Keys Currently have a variety of emergency Crisis intervention placements available.
- Active8 offers placements for 5 young people and is located on the Isle of Anglesey.
- Arthog offers placements for 5 young people and is located in Gwynedd.
- Both Active8 and Arthog are registered with CSSiW.
- Crisis Care offers placements for 8 young people and is located in Shropshire.
- Moorland view is a relatively new service which offers placements for up to 6 young people and is located in Lancashire
- Crisis Care and Moorland View are registered with Ofsted.
- Keys also plans to develop more of this type of service across England and Wales.
All of the homes are crisis intervention services that use outdoor activities as a positive interrupter to young people’s negative cycles. All of the services are licensed with the adventurous activities licensing Service (aalS) and the company employs a full time highly qualified and experienced activities manager who is responsible for ensuring that the service operates with appropriately qualified staff, high quality outdoor activity risk assessments and robust safety procedures in place. Keys also consult with a range of external technical experts when necessary.
The Services are broadly split into 2 types
Active8, Arthog and Moorland View offer 2:1 staffing and young people spend most or all of the time cared for separately to other young people for up to 90 days. Whilst each service is located within a registered children’s home the nature of the provision and the use of temporary accommodation means the young person spends periods of time away from the home. The purpose of this is generally to facilitate the programme of adventurous activities however, it also allows for the young person to stay more local to their home area if this is needed for contact, court or access to specific services. During the programme arrangements can be made to facilitate activities with other young people on the project, subject to a full risk assessment, to avoid isolation and prepare young people for the return to community living after their stay.
Crisis Care also uses adventurous activities and temporary off site accommodation however, staffing levels fluctuate as young people work through a 3 staged programme. Initially young people are on 2-1 and spend regular periods off site but as they progress through to Stage 2 and 3 they spend less time off site and staffing reduces to 1-1. The young people at Crisis Care spend more time together than in the other services both on site and off site however this is carefully managed and fully risk assessed. Where appropriate, young people go out on activities and camp together in small groups of 2 or 3 and when they spend time back at the home there is often more than 1 young person on site.
In all of the services a variety of off site accommodation is used such as cottages, caravans, bunk barns and camping (weather permitting). The accommodation chosen is located in rural settings.
The programme is physically challenging and can be used to stabilise young people who are struggling to cope. The activities improve self-esteem, self-worth and confidence and allow young people to develop new skills and succeed. The services also allow young people to take risks more appropriately. All of the services use outdoor activities such as mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, abseiling, bouldering, indoor/outdoor climbing, mountain walking, horse riding, and numerous others as well as less energetic activities such as beach walking, fishing
and visits to farms and parks.
The programme also incorporates educational visits and all of the services are registered to provide AQA unit awards.
Keys Crisis Services provide a positive, stable placement and the time can also be used as an assessment period to ensure that the next long term placement is planned and sufficiently prepared to meet the challenges of caring for the young person. The type of programme and the intensity of the staffing is a positive way of reducing the risks the young person presents to themselves and others and is often used as a positive alternative to secure accommodation or as a step down from secure.
Keys Crisis Services have an excellent track record of working successfully with young people who exhibit aggressive behaviours, young people who are regularly missing from care or have been missing for lengthy periods previously, as well as young people who are high risk in terms of their offending behaviour. They are also experienced in working with young people who present SIB, those who misuse substances and young offenders or young people who have been regularly missing previously. The staffing levels and the nature of the programme lend themselves to facilitating very positive placements for some of the most challenging young people. Keys Crisis Services are a positive placement option for young people who are at risk of CSE as they offer young people a safe, nurturing environment away from the exploitation and abuse they have been experiencing. young people really enjoy the activities on offer and for many young people who have been exploited and secure accommodation is being considered, a placement at Keys Crisis Services means they can be kept safe but in an environment where they are not deprived of their liberty. Staff are trained in CSE awareness using the Keys Sea Star approach and use a variety of resources to work directly with young people to reduce the risks of CSE.
Keys Crisis Services have an excellent track record in terms of the ability to avoid placement breakdown. The placement is creative and flexible and engages most young people very quickly. The period of time in placement can be negotiated both at the point of referral and throughout the placement but can be for as little as a few days, one week, or up to the full 90 days. Extensions past 90 days are only agreed in exceptional circumstances and are usually when there is a clear plan in place but a transition period is agreed or the local authority are waiting for a specific placement to be available.
Staff will liaise closely with the local authority and youth offending team in regards to any orders outstanding and encourage and transport young people to any appointments ensuring they do not breach any orders.
Through discussion with the Local Authority and Social Worker a contact plan will be formulated and staff will be able to provide transport to and from contact and also supervise contact should this be required.
During the placement extensive work is undertaken with young people through individual direct work to address their presenting behaviours and to help them understand the triggers and underlying causes and to support them to develop more appropriate coping strategies and make informed positive choices.
Young people are encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle and they quickly settle into regular routines whereby they eat regular wholesome meals, exercise regularly and get a good night’s sleep. young people are registered with local medical and dental services albeit as a temporary patient but they are actively encouraged to attend any medical appointments and staff are committed to ensuring any identified gaps in their health needs are met without delay.
Careful consideration is given to whether the young person is allowed a mobile phone and/ or access to the internet and this is not agreed where there are clear risks/safety issues.
Keys Crisis Services can always facilitate young people leaving their care and will support any planned transition to a new placement and on most occasions can collect a young person at any time, who is being admitted to their care, subject to arrangements being agreed during office hours.
We have a range of residential, 16 Plus Supported Living and Fostering Services available as moving on placements from Keys Crisis Services and we will always work with the relevant Local Authority to identify a positive placement option from within the Keys Group if this is requested.