The family support team led by Dr Chris Buscombe consists of Play Specialists, Counsellors and Music Therapists who provide activities and support to children/young people and their families.
Claire House Play Specialists provide the opportunity for all children and young people to have access to a wide variety of different stimulating play opportunities.
These include sensory and tactile stories, individualised adapted arts and crafts, eye gaze technology, immersive technology, resonance board, iPad games, messy play, Makaton singing, switch work, light room, baking and trips out.
Every session is adapted to the child’s/young person’s capabilities, ensuring they still get the opportunity to engage with every activity taking place at Claire House. As technology is advancing, stimulating children and young people is changing and with the current facilities Claire House has, it is enabling us to give children independence and empowerment because they interact with the activities themselves.
We have a new Play Outreach service providing play sessions for children and young people who access Claire House. The service is working with Hospice to Home and other local services which aim to enhance the child/young person’s life through the medium of play and provide education and training to parents/carers.
Following a child or young person’s death, the team will continue to support the family. Should the family wish for their child to be transferred to the Butterfly Suite at Claire House where a child can stay as an alternative to a funeral home, we will help to arrange this. Should the family wish to stay at home with their child, we are able to work with local funeral directors to enable this wherever possible.
Helping families at this difficult time will be very individual and can range from practical support such as registering the child’s death and funeral planning to emotional such as collecting mementoes and supporting siblings through memory boxes.
Following a child’s funeral, we will continue to maintain contact with the family through cards, telephone contact and home visits and will refer to the counselling and/or complementary therapy service where appropriate.