. In some situations, there might be 2 members of the team allocated to ensure that there is the correct level of support that matched the care needs and to cover absences of the main personal assistant.