Guide for homes with dis­abled chil­dren

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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.

Med­i­cal health

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

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