Guide for homes with disabled children
state health and safety requirements, with regular checks from welfare, health and fire departments. 4. Staff at these residential homes should not have a communicable disease and food handlers should be subjected to health laws.
5. Staff at these residential homes should not have a criminal record or a history of abusing children. To avoid the potential for sexual abuse, these children should not be left in the sole care of any adolescent or adult.
Quality of caregivers
1. Caregivers should work a maximum of eight hours a day. This is to minimise staff fatigue and potential abuse of children who are difficult to manage.
2. Caregivers should be specifically trained in child development and disability management to meet the needs of these special children.
3. Children should be placed in small groups according to their abilities with sufficient numbers of consistent, interactive caregivers who have longterm relationships with the children in their care.
4. The minimum caregiver to child ratio should be 1 adult staff to 5 children with disability.
1. Before being admitted to the residential home all children with disabilities (residents) should be required to have a complete documented health evaluation signed within the last six months by a licensed health care professional, preferably a paediatrician.
2. Parents or guardians should be required to provide the residential home with a health history, which includes the child’s previous illness, immunisation record, prior surgery, injuries, known allergies, present state of health, current medical problems and medication.
3. The residential home should keep a record of all emergency contacts (phone numbers & addresses) for all children.
4. Caregivers at the residential home should have a plan to handle medical emergencies, be trained to give first aid (this should include management of fits, choking, basic life support, etc).
5. Caregivers should be responsible for the safe storage and administration of medications to these children.
6. The residential home should be responsible to ensure that the children receive regular health checks and specific medical followup.
Rehabilitation & education
1. Every child at the residential home should have a written individual education and rehabilitation programme, which is reviewed yearly.
This should include the physical, emotional, social and intellectual areas of development with the aim of achieving the greatest degree of self-reliance and social integration possible.
2. If the home is unable to provide for the child’s educational needs, children at the pre-school age should be enrolled in an early intervention centre and children who are of school age should be enrolled in a suitable educational system/ setting.
These guidelines would apply whether children or adults with disabilities are cared for. Dignity must be given to every person, disabled or able.
Dr Amar-Singh HSS President Khor Ai-Na Vice-President Dr Wong Woan-Yiing Secretary NECIC