Day Services
Training and Supported Employment 
Rehabilitative Training Programme 
ACCESS Supported Employment 

Day Programme 
Media 
Horticulture 
Flavours (Catering) 
Arts 
Floristry 
The Golden Oak 
Pathways 
Creative Arts 
Sports

Community Inclusion Programme. 
Graiguenamanagh Community Project 
Kilkenny City Community Project. 
Volunteering Project.

 

Support Services
Clinical Supports
Health Care Department
Social Work Department
Behaviour Support Specialist
Quality Department
Personal Outcomes Measures
Family Meetings

 

Residential Services
Retirement Service
Low Support Homes
High Support Home
Independent Living
Respite Service
S.O.S Housing Association

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Go To
  Day Services


Go To
Support Services


Go To
Residential Services


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 - 

  1. Empower the service user through building their self-esteem and self-confidence

  2. Assist the service user to develop their independent living skills in their home environment and within the community.

  3. 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 Examinations (UK). 

The modules offered on the programme include - 

1. Induction
2. Communication
3. Information & Communication Technology
4. Learning Skills
5. Numeracy
6. Personal Skills
7. Practical Work Skills
8. Manufacturing
9. Office Practice
10. Travel & Tourism
11. Media
12. Catering

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 training kitchen..
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 market... More Info...

Day Programme

Media
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, library etc.

Horticulture
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 (Catering)
' 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 catering skills”

 

Arts
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.

  • Solas 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.

  • Floristry
    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
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.

Creative Arts
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.

Sports
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 organization. 
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.

Volunteering Project.
The programme is run as a 'buddy' system with each volunteer linked with one specific service user only.... More Info...

Seasamh 
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: 

  1. Leadership & Advocacy 

  2. Teamwork 

  3. Communication Skills 

  4. A History of Disability in Ireland 

  5. Standards Awareness 

  6. Programmes and Campaigns  

  7. Inclusiveness 

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.

 

Support  Services

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.

Social Work Department
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 programmes.

Behaviour Support Specialist
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.

Quality Department
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.

Personal 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.

Family Meetings
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 are: 

  • Retirement Home 

  • Low Support Homes 

  • Medium Support Homes 

  • High Support Home 

  • Semi Independent 

  • Independent 

  • Tenancy Only accommodation through S.O.S Housing Association

Retirement Home
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. 

Independent 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. 

Respite Service
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.

To view most recent accounts, click on the links below.

SOS Housing

 

 

 

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