Statement Of Purpose

Statement of Purpose

Croydon Residential Family Centre

Integrated Parenting and Family Services

Revised November 2011


Parents and children who use the centre know what they can expect, how they will be treated, how the centre operates, and have had this information in written form prior to admissionsJamma Umoja means families in union in Swahili.  Jamma Umoja was established in 1996 as a private limited company to offer social work services to families.  One of their resources is a residential Family Centre in Croydon at:

23 Haling Park Rd

South Croydon


Tel:   020 8639 4500

Fax:  020 8680 9122


The unit is managed by Residential Director Hugh Hill. The residential service is overseen by Mr Hill and Mrs Karen Gravesande-Hill who manages the Bromley unit and is also a Director of Residential Services.

If you wish to refer a family for a residential assessment please contact Michelle Thompson on 0208464 3882 PA to Residential Director Karen Gravesande-Hill.

If you have a Human Resources enquiry please contact Michelle Thompson at the Bromley Centre 0208464 3882 they will ensure your enquiry is passed to the appropriate manager.


Jamma Umoja is a registered resource in line with the requirements of the Care Standards Act 2000 [CSA 2000], and was registered by CSCI on 02.12.2004. Jamma Umoja is required to meet the National Minimum Care Standards for Family Centres as cited in the Regulations of CSA 2000. Jamma Umoja is inspected by Ofsted; our registration number is: SC052588. You can read our latest inspection report by following the link

Statement of the aims and objectives of the service

The residential family centre is a Family Resource Service offering assessment and treatment services. Our aim is to provide an independent service which offers a spectrum of services in respect of children and their families.

We have a wide customer base which could be broadly divided into the following groups:

i.    Local Authorities

ii.    Solicitors

iii.    Children’s Guardians

Many of our assessments are in the context of Family Court Proceedings but we also take families where children are not the subject of orders.

We receive referrals for a wide range of services and we aim too offer tailor made programmes to suit the requirements of the commissioner and the client family.  Over the last 14 years, we have developed a range of programmes to respond to the individual needs of a family and the changing needs of commissioners. These are some of the programmes and services available:

Assessment Services

Twelve Week Comprehensive Parenting Assessments

We offer comprehensive parenting assessments, using multi-disciplinary staff groups which generally run for 12 weeks.

Sixteen Week Comprehensive Parenting Assessments

Assessments may sometimes need to be longer, usually 16 weeks e.g. where children are in a split sibling group and there needs to be a more gradual introduction, where parent(s) have a cognitive disability and may need longer ‘learning time’, where parents have recently suffered an acute mental health episode and need more recovery time, where parents have drug and alcohol difficulties.

We are very conscious that our funding is coming from the public purse but occasionally there are also exceptionally lengthy programmes where a service user needs time outside the prescribed assessment through age, eg young parents looked after, through complex circumstances and we are able to provide programmes for more protracted periods.

Our assessment protocol is based on the Department of Health Framework for Assessment, and outcomes are based on good enough parenting. Jamma Umoja also incorporates other micro-assessment tools to focus on the particular needs of each family.

In a residential assessment the family would usually be living at the centre full time.  However, sometimes where there are concerns about one of the parents they may not be resident but come in for specific sessions. The term ‘parent’ is used throughout the document to broadly refer to the adult caregivers in the family – clearly some of them may not be a biological parent.

Pre-residential Assessments

Possibility Assessment – Where a parent seeks assessment at Jamma Umoja but has been refused by the local authority their solicitor may approach us and then seek disclosure of the papers by court direction. JU read the papers and offer a report with recommendations. They may attend court to support a positive application. Their views will be guided by what is in the best interests of the children. If you have an enquiry of this nature please contact Michelle Thompson (details above). These services cannot be charged for under Legal Aid and therefore Jamma Umoja does not charge for any part of this service.

There are occasions when Jamma Umoja has been commissioned to undertake an assessment in the community by the LA where the outcome is a recommendation for a residential assessment.

Phased programme – On occasions it is appropriate for there to be a phased programme of work, where there is a preliminary piece of work in the community leading to a potential residential assessment eg where there are older children and re-unification is being considered. Phased Programmes are set up with regular reviews to ensure that all parties are continually engaged in the reviewing process and that focus is maintained on the child’s needs.

Preparation Programmes

Jamma Umoja provides an integrated service. Where possible families benefit from preparation before moving into the centre and we recommend that they visit with the LA and are part of a pre-admission planning meeting. Some families may need more intensive work.  Sometimes this is a piece of bridging work to begin the process where the family are waiting for their admission. Our community team may undertake work with families or the residential team may be involved with families coming on Day Programmes. These are just some of the examples of how preparation work can be used:

a.    Working with our Family Therapists using interventive assessment techniques to explore the commitment of family members, particularly where one of the partners appears to be on the periphery.

b.    Building up contact with children where reunification is planned – working with parents to prepare them for becoming full time parents again, the implications of this and strategies for coping.  Offering support work to children around being reunited with their parents.

c.    Often in care proceedings the situation can become quite polarised between parents and the local authority.  The welfare and safety of children is dependent on all parties working in partnership and part of the pre-admission process may be engaging families so that a working relationship is (re-)established with professionals.

d.    Domestic Violence programmes: Male and female service users may are attend day programmes to consider their potential to make changes in their lifestyle, choices of partners and ability to protect their children.

Viability Assessments

We also offer viability programmes.  These are shorter assessments to consider the possibility of further work being done.  The foundation of the areas of assessment is still the ‘Framework for Assessment’ but the emphasis is about engagement and predicting potential.  A viability assessment may be a starting point with a family where the parent(s) are resident in the centre but the child is still looked after elsewhere and a parenting programme is established, including contact being observed, to consider the potential success of reuniting the family.  These programmes are particularly pertinent where concerns may be chronic and the professionals are concerned not to disrupt a child’s placement, or where the risks are very high and it is felt there needs to be a gradual testing out of reunification.  Viability assessments are generally 4 weeks.

Admission Process

As part of the admission process you will be asked to complete our Admission form. This is an Ofsted requirement and is a starting point in terms of key information about the family to enable JU to safeguard the child(ren) and vulnerable adults. You will be invited to visit the centre to look around and ask questions and there will be a formal meeting chaired by one of the Residential Directors. In emergency admissions we will accept verbal information and ask for an emergency planning meeting. However, we would expect to be emailed any basic written material available (eg CPC minutes / initial referral form / core assessment etc).

We also need to have a copy of the discharge report if a child is being admitted from hospital ie new born or any other circumstances. In planned high risk cases, we would want to be invited to attend the discharge meeting at the hospital to be able to seek information first hand and be part of the planning process.

Post assessment / support Programmes

Jamma Umoja are acutely aware that some families function well in a highly supported environment but find that surviving in the community is a much more testing experience.  After an intense period in a residential resource, families (and social workers) frequently value transitional period of support and further assessment as it is a particularly vulnerable time. Assessment, monitoring, supervision and support can all be offered during this crucial period, particularly out of hours. These are the sorts of situations where this kind of  programme has proven to be helpful:

i.    Lone parents with several young children

ii.    Families setting up in new accommodation in a new area

iii.    Families with a known history of alcohol and /or substance misuse

iv.    Families where parents have learning difficulties / mental health difficulties


The balance of assessment and support will be determined prior to discharge; the programme may be carried out by residential and community team staff.

Assessment / Treatment and Reunification Services

From time to time we are asked to consider lengthier programmes for older children and their families as part of a rehabilitative process.  These children may have a significant relationship with their parent, they may have had numerous placement breakdowns and are ‘hard to place’ and they are clearly stating their wish to be reunited with their parents.  Jamma Umoja would provide a programme that would:

  • Works to build the relationship between parent(s)  and child(ren) in a safe setting
  • Provide therapeutic work for the child / parent to address their complex needs
  • Provide a parenting programme for the adult(s) which includes specialist input  for specific problems e.g. drugs and alcohol misuse
  • Assess the parents’ capability of providing good enough care that meets the child’s needs and their ability to sustain such care
  • To explore and develop external support networks with wider family and friends using interventive assessment and therapeutic techniques.

Specialist Assessment

Mental Health and Addictions

Our Dual Diagnosis Practitioner Mr Duma Siso undertakes acute addictions assessments with adults. In a 16 week assessment he would offer a holistic package of work which includes relapse prevention work but also considers the impact of substance misuse on the adult’s parenting.

He also liaises with residents’ local agencies eg SMU teams and CMHTs around the resident’s history, any issues in relation to their progress in residence and in relation to issues of medication, including psychiatric medication and Methadone and Subutex Maintenance.

Mr Siso is part of the multi-disciplinary team and is involved in handover and case management discussion on a regular basis with families so his work is integrated into the wider assessment.

He also works with the community team offering viability assessments where addiction is a key issue.

Mr Siso also works with residents who have mental health difficulties offering ongoing assessment and review around their mental health and advising staff in terms of intervention and risk assessment.Mr Siso is a ‘Dual Diagnosis Practitioner ie he is psychiatric nurse with specialist training and experience in working with addictions, particularly substance misuse and alcohol. He previously worked in a variety of National Health mental health settings including residential detoxification facilities and also as part of the Addictions Team in a relapse prevention programme with inpatient and community facilities. He has been working with Jamma Umoja for nearly five years undertaking assessment work with adults with addictions and or mental health difficulties.  Qualifications: Registered Mental Health Nurse 1998 Diploma in Management Studies (Health Service) 2003; Masters in Addictions Kings College London.

Mr Siso is also able to offer advice and guidance to staff and residents around health related matters eg: HIV and AIDS; Hepatitis, liver dysfunction, side effects of medication. He has also offered addiction programmes in relation to residents with gambling problems. Although Mr Siso maintains his nurse registration he is not able to prescribe or treat as a medical practitioner since JU is not registered as a medical resource.

Where medical intervention is advised staff support families to access the appropriate services via GP/ HV/A &E etc.

Psychological  Assessment

Alan Finer

Therapeutic intervention

Where funding is available Jamma Umoja is able to negotiate with local registered established therapists to offer specific intervention alongside the assessment process.

We promote the five outcomes of Every Child Matters[1]:

Being Healthy so that they are physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually healthy, have healthy lifestyles and choose not to take illegal drugs.

Staying Safe from maltreatment, neglect, violence, sexual exploitation, accidental injury and death, bullying and discrimination, crime and anti-social behaviour in and out of school, have security and stability and are cared for.

Enjoying and Achieving so that they are ready for school, attend and enjoy school, achieve stretching national educational standards at primary and secondary school, achieve personal and social development and enjoy recreation.

Making a Positive Contribution so that they engage in decision-making, support their community and environment, engage in law-abiding and positive behaviour in and out of school, develop positive relationships, choose not to bully and discriminate, develop self confidence, successfully deal with significant life changes and challenges and develop enterprising behaviour.

Achieving Economic Well-being so that they engage in further education, employment or training on leaving school, are ready for employment, live in decent homes and sustainable communities, have access to transport and material goods, live in households free from low income.

Who can benefit from our services: 

We offer a service to male and female and same sex couples, sole carers male and female, and family groups eg mother and grandmother, who are caregivers for children and who are required to undergo assessment whether or not they are in proceedings.

We offer a service to children to assess what is in their best interests in the immediate and longer term future.  We aim to offer them a voice in the assessment to ensure that their needs are the priority. We also undertake to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within our centre by ensuring that they are offered appropriate supervision and monitoring.

Over the past 15 years Jamma Umoja has developed skills and experience in working with families with complex needs including:

Physical and Sensory Disabilities, Learning Disabilities, Mental Health Difficulties; Addictions, Domestic Violence, self-harming, and young inexperienced parents.

Culturally Sensitive Assessments

Over the years we have developed significant skills in offering culturally sensitive assessments. Many of our families are from ethnic minority backgrounds, particularly Africa and the Caribbean, also from the Middle East and the Asian-sub-continent. A number of our families have English as a second language. Over the years we have developed considerable expertise in the area of working with families: whose experience is outside of Eurocentric cultural and may also be from a non-Christian background.  More recently with the shift in political demographics we have also been working with some families from Eastern Europe. We have also worked with families from traditional backgrounds such as Irish travelling families and Roma families. Our staff group also represents a significant cross-cultural and racial mix.

We have undertaken a good many programmes with asylum seekers and  / or unsettled immigration status and have a good understanding of the issues that may arise from these complex situations.

Qualified to assess:

Adults with Learning Difficulties

We have worked extensively with families with Learning Disabilities since we opened in 1996. For many years we have used the training materials devised by Sue McGaw to provide specialised assessment for adults with cognitive difficulties. In 2009 we had the privilege of Dr Sue McGaw training our staff group so that a significant number of key personnel are now qualified in this area.

Mental Health

Linda Daley Director is available for consultation. She was an Approved Social Worker for nearly 20 years.  Winifred Ikolodo, social worker worked in mental health services prior to joining JU. Jamma Umoja has been working with mental health cases and dual diagnosis since it was established and has a good deal of collective experience in this area

Duma Siso Dual Diagnosis Practitioner works across both residential units and is a Registered Mental Nurse with a specialism in Addictions. He both assesses families and offers staff consultation, guidance and training in these areas of expertise.

Social Work

Karen Gravesande-Hill and Hugh Hill, the Directors of Residential Services both have extensive experience in local authority social work children and families prior to joining Jamma Umoja. They jointly manage the service and have many years of experience of managing assessments and all the complex expertise that this requires including child protection, court work and making complex assessments of risk.  They offer some direct work with all families. They are also have training in Family Therapy. They are also both trained as Family Group Conference Facilitators and this service can be offered as an adjunct to other assessment services.

This unit has two qualified social workers and a Residential Director managing the service. Admission and final recommendations meetings would usually be chaired by a Director.

Domestic Violence

Mrs Gravesande-Hill has pioneered the Women’s Domestic Violence Group which runs every week with women from both centres and is mandatory. The group considers the impact of domestic violence on children and supports women to develop awareness and make changes in their relationship and behaviour patterns to safeguard their children in the future. The group supports women to explore their own experience of DV as children and how this may have impacted on their own development.

Mr Hill  has pioneered the Men’s Group. This runs weekly with men from both centres and is mandatory. The men are supported to develop awareness around the impact of domestic violence on children. The group focuses on the role of father/ partner with the aim of empowering men to explore their own experiences and to work towards developing positive models. The group supports men to explore their own experience of DV as children and how this has impacted on their own development.

Both groups look at the impact of being a victim /perpetrator.  This is not gender fixed as some of our women have been perpetrators and some of our men adult victims of DV.

Residential Capacity

Croydon’s centre is registered with Ofsted to accommodate up to 8 families but we will always take into consideration existing numbers of parents and children when planning admissions.  As Jamma Umoja has two centres we have some flexibility in this situation.

Our criteria for admission is that in making our assessment of risk we can offer protection to the children and vulnerable adults in the family; we can offer a service appropriate to the family’s needs and we can meet the needs of the commissioning agency and any requirements directed by the courts. Jamma Umoja will seek information on the family’s history and circumstances to ensure that we can offer adequate protection to all families in the Centre.

We also offer an emergency placement service to prioritise those families whose children may be removed from them for lack of a safe setting to place the family whilst a care plan is developed, or in response to the courts ordering an assessment under s 38(6) CA 1989 particularly where there is the potential for a new baby to be separated from their mother at birth so as to try to minimise the potential damage to the parent bonding with their child.

A Statement of the facilities and services to be provided for the families accommodated in the Family Centre.

The Croydon Centre has good travel links, with a regular bus service and the Tram Link to South East London close by. It is a short bus ride from a main line railway station, East Croydon, which provides access to the South West, Central, East London, the South East and Luton and Hertfordshire via Thameslink. There are several bus routes immediately accessible a few minutes walk away on the Brighton Road which take one to the town centre and also to Purley where there is a large supermarket.

Physical Facilities The residential centre is a large Victorian house.  Each family has their own room. There are bathroom and toilet facilities on each floor.  There is a large kitchen on the ground floor and a kitchen on the top floor.  We favour a communal model on the basis of not all of the assessment being restricted to the family unit.  It is our experience that whilst communal living can present problems it also offers an opportunity for families to gain support from other residents which decreases isolation and offers an opportunity to assess parents’ capacity regarding social interaction.

The Croydon centre is partially accessible to those with a limited physical disability since it has a walk in shower and cooking facilities on the ground floor but the path to the front door is up steep slope. In the past we have made changes to suit particular clients’ needs and we work on the basis of adapting the environment to individual need working with Specialist Adult / Children’s Teams.  We are mindful that disability is not merely an issue of accessibility and have worked with families with a variety of needs.

The house has a very large pleasant back garden.  There is a large conservatory with a TV where residents can relax. There is also office space, a laundry unit, and a meeting room.

Monitoring and Supervision Levels of monitoring will be determined at the admission meeting and kept under review.  The intention is to work towards independence with the minimum checks. We are able to offer 24-hour CCTV in the client’s room if this is requested. This is only instituted with the family’s agreement at the request of the local authority.  There is no covert surveillance.

We ask families to brings a baby monitor (or local authority to provide the funds to purchase one) so that when their child is asleep they can go to other parts of the house and still maintain a check on them.

Families are escorted out of the centre for the first two weeks and the situation reviewed. It would be usual to lift this restriction within two or three weeks unless there are strong contraindications.  The purpose of this is to assess the family’s capacity to shop, keep their child safe, e.g from dangers on the roads, to have a view on how they deal with other people and agencies in the community, to ensure that they are offered some orientation since frequently they are not familiar with the area. However, this restriction may remain for longer periods where there are concerns regarding risks external to the centre.

Day to day arrangements Families buy their own food, cook their own meals and care for their own children.  Staff work closely with families to assess and support them in their parenting. There are communal programmes, both educative and social activities designed to give children and families quality experiences.  The following groups run each week and it is part of the expectation of the assessment that families will try to arrange outside appointments around these groups if possible:

Domestic Violence Group – Women only

Men’s Group – Men only  These two groups meet up together from time to time on a regular basis to look at issues in common

Positive Parenting

There are basic house rules contained in our policies and procedures and ‘conditions of residence’ designed to keep children safe and foster respect between families in residence. These relate to practical issues like keeping communal areas clean and issues of safety. However, they also relate to issues such as drugs and alcohol, violence and bullying. As aforesaid we work with service users with drug and alcohol difficulties and there is a nil tolerance policy with regard to the possession and consumption of either whilst in residence.  We work proactively to try to avoid violence and bullying and fiercely promote equal opportunities and anti-discriminatory practice.


We have always operated a no-smoking policy within the house to minimise the risk of fire and to provide a smoke free environment for children, care givers and staff.  Service users can smoke in the garden in the smoking cabin. We help service users to access support if they wish to give up smoking.


We employ a domestic supervisor to clean all the communal areas in the houses and ‘safe contractors’ to undertake repairs, refurbish and maintain health and safety standards.

As the wear and tear on the fabric of the facilities is considerable, we have a rolling programme of redecoration, refurbishment and industrial cleansing to ensure that family rooms, communal areas and staff facilities are maintained at a reasonable level.  Under current arrangements families are given a new mattress at the beginning of each programme and may take it with them when they leave, likewise with their child’s mattress (if this applies).

We are introducing charges for damage beyond wear and tear for families who are very destructive and this will form part of the contract with the commissioning agency.

Health & Safety Our residential facilities all come up to required standards. The building is covered by a fully functional fire alarm system which employs both smoke and heat detectors. Jamma Umoja has an up to date fire risk assessment and emergency plan as required under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the Order).

Jamma Umoja has an appropriate level of insurance and copies can be provided to commissioners if required.

Responsible Person

Linda Daley, is a Director of Jamma Umoja.  She holds a BA Hons in Sociology and Social Studies, a Diploma in Applied Social Studies and CQSW 1976.; Diploma in Management Studies 1991. Practice Teacher Award July 2005. She is in her final year of an MSc in Advanced Social Work.

Professional Experience: She worked for London Borough of Lambeth from 1976 – 1996 both in generic social work and Children and Families and had particular expertise in the area of mental health in the context of children and families. She also has extensive experience in working with families from minority ethnic backgrounds.

She has 9 years experience in the local authority as a manager; her last post was as an Assistant Area Manager in a District Office from 1990 – 1996. In 1996 she became a founding Director of Jamma Umoja following redundancy.

Her experience covers the full gamut of work with children and families including, holding and managing high profile complex child protection cases, overall management of child protection within the district, chairing child protection conferences, children looked after reviews and strategy meetings.

She has also had extensive experience in: court work; working with children looked after, family finding and assessing adults and children within the BAAF framework for permanency. She was chair of Lambeth’s Fostering Panel for 4 years. She worked extensively with young people in the juvenile justice system and their families. She was also involved in developing training, service delivery and policies within the borough.

From 1996 – 2000 she was also employed as a consultant to a well established fostering agency undertaking independent assessments of foster families.

She also served on the management committee for ‘Parents in Partnership’, now ‘Parents for Inclusion’ – a national charity for the parents of disabled children for 5 years.

Jamma Umoja was established in 1996 as a private limited company undertaking multidisciplinary assessment and treatment programmes. Since 1996 she has been involved in managing their facilities both community and residential.

From 2004 – 2008 she was a visiting lecturer for the University of Kent training Approved Social Workers on the relationship between mental ill health and child maltreatment.

In 2006 she received Training in non-violent crisis intervention in 2006 (CPI)

Residential Services are jointly run by two Directors Karen Gravesande-Hill and Hugh Hill

Mrs Gravesande Hill has worked for Jamma Umoja for 9 years initially as the Registered Manager at Bromley but is now joint Director of Residential Services. She is a qualified social worker with many years experience in local authority children and families work.  She completed her Dip SW training in 1994 and has since gained her Practice Teacher Award and her Post Qualifying Award.  In 2006 she gained an Executive Diploma in Management Studies with NVQ5 in operational management.  She is trained to certificate level as a Family Therapist. She took on her current role in June 2002.  Her last post in the local authority was as an Assistant Team Manager.

Mrs Gravesande-Hill has completed a range of short courses around many areas in social work including: Appraisal Training; Effective Supervision Skills; Risk Assessment; Respecting Difference & Achieving Equality;          Counselling Skills; Child Abuse & Neglect; Memorandum of Good Practice; Selection Interviewing; Court Skills; Stress Management; HIV/Aids; LAC Forms; Core Assessments;  Benefits Training; Effective Interviewing Skills; Recording Training; Asylum Seekers; CRISSP Training; Dealing with Unacceptable Employee Behaviour. More recently this year she has undertaken a course in Domestic Violence by DVIP. She also undertook training at Springfield Hospital in working with couples around depression.

Hugh Hill is a black man. He has worked for Jamma Umoja for 7 years. He is a qualified social worker having completed his Diploma in Social Work in 1996.  He is also a qualified practice teacher. In 2005 he gained an Executive Diploma in Management Studies with NVQ 5 in operational management. He also has a Diploma in Higher Education and a National Diploma in Business and Finance (1985).  He is trained in Family Therapy. He has many years of experience in Children and Families Local Authority Work.  His previous post was as a Children’s Fund Programme Manager.  He is able to combine his wide experience around finance and management with his experience in social work which are essential dual skills in running a private enterprise of this nature.  Both Residential Directors work closely across the service to run both units.

Mr Hill is the Manager for the Croydon Centre [and Mrs Gravesande-Hill is the Registered Manager for the Bromley Centre].

Mr Hill has also completed the same range of short courses as Mrs Gravesande-Hill.

Staffing structure

Case Co-ordinators

Case Co-ordinators  case manage the assessments for individual families and carry out complex key work sessions. They each supervise a team of Family Assessment Practitioners [FAPs], who offer a range of work around basic care and keywork sessions.

Family Monitors

Family Assessment Practitioners undertake observations of parenting tasks, 1:1 key work sessions within the case work plan around a range of areas, they escort service users out of the centre to appointments, shopping trips, the support the service user to improve their skills and awareness and will offer advice around a wide range of issues pertaining to the service users parenting and personal needs. They will also work around the assessment of practical and domestic skills including cooking, budgeting, laundry etc. They maintain the daily log in the file and are on duty overnight sleeping in the centre.

JU aims to to have all FAPs qualified at NVQ Level 3 in social care and has a rolling programme of training to achieve this.

Dual Diagnosis Practioner Duma Siso – details above

It is a Jamma Umoja’s policy where possible to recruit staff with previous social care experience and NVQ3. Where staff have related experience and show potential then we may appoint them and enrol them on training.

Jamma Umoja also has a programme of supporting qualified experienced staff to pursue post qualification training.

The centre regularly takes Social Work Degree students and prides itself on being a learning organisation.

Jamma Umoja managers provide a range of in house training and also commissions externally accredited training. Over the last three years we have provided in-house in: Child Protection and Safeguarding, Mental Health, Addictions, History taking, genograms, and interviewing techniques.  We have commissioned external accredited training in First Aid, Drug Testing, Working with Parents with Learning Difficulties (Sue McGaw) 2009, and Child Protection. In July 2009 the majority of the managers completed a 3 day course run by LB Newham in Safeguarding Vulnerable Young People.

Staff are regularly supported to undertake short courses and attend conferences. We are supportive to the need for all staff to have opportunities to develop their skills and to access suitable training. We are also supportive to ensuring that our qualified staff access sufficient training and continued professional development for GSCC requirements.

Jamma Umoja has an ongoing commitment to maintaining excellent standards both in the training and the development of staff so as to maintain excellent service provision for families.


We aim to offer individual supervision to staff once every two – three weeks.  We also have group supervision at team meetings. Specialist workers are managed by their line managers but also receive external specialist supervision.  The work is very intense and at times staff may need extra support.  The company has a policy of offering staff counselling where they have undergone work related traumatic circumstances.


Please see our menu of costs, terms and conditions.

Please contact Jamma Umoja for a full menu of costs of all services

Ethos and Principles

We adhere to the General Social Care Councils Code of Practice

The key underlying principle which informs all the work is that children come first and their needs are paramount.  This may be a legislative requirement but it is also our experience that by offering families the best opportunity to be assessed with their children we can be sure to achieve the best outcomes.

Best outcomes and success are not necessarily synonymous with children remaining with their families although that is clearly a desired outcome.  Best outcomes in our view stem from taking a pro-active approach to assessment and treatment so that we are working alongside parents/carers and their children to understand what has led to this state of affairs and to support individuals to maximise their potential.

We have a firm belief in the multi-disciplinary approach providing a holistic basis for evaluating and making recommendations. By bringing different skills and approaches we are able to examine all the disparate areas of parenting to offer a thorough and rounded assessment of risk at all levels.

We advocate for individuals and families being able to access therapeutic input concurrent to the assessment, if that is appropriate. We have found that short term focused work can act as a remarkable catalyst for change and give them confidence to go onto long term work when they leave the centre.

Each family has their own particular set of needs and difficulties. Jamma Umoja aims to identify each family’s need and provide a service which offers targeted intervention, which focuses throughout the work on engagement and building trust, to work openly and transparently with families and to confront difficult areas with sensitivity and ensure that residents are treated with dignity and respect.

Assessment Model

Referrals may come from local authorities, Children’s Guardians and or solicitors. Previous changes in legal aid arrangements mean that residential assessments can only be funded by the local authority. That includes any work carried out in relation to s 38(6) applications, which Jamma Umoja therefore offer without charge.

Some specialist assessments may be commissioned by parent’ solicitors and paid for by legal aid eg Psychiatric and Psychological Assessments and some drug testing.

Work with the Dual Diagnosis Practitioner may be included as part of the programme without extra cost as in the current climate Jamma Umoja has offered various discounts to its services.

All families may access wider therapeutic resources if this is seen to be appropriate and the local authority is willing to fund them: this includes Family Therapy, individual counselling and Play Therapy.

Admissions will usually be planned in conjunction with the parties eg commissioners, parents, children’s guardian and other key family members. The commissioner’s requirements are revisited again at admission with the placing professional and the service user so that there can be some ‘fine tuning’. If the matter is in proceedings then the lead solicitor should provide a letter of instruction within 7 days of the direction being made. The placing professional is required to complete our ‘Admission and Care Plan form’ to provide comprehensive information for staff to work on an informed basis. This is required by Ofsted under National Minimum Care Standards. Where the admission is outside of proceedings the social worker must still provide a letter with instructions of what the commissioning authority require of the assessment. This is a regulatory requirement and inspected by Ofsted. The admission form will also be shared with the family so that they are consulted over the care plan and will be asked to sign the agreement and the medical permissions at the back.

Reviews are held at two weeks, six weeks, ten weeks and fourteen weeks for a 16 week assessment. At each review the LOI will be revisited to consider the progress of the assessment and will summarise the work to be done in the period between the next review.  Jamma Umoja is an independent resource and will express independent views whilst ensuring that there are close working relationships with key professionals and the family.

Jamma Umoja’s assessments are underpinned by the Assessment Framework for Children and Families as seen above.

Jamma Umoja’s assessments are informed by the Five Outcomes of Every Child Matters as referred to earlier.

Jamma Umoja aims to make clear recommendations which will assist in making care plans which are in the best interests of children

Professional arrangements

Our professional practice is informed by key government guidance eg Working Together to Safeguard Children March 2010, the London Child Protection Procedures 3rd Edition 2007 and the Care Standards Act 2000.

We also have our own comprehensive set of professional policies and procedures to inform our practice covering a wide range of issues including Drugs and Alcohol; Child Protection; Bullying; Protection of Vulnerable Adults; Emergency Procedures; Record keeping and Storage of Confidential Documents; Health and Safety etc.

Jamma Umoja has a Complaints Policy and Procedures. Where there is a serious complaint we will appoint an independent investigator.

We have a vigorous approach to anti-discriminatory practice and anti-oppressive practice.  This impacts on all aspects of the work. We seek to promote positive male and female role models as many of the women in our centre and their children have had very negative experiences with their family and partner(s). Task is not assigned on the basis of gender except where intimate circumstances necessitate this eg when a women is breast feeding and checks and observations need to be made, where a service user’s culture or sensitivity may make it difficult for them to discuss certain areas with male staff. We also work with increasing numbers of male sole carers.

Male and female staff do not necessarily take on traditional roles and we look at individual and team strengths in balancing assessment teams.

We are visited on a regular basis by new commissioning authorities and are confident that we are meeting all expected standards and arrangements.

Most admissions are planned but emergency admissions do take place in order to prevent children being separated from their parents.  These matters involve children who would otherwise be removed because of child protection concerns, often babies but also older children. This may be a direct placement by a local authority with or without an order; it may also be where a parent has successfully applied under section 36 (8) of the Children Act to ask the court to direct that they be assessed.

In these circumstances we ask for as much verbal and written information as can be offered immediately so as to make an assessment of risk.  A planning meeting needs to be held within a few days of any emergency admission.

Health arrangements

Families do not have to lose their place at their registered GP at home. Any family who is admitted is registered temporarily with the local General Practitioner Dr Golding and partner 96, Brighton Rd, CR2 6AD who are a few minutes walking distance and this would be done soon after admission.  We are encouraging social workers to get support service users to get a print out of their records from their home GP to give to the local practice to ensure that previous medical history is taken into account.  This is particularly important where there are known health concerns.

We also notify the local Health Visitor by fax of any new children admitted under 5 years old. Croydon has a dedicated Health Visitor Janet Edwards, 1-3 Lodge Rd Croydon who visits families at the centre and families also attend clinic in the local area.

The nearest accident and emergency facility is at MaydayHospital in West Croydon, 10 minutes drive away.

The nearest maternity unit is also at MaydayHospital.

The nearest psychiatric services are based in Croydon and referral would be via GP.

If the service user has mental health difficulties we encourage the commissioners to try to link the service user into their local Community Mental Health Team to provide continuity of care when they leave the centre. Adults who are experiencing mental health difficulties can be seen by the local GP and referred to the local Community Mental Health Team in Croydon if they are not linked into a CMHT in their own area. We work closely with the CMHT in the service users own locality and Care Co-Ordinators and Community Psychiatric Nurses are encouraged to regularly visit their clients as part of the assessment.

Drugs work: As already described Mr Siso is available to undertake direct assessment with families.  We admit families where one or both adults may be on a methadone or Subutex programme. We ask that the prescribing agency remain involved and oversee this aspect of the work as we are not a registered medical facility.  This maintains continuity since professionals who know the family remain involved and when the family returns to the community they continue with this agency / professionals. Jamma Umoja is able to store controlled pharmaceuticals and supervise client self-administration.  Jamma Umoja has a stringent medications policy which is based on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s policy set our in relation to meeting care standards (Care Standards Act 2000).

Where specialist medical input is needed we seek advice from the GP as to what services may be available eg specialist community nurse in Diabetes.

Where children have specialised paediatric needs we would seek to link them to specialist services with the support of the health visitor (where appropriate).

We are aware of the need to contact Ofsted in the event of serious illness, disease or accident in the centre (Schedule 5 Care Standards Act 2000).  We would always seek medical advice where we have health concerns and would consult with Public Health if we felt that a disease might be very contagious and / or ‘notifiable’.

Criteria for termination of placement

We admit adults and children who often have very complex problems and challenging behaviour. Placements are rarely terminated by Jamma Umoja but local authorities often formulate placement agreements with Jamma Umoja and the family which include termination criteria.  For instance families with drug and alcohol problems may need to prove that they can remain abstinent and blood and urine testing may be part of the programme.

Our violence policy clearly states that acts of violence or threats to family members, other families and staff will not be tolerated.  Staff who very occasionally have been assaulted are actively supported to prosecute if they so wish.

There is inevitably an element of risk in placing families in this situation but those risks are weighed up by Jamma Umoja and the placing authorities in terms of the long term gains of the best opportunity being offered for children to be assessed with their parents /carers in an effort to keep families together.  The overwhelming criteria are based on considering what is in the best interests of all children placed in our centres and promoting their welfare by keeping them with their family.  Where the prognosis is worrying, parents may spend time in the Centre being assessed prior to children being admitted to avoid unnecessary disruption. We would also want to highlight the fact that many of these children have been at home with their parents before coming to the centre for long periods where the risks were undoubtedly greater.

We may take Schedule One offenders in the case of convictions of physical abuse if there have been sufficient healthy indicators to suggest potential for change and if we can offer sufficient monitoring which as described above can be very intensive if necessary.

We would not knowingly take adult perpetrators of sexual abuse because of the risk to their children and other children in the Centre unless there has been further forensic risk assessment and the court has taken the view that with the evidence before them the risks are minimal in the context of this communal setting. JU would still undertake their own risk assessment before making a decision.

Such high risk situations are scrutinised by the local authority looking after the children and the courts therefore part of the fundamental criteria and protection is that fact that the courts and / or the local authority have agreed that the risks to the child are manageable and are outweighed by the possibility of a positive outcome. However, Jamma Umoja is independent and would always carry out their own risk assessment and form their own views before considering admission.


Our policies state that families may not consume alcohol on the premises. We ask that residents do not drink during the period of their assessment. Even if it is not an issue for them, it may be for others in residence.

An adult who has consumed alcohol outside of the Centre arriving back intoxicated may be allowed re-admission to the Centre only if they would not pose a risk to other residents and in particular to children. Otherwise they will be excluded from the Centre until sober. The children will be made safe during the period of parental intoxication or absence from the Centre. A meeting will then be convened to discuss future behaviour and any action that may be required, which may be termination of their placement.

No drugs will be allowed in the Family Centre other than those prescribed by a medical practitioner or ‘over the counter’ medication.  All medication for adults and children is held by staff in a locked cabinet and a medication log is maintained where service users self administer and sign with staff observing. Service users may be admitted to the centre where they are on a specific programme which may include methadone or subutex provided there is medical oversight arranged.  There is discretion where medication is required immediately eg Epipen, asthma inhaler.

Neither adults nor children may offer or threaten violence to family members or other residents, Threatening behaviour may result in termination of the placement. Assault upon a resident or a member of staff may also result in prosecution.

Continual non-co-operation in assessment may result in termination of placement.

All residents are required to respect the privacy of others. Residents’ behaviour must also take in to account the needs of other residents and should not impact negatively up on them e.g. music should not be so loud as to disturb other children or adults, no one should smoke anywhere except outside of the building in designated areas.