Guidance for Parents and Carers

Here at Next Stage 4 Life, we are committed to ensuring that your child has a meaningful stay with us at our home. Wherever possible, we encourage parents and carers to be involved in the process and hope that you will work with us to make their stay a positive one. We understand that this can be a trying time for you as well as your child and we hope to answer any queries or concerns that you might have on this page.

We help you contact your child

We enable visits with your child

We support your expectations

We create better outcomes

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Contact With Your Child

When your child is placed with us, they will have a care plan that ensures all their needs are met while in our home. This plan is drafted and agreed by the Local Authority (LA) and will contain details regarding home visits and other contact arrangements with your child. Should you have any concerns about the planned contact presented in your child’s care plan, it is important that you speak to their social worker. They will be able to explain to you the reasons for any restrictions their might be with contact. Depending on the details of the care plan, contact with your child may be at the home, over the phone or through virtual contact, at a neutral space in the community, at a registered contact centre, or at your own home.

Visits To The Home

Your child’s social worker will let you know where your child will be living. Once your child has been placed, the manager of the home will be in touch to discuss any concerns you might have and to answer any initial queries. The manager will also be able to plan your visit to the home with you, arranging times and dates and explaining our expectations.

Young girl sat on couch discussing issues with carers

Agreed Expectations

Since other children may live at the children’s home where your child has been placed, we must insist that you respect their privacy during any home visits. We ask that you take direction from the home’s staff – this includes moving rooms and leaving the building, as well as any other reasonable requests.

Prior to your first visit, the home’s manager will discuss any individual expectations for the home and you are expected to agree to these before visiting. If you are not happy with anything during your contact, either speak to the home’s on-site manager, or ask a member of staff to contact the duty manager. They should be able to assist you with any concerns you may have.

We have a zero tolerance to abusive language, physical threats, or physical assault directed towards any of our staff or any children placed at the home. Should this occur, you will be instantly removed from the home.


We believe that the children in our homes have far better outcomes if the adults around them work together in their best interests. For this reason, we work closely with parents and carers to achieve this. As experienced child care professionals, we can provide advice and support to you in a variety of areas in line with your child’s care plan. This can include help with transport for a contact visit, or assistance with your phone or streaming application for distance contact.

Indoor image of dark haired young woman holding mobile phone, showing her carer how to use application on electronic gadget

Next Stage 4 Life

How To Make A Complaint

We work hard to ensure that we provide the highest standard of service and care to your child and always work with their best interests at heart. However, should be unhappy with our service, there are procedures in place for you make a complaint and the home’s manager will be happy to provide you with a copy of our complaints policy.

We try to resolve any concerns you might have informally in the first instance. These issues can be raised at any time to any member of the home’s management. If you would prefer to make a formal complaint, we must insist that these be made in writing to ensure that a thorough investigation takes place. Formal complaints may be made by email, text, letter, voice recording, or by filling in a third-party complaints form requested from the home. Formal complaints can be made directly to the home’s manager or to our Operations Manager, Jack Smallman.

External complaints can be made to several professionals and regulatory bodies, including your child’s social worker, their teacher, the Local Education Authority, our requesting a third-party complaints form from the home. Complaints can be made direct to the homes manager or the Operations manager (Linda Jennings) You can also make complaints external to the home to a range of professionals such as your child’s social worker, teacher, the Regulation 44 visitor, or Ofsted.

Next Stage 4 Life

How To Pay A Compliment

If you are happy with the service that your child is receiving from the team at Next Stage 4 Life, feel free to let us know. We enjoy receiving compliments on our work and there are several ways in which to do this.

Each home has its own compliments book, where parents, carers, and other approved visitors can record any compliments they wish to make about the home itself or particular members of staff. If you prefer, you can email the home directly to the email address you will be given when your child is placed. Our Regulation 44 visitor may also contact you to ask if you wish to comment on the service we provide, or the home’s manager may send you a feedback on which you can provide honest criticism and any compliments you may wish to make.

For more information about how Next Stage 4 Life helps the children and young people in our care and how you can be involved in that process, get in touch with us today. Call us on 01942 818 569 to speak to a member of our helpful and friendly team.

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“Working at Next Stage is great, you get to do really good things, supporting people to have an increased quality of life, always willing to listen to new ideas.”

Senior Support Worker

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