Training and Supported Employment
» Rehabilitative Training Programme
» ACCESS Supported Employment
» Flavours (Catering)
» The Golden Oak
» Creative Arts
Community Inclusion Programme.
» Graiguenamanagh Community Project
City Community Project.
» Volunteering Project.
» Health Care Department
» Social Work Department
» Behaviour Support Specialist
» Quality Department
» Personal Outcomes Measures
» Family Meetings
» Low Support Homes
» High Support Home
» Independent Living
» Respite Service
» S.O.S Housing Association
« Day Services »
The day services within S.O.S aim to provide
meaningful day options for each person with a disability that is compatible with
their own needs and capacities. The Day service is located in Kilkenny City and
also in Castlecomer. S.O.S aims to help the person to live as individual and independent
life as possible within the day service environs and the community. Each
individual in S.O.S is helped to identify their own personal goals, directions, dreams and
aspirations. These add meaning and value to each persons life and are realized
through their own individual path. The day service is comprised of three
departments which offer programmes to each individual to help them realize their
own goals. Each programme is person centred and the duration is varied in
accordance with each individual's abilities and needs.
Training and Supported Employment
Rehabilitative Training Programme
The Rehabilitative Training Programme run through the Training Department of
S.O.S. is a two year training programme funded by the H.S.E. and goes by the
name of the Steps Programme. The programme can be attended full time, thirty
hours a week or part time. The training programme is open to anyone who is over
16 years of age, with a mild to moderate intellectual disability and has
expressed an interest in extending their range of personal and practical skills,
and has the stamina and motivation to take part in the course. The service must
also have approval to receive H.S.E. funding.
The main aims of the programme are -
Empower the service user through building their self-esteem and
Assist the service user to develop their independent living
skills in their home environment and within the community.
Provide the service user with the skills, knowledge and
attitudes required for supported work, voluntary community work, sheltered work
and/or progression to further training.
Certification is currently available in National Skills Profile Modules and
Accreditation for Life and Living modules through Oxford Cambridge RSA
The modules offered on the programme include -
3. Information & Communication Technology
4. Learning Skills
6. Personal Skills
7. Practical Work Skills
9. Office Practice
10. Travel & Tourism
13. The Community
14. The Environment
15. Home Management
16. World of Work
17. Self Advocacy
18. Work Experience
19. Health & Safety
20. Personal Development,
Relationships & Sexuality
21. Sporting Activities
22. Art & Drama
23. Music Appreciation
For the first 12 weeks on the programme the service user will go
through what is called the Course Determination Phase of which the first two
weeks is known as the Induction. During this time the service user will be asked
to try new modules, state their preference and areas where they wish to receive further training. This assists the trainer in drawing up an individual training
plan, which is reviewed every 12 weeks. This individual training plan is the
plan that is followed in order for the service user to achieve their training
outcome which can be one or more of the following......
On Completion of the programme the service user will receive certification in the modules completed and will move from the training centre.
The training centre in S.O.S. is purpose built for the delivery of the
Rehabilitative Training Programme and consists of four training rooms, one of
which being a dedicated computer training room, and another a fully equipped
Service users on the programme can also receive the support of S.O.S. healthcare
team, social work department and other S.O.S. services if they so require them.
The training department endeavours to provide transport to those service users
who attend the programme and lunch can also be provided there.
Those that attend the Rehabilitative Training Programme currently receive a
training allowance for attendance on the programme, paid for by the H.S.E., this
is a payment received in addition to the disability allowance.
ACCESS Supported Employment
Supported employment is a concept which enables people with varying
abilities and disabilities, who may have been dependent on a service, to become
independent of the service in becoming a paid employee in the open labour
Dreamtime studio provides creative and educational opportunities for people with
an intellectual disability through such media as photography, radio broadcasting
and film making. The Dreamtime Photography course, called FOCUS, is currently
applying for accreditation and gives an introduction to the many aspects of
photography, from technical aspects of the camera to various means of presenting
photographs. Dreamtime Radio broadcasts on 90.9FM almost every Wednesday for 4
hours with a number of service users involved in presenting shows, news and
weather, chat shows and guest appearances. Dreamtime Film Studio is an exciting
part of dreamtime, as it allows for the involvement in the film making process,
acting, drama school, technical behind the camera aspects and developing new
storyboards and film ideas. Dreamtime also provides communication benefits for
everybody within the service through the various mediums such as a quarterly
magazine / newsletter.
Dean View (Castlecomer Day Service)
S.O.S's day service in Castlecomer was opened in October 1995. The aim of the
service is to provide for people with intellectual disabilities in the North
Kilkenny area. The service moved to a new building in January of 2007.Currently
there are 12 service users attending on a daily basis. The castlecomer day
service provides each service user with a variety of programmes and activities
including literacy and numeracy skills, social skills, computer and catering
skills, arts, swimming, golf, bowling and bocce. The S.O.S Castlecomer day
service is in the heart of the community and provides each service user the
opportunity to avail of local facilities including local shops, knitting club,
The Horticulture unit caters for 8-10 service users who are responsible for the
maintenance of gardens in the S.O.S Campus and S.O.S residential houses. The
horticulture unit is also involved in outside contract work during some seasonal
periods. They also support other departments for example moving office
equipment, furniture and waste disposal (including recycling). The staff also
work with other programmes to support the service users for example the training
and supported employment department and the support services. Staff work with the
individual and their family to meet the persons goal.
' Flavours' is the restaurant within S.O.S. It is located centrally within the
campus which is very apt as it is the central place for all to meet and greet.
The ethos of 'Flavours' is based on teamwork with all staff and service users
ensuring the daily working of the restaurant. " Flavours" caters for between
130-140 meals from Monday to Friday. " Flavours" also provides training to
service users in the catering area by assisting the chefs meal preparation,
serving meals, table service, managing money and the till and hospitality and
Within the arts/crafts department there is an ongoing introduction to new crafts
and media. Individuals can explore and develop individual needs through the
enjoyment of creative work in a relaxed environment. Service users can choose to
have their products sold in the S.O.S shop or at the S.O.S craft fairs. This
programme is comprised of four areas. Arts Crafts Weaving & Floristry.....
Arts The art centre in S.O.S
offers a creative environment which caters for individual needs through a
service user responsive programme. It is a creative environment for all clients
interested in exploring and developing their artistic talents. The centre
provides the opportunity for clients to participate in individual and group
projects with a choice of ceramics, painting and model making. A mixed media
programme is also available to facilitate clients from all areas interested in
exploring Art through such media as weaving, textiles and pottery. Social
integration and healthy living is supported through social outings and community
projects exploring employment opportunities. Art courses and exhibitions aiming
to create closer links with the community are also organized.
The Solas group participate in a number of crafts. These
include fabric painting, sewing, cross stitch, rug making and mixed media. They
also part take in other programmes such as computers, leisure (sports
department) and relaxation. Cookery classes are offered once a week. The group
socialize in the community going out for tea and lunch once a month and other
social outings are organized on a weekly basis.
Crafts This area supports a variety
of activities. Service users are encouraged to be creative through a number of
different mediums. They do pottery, painting, music, drawing as well as reading
and practicing letters and numbers. Their finished work is displayed at various
times throughout the year for family and friends to appreciate. The
service users are also invited to use the gym and other areas in the day
programme regularly and social outings are planned once a week.
Service users within this area have a choice to practice different skills. They
use the computer to learn about the internet and further their numeracy ability.
This area also does flower arranging, pottery and painting, depending on their
level of ability and interest. They are encouraged to participate in sports such
as soccer, bowling and bocce. They also have the choice to join in with drumming
and music sessions. Service users timetables also incorporate relaxation time
and leisure time.
The Golden Oak
The Golden Oak room is the semi -retirement programme within S.O.S. This is for
individuals who choose to have a less demanding day. Service users can choose to
participate in activities such as crafts, board games, simple physical
exercises, walks, social outings, mass and bowling, or they can relax in a
comfortable and relaxing environment. Here they can watch TV or listen to the
radio on comfortable armchairs. Service users can also avail of holistic
therapies that are offered.
Pathways is a small group which provides a programme for those with high support
needs. Activities in Pathways include communication- promoting discussion and
interaction to build individuals self confidence, physical exercises and
relaxation, crafts, computer use, listening to music and watching music
videos/DVDs. The group take part in social outings such as visiting garden
centres, parks, and also swimming, bowling and attending Mass.
Within the day programme service users can take part in a wide variety of group
activities such as drumming, music sessions, photography, creative writing and
drama. The drama group also carry out performances in the Watergate Theatre in
Kilkenny and have competed nationally within Performing arts festivals. Also
each year during the activity week a competition is held allowing participants
to show their talents to their friends and families. Musical talent and self
expression are also explored through group music and drumming sessions and
individual guitar and keyboard sessions.
S.O.S as an organisation is committed to sports and leisure, for programmes to
be effective and sustainable, you need to have this support from the outset.
There is an enormous range of potential health benefits associated with physical
activities. Exercise is for everyone; exercise provides an opportunity to
develop an individual's full physical and mental potential. The importance of
activities, recreation and sport is a chance for social growth and personal
development. An exercise routine or fitness plan can inspire a person to
overcome misperceived limitations and allow the opportunity to experience true
growth. S.O.S provides a range of activities for all clients in the
These include Bowling, Bocce, Soccer, Swimming, Golf. Each client has an
opportunity to take part in these sports. Clients can also participate in
Special Olympics competitions. Special Olympics is the often the only place
where an athlete has the opportunity to participate in competition. It provides
far more than physical benefits, it is about team spirit, friendships and fun,
it improves the quality of life. In 2009 a state of the art gym was opened on
campus. This has been an enormous benefit to clients and staff. Clients use the
gym, two to three times a week. The sports department continue to identify areas
that need to be worked on and improvements are made where required. The sports
department also organize extra curricular activities curricular activities for
the staff of S.O.S that take place in the evening.
Community Inclusion Programme.
S.O.S in consultation with service
users, families, friends and other professionals recognized that a community
inclusion programme was needed in for service users living in Kilkenny City. The
goal of this programme is to help remove barriers for people with disabilities
to achieve independent living and community integration in order to enhance the
lives of all Kilkenny residents, with and without disabilities. People with
disabilities in S.O.S want to be active citizens of their community, however,
environmental, financial, policy and attitudinal barriers can prevent them from
full integration into the community and living independently. These barriers can
reduce the quality of life for people with disabilities and the community in
which they live. Currently S.O.S have two community projects, one in
Graiguenamanagh and in Kilkenny City.
Graiguenamanagh Community Project
This service was set up for participants living in the Graiguenamangh area
in November 2009. Initially this service was offered for a half day a week, but
given the demand for the service this was increased to one day a week. The aim
of the service is to reintroduce participants back into their own community. The
community service assists the person to build relationships with others in the
community, gain independence in their living situation and to partake in
activities within the community to enhance their daily lives.
Kilkenny City Community Project.
S.O.S's Kilkenny City Community project aims to help participants become or
to reintroduce themselves as an active member of their community. The project
hopes to empower the person to work towards this change. The community project
gathers information about what is available for people with disabilities in
Kilkenny City, looks at developing ways to positively address the
transportation, housing, medical and social needs of each participant. The
community service assists the person to build relationships with others in the
community, gain independence in their living situation and to partake in
activities within the community to enhance their daily lives.
The programme is run as a 'buddy' system with each volunteer linked with one
specific service user only.... More
Seasamh is a forum for people with an intellectual disability, run by people who
access intellectual disability services, with independent support. The Seasamh
model promotes an atmosphere of social acceptance, facilitates participation,
and decision-making that affects the lives of those involved. The model
facilitates simple participation, recognising every degree of inclusion. It
avoids manipulation of needs and instead helps participants to identify issues
which affect their lives and discover solutions. Seasamh empowers participants,
through discussion, to take responsibility through voluntary self-nomination.
Candidates are elected in open elections [centre by centre basis] to leadership
teams i.e. Parliament. Following the formation of the Parliament, a reoccurring
issue regarding self advocacy arose, key issues identified were the need for
Seasamh members to develop skills in leadership and advocacy in order to best
represent themselves and their peers in order to achieve the long term goal of
becoming a National representative Body.
Access to Third Level Education
The Seasamh model identified the need for a programme of learning, which
furnished leadership and advocacy related knowledge and skills. This culminated
in the creation of the third level accredited course entitled the Certificate in
Leadership and Advocacy. This programme of learning has been reviewed and
college accredited for attendance certification by course boards in five
third-level institutes. The course takes place in Limerick, Cork, Dundalk,
Waterford, Galway Institutes of Technology. The programme of learning is
comprised of seven modules:
Leadership & Advocacy
A History of Disability in Ireland
Programmes and Campaigns
Goals & Challenges
Seasamh have long since agreed that there is a need to develop national
recognition, as the project is unique in its operational functions and that it
offers adults the opportunity to explore their challenges and to develop a
strategy for change in their life and long term change in policy development.
Often we struggle to provide a high level of support and follow up on key issues
due to limited staffing. Recently we have been supported in employing a Seasamh
representative for 8 hours per week. We need to mirror this approach throughout
the region and eventually roll out Nationally. The usual challenges present
themselves, we have established our regional office here in Kilkenny and we now
need to secure employment for Seasamh representatives throughout the region.
This will enable us to focus on National networking, ongoing Professional
development, Certificate In Leadership & Advocacy, quarterly meetings, up
skilling of county representatives, developing a 5 year strategic plan.
Health Care Department
The Health Dept. was established in S.O.S. in 1998. The department is headed
by a Health Care Co-oridinator and also employs three part time nurses. The
nurses are qualified in different disciplines - General, Intellectual disability
and Psychiatric Division. The health care department forms part of the S.O.S.
multi-disciplinary team. The health needs of all S.O.S. service users are met or
supported by the Health Department. Medical needs are generally accessed through
service users G.P. - the health department staff accompany all S.O.S. residents to
these appointments. Emergency care will be supplied to service users who are day
attenders. Parents/next of kin of day attenders will be advised of any medical
issues that are noticed by day staff or medical staff. All residential service users
have a health care plan monitored on a monthly basis. The health department
co-ordinates Psychiatric clinics, Aromatherapy clinics, Dietician Clinics,
Physiotherapy Clinics, Chiropody clinics and winter flu vaccination clinics in
S.O.S. Emergency First Aid treatment is provided by this department and also
routine medical treatments are carried out e.g. medication administration,
injection administration etc.
We liase with G.P's dentists, Psychiatrists, Hospitals, Community Care Service
on behalf of S.O.S. service users. Training by the health care team is provided
to the Social Care leaders and other staff on medical matters where relevant,
and so they are enabled to provide monitoring and health surveillance when
necessary to guarantee both physical and mental health well being for all our service users.
The Social Work Department is part of the S.O.S multi disciplinary team. We work with service users and their
families from the point of application for a placement in S.O.S. and continue to
support them, identifying needs and work in partnership with service users,
their families and S.O.S. staff and management towards meeting these needs and
work to develop and deliver appropriate services. Social Workers focus on
people's emotional, social, physical and economic well-being. We aim to be
proactive on providing creative solutions to respond to the needs and
aspirations of our service users and their families. We encourage and support
the participation of service users and their families through advocacy across
all areas of the organisation. Central to the role of Social Work is developing
and maintaining relationships with service users and their families. Some of the
areas of our work include referral to and liasing with other relevant services
both within and external to S.O.S, advocacy and empowerment, protection and
welfare work. The social work department also run Volunteer and Home Share
The work of the behaviour support specialist is divided into two main areas;
training for staff who work with people with behavioural problems, and
individual support and therapy for service users who have behavioural issues.
The behaviour support specialist meets regularly with staff teams and
facilitates the drawing up of programmes and behaviour support strategies for individuals.
The behaviour support specialist also conducts a weekly afternoon clinic giving
service users the opportunity of ongoing therapeutic support sessions.
The work of the quality Co-ordinator is in the areas of communication, personal
outcome measures, monitoring the organisations journey through person centeredness, supporting the client, family and staff in the journey. Other roles
of the Co-ordinator are implementing the basic assurances system as a foundation
to person centred planning; supporting and advising management through
organisational change; staff training, to support and advise service users
in their right to be part of the decision making process within the
organisation; involvement in the future development of the Arts Centre and the
design of the campus faculties; ensuring that all decision making is in
consultation with the chief stakeholders, advising on policy and protocol design.
Outcomes Measures (POMS)
S.O.S. has adopted the Personal Outcomes Measures. These measures are a powerful
tool for evaluating personal quality of life and the degree to which
organisations individualise supports to facilitate outcomes. People define
outcomes for themselves. The outcomes are non-prescriptive; they have no norms. Each person
is a sample of one. We all define friendship, health or respect
uniquely. Thus, the meaning and definition of personal outcomes items will vary
from person to person. As a result, S.O.S can only design and provide the needed
supports after it figures out how the person defines his or hers outcomes.
S.O.S. host parents and carers meetings three times a year in S.O.S. these given
an opportunity for families to meet with the C.E.O. and to hear updates on
organisational developments. From time to time guest speakers are invited to
there meeting to present on relevant topics.
||« Residential Services
The S.O.S. Residential Service consists of
eighteen community based homes in the City of Kilkenny and the town of
Castlecomer. Eighty seven service users avail of residential services with SOS
Kilkenny Ltd with residential homes offering varying degrees of support to meet
the individual needs of residents. All of our homes are based on the principles
of full and active participation within the home and local community, thus
creating a home from home atmosphere; this is achieved through the style of
support provided, a process of shared decision making and a culture of
consultation which has proven to be paramount to the success of our residential
programme. SOS Residential Service provides seven different community living and
support options which are aimed at maximising independence for all our
residents. These options change on a regular basis to reflect the needs and
preferences of individual residents as required, this ensures we are constantly
evolving to meet new challenges as they arise. The six living options available
The retirement home provides care and a quality lifestyle to ten elderly
residents. Each resident has a personal plan which provides meaningful
activities which focus on the individuals spiritual, emotional and physical
needs ensuring that they are met on a daily basis. Family and friends play a
large role in our Retirement home and are very involved with the planning of a
variety of different activities and the longer term plans for individuals or the
group as a whole. The home is staffed by Nurses and Social Care Leaders to
ensure S.O.S achieve a balanced approach in the provision of medical and social
care. A full individual day and evening programme is in place providing
activities such as massage, music, health and beauty and social outings. Health
Care is provided in the home reducing the need for residents to move to a
hospital or a Nursing home as their needs change. This provides a great deal of
comfort not only to the resident but also their family. S.O.S. have Planning
Permission to develop a new fifteen bed custom built facility in the near future
to accommodate the changing needs of our ageing population. Low Support Homes
Currently S.O.S Kilkenny Ltd has six Low Support Homes, five of which are
located in Kilkenny City and one in Castlecomer. All of our community homes are
located in housing estates centrally located to all local amenities in the
community. The number of residents living in our low support homes range from
six to seven people. One Social Care Leader is assigned to each home with
Recreation Support Staff assigned to each individual resident enabling full and
active participation in the community. Staff facilitate residents to live
independent and fulfilling lives, whilst also providing assistance with daily
living tasks by developing and maintaining the necessary skills required. Each
resident has an individual plan which outlines the person's life choices, goals
and wishes thus providing the basis for our staff and service to identify the
supports needed in order for the resident to achieve them. Each resident is
involved within their community home in determining how it runs; an example of
some of the decision making would include what colour scheme should be applied
to communal areas, what type of furniture should be purchased, developing the
menu plan, organising social outings and small breaks etc.. Residents
personalise their own bedrooms with the assistance of staff and family. In
recent times SOS Kilkenny Ltd have introduced Apartment style living for group
homes, by developing three open style two bedroom apartments with individual
kitchen and sitting rooms residents can avail of staff support whilst also
having the option of having time out on their own
Medium Support Homes
Our Medium Support homes operate the same as our Low Support homes, they are
also based in housing estates centrally located to all amenities. The only
difference being that two staff are on duty to meet the needs of residents.
S.O.S Kilkenny Ltd currently has four Medium Support homes with numbers ranging
from between four to seven residents.
High Support Home
The High Support home provides high support to our residents who express
behaviour that challenges us. This service supports each resident with an
individualised program that enables them to achieve their wants and needs with
support from a dedicated team. As with all our community homes residents
determine how their home is run and play an active role in the future
development of their home.
Semi - Independent Living
S.O.S. currently supports four Semi Independent homes in the City of Kilkenny.
Between one to two residents share a house with minimum support from the
service. The main areas of support provided by staff enable residents to
experience true independence within the community. A new development consisting
of eight two bedroom apartments is currently underway to provide additional
apartment style semi independent living options to enable more of our residents
to progress to this particular style of living.
Our Independent Living option enables service users to live independently within
the community. Limited support is provided as required by the resident, this
support would include assistance in acquiring suitable accommodation, support in
relation to money management and dealing with the various different aspects of
independent living. 2010 brought the first couple requesting support to live
together independently of S.O.S
Tenancy Only Accommodation
Through our sister organisation S.O.S Housing Association, clients can avail of
Tenancy Only Accommodation. This involves the Housing Association developing or
attaining suitable accommodation for clients who do not require support or care.
Currently seven clients have a tenancy only accommodation. S.O.S Housing
Association acts as a landlord ensuring the property is well maintained, ensures
each client has a tenancy agreement and a rent book etc.
S.O.S. has a dedicated respite house with five beds currently in place for day
service attendees and external people to avail of. Respite allows our day
service clients to experience life in a residential home and enables parents and
carers to plan holidays/breaks. Over thirty five people avail of this service on
a yearly basis and this demand is on the increase. Each residential service has
a line manager whose role it is to provide support and assistance to the staff
and residents at evenings and weekends. This helps to enable each resident to
achieve their individual goals and to live a full and meaningful life. All homes
are supported with a twenty four hour on-call system which provides support and
assistance in an emergency.
S.O.S. Housing Association
S.O.S. Housing Association was established in 2007. One of its key functions is
to ensure every resident has a Tenancy Agreement and rent book, it applies for
rent allowance for each resident through the Rental Accommodation Scheme, this
rental allowance plus the rents charged by S.O.S. helps to fund the residential
service. The Housing Association manages all the properties owned and rented by
S.O.S. It also oversees the development of new properties. S.O.S Housing
Association has responsibility for housing management. All care aspects are
provided to residents by the care agency S.O.S. Kilkenny Ltd.
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