What our service does

Foxgloves is a specialist children’s home that is registered by Ofsted. We offer overnight short breaks to children and young people aged between 8 and 18 with autism, learning difficulties and/or challenging behaviour. The eligibility criteria can be seen on our web page.

The service enables families and carers to have a break, gives children the opportunity to make new friends, have fun and participate in leisure activities. It also enables children to promote their independence and social skills by being away from home and socialising with other adults and other young people.

At Foxgloves we support the young people using autism specific supports and communication systems and all of our staff are trained in these supports.

All of the young people will be allocated a Key worker to plan and support them during their stays with us and work closely with parents/carers.

We offer a range of activities and experiences for the young people and these are planned depending on the young people that are staying with us. Some regular activities include swimming, cinema, bowling, visiting cafes, shopping, parks. We also offer day trips to zoos, seaside etc and welcome any suggestions for these form the young people of their parents/carers.

Foxgloves is large house and we can provide a lot of activities on site. We have 2 lounges, a dining room that doubles up as a craft room, a sensory room, 2 computer rooms, a main kitchen and a smaller one where young people can be supported to develop their skills to prepare meals and to cook.

We have a lovely large garden with lots of play equipment, trampoline, climbing frame, swings, slides as well as bicycles, tricycles and go-karts. There is also a large patio area to sit outside for meals or to relax.

Foxgloves also has a self contained annexe where we can work with young people to help them develop their independence skills ready for moving into adult life.

Our sister unit, Sunflower House provides the same service for children with physical, sensory and learning difficulties.

Location of our service

Foxgloves is located on the North side of Bedford close to the station. We offer our service to all children/young people who meet our criteria who live in the Bedford Borough area.

Who our service provides for

How to start using our service

Referrals to Foxgloves are via a social worker who will work with the family to carry out an assessment of need. The process to agree a package of care is via Bedford Allocation Panel/Joint Allocation Panel They will decide how many nights your child would stay at Foxgloves.

Initially families are invited to look around prior to making a decision about whether to use the service. If the family decide to continue, your key worker will meet with you and your child at home and will also to see them in school and speak with their teacher.

We will then invite your child for a short tea visit so that we can begin to get to know them and they can get to know us. Gradually the visits will be extended until your child is happy to stay with us.

There are currently no waiting lists for the service.

How decisions are made about who can use our service

Decisions about who can use the service are via the care planning process and Bedford Allocation panel/Joint Allocation Panel The social worker will discuss this with you and the agreed outcomes and the reasons behind them.

How we communicate with our service users

Foxgloves holds regular Young Person meetings with the children to get their views on different topics relating to the service. The children also have regular Key worker sessions where they can discuss anything about the service and the support they receive.

We have a ‘wishes book’ where the young people staying with us can request things they would have at the home or things they would like to do.

We have a NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service) worker who visits the home regularly to meet with the children and find out their views of the support they receive.

The staff all receive specific autism training and have a number of different supports to communicate with the young people staying with us. For those that might find it difficult to communicate verbally we use PECs (Picture Exchange Communication System) and other visual supports as well as communicating with facial expressions and body language

We have a Foxgloves booklet for young people to look at before they come to stay with us. It gives information about the Service and also has photos of staff and different areas of the house.

There is a more detailed induction pack for parents/carers. Sunflower House a leaflet for families and an induction pack for families to look at should they decide to use the service.

Foxgloves will keep families informed about how their child is doing via e mail, telephone, attending reviews, home books and handovers. We also send out a quarterly newsletter to parents/ carers to let them know about all aspects of what goes on at Foxgloves.

If a parent/carer's first language is not English we would access an interpreter to help the family.

Accessibility of our service

Foxgloves is an old detached house on 3 floors with some newer additions that are single storey and the majority of it is wheelchair accessible.

It is on quite a busy road but is set well back and there is ample parking directly outside the front door and is enclosed all round by brick walls and fencing. The main gates can be closed so that young people can transition safely from transport into the home.

It is close to local amenities, the railway station and local bus route.

There is car parking facilities and a mini bus which we use for trips.

Foxgloves has a mix of bath/shower rooms, 2 that are wheelchair accessible and in addition 3 of the bedrooms have an en-suite shower room.

In total there are 7 bedrooms 3 upstairs and 4 downstairs. All bedrooms are monitored via a sensor which will alert staff if a young person gets up during the night

There is a large lounge, a group room, a dining room, sensory room, main kitchen and kitchenette and 2 computer rooms as well as a large garden.

Qualifications and training of our staff

The staff caters for a wide range of care, medical and dietary needs are all highly trained in these areas. Everyone works together as a team to offer children individual choice and opportunities. The staffing levels vary depending on the children’s needs.

All staff are qualified to at least NVQ level 3. We have regular training days and ongoing training as part of our development. The staff have regular training in epilepsy, safe guarding, first aid, food hygiene, bus safety, manual handling and disability awareness. In additional all the staff at Foxgloves have ongoing specialist training in autism and autism specific supports and communication systems.

We work closely with schools, social workers, health care professionals and other social care teams.

General Contact Information

For further information on the service you can contact us on the details below or look at our webpage. You can also speak to your social worker or contact the MASH team (Multi Agency Support Hub) on Tel 01234 718700. Staff at your child’s school may also be able to give your more information.

Contact for more information

Jayne Almond
Registered Manager
91 Bromham Road, Bedford, MK40 4BS
01234 718108
Opening Hours:
Open all year 24 hours a day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Eve.

Record Last Reviewed On: 27/01/2016