At Care in Mind, there are many distinctive elements to how we do things, whether it’s our least restrictive model of care or our commitment to staff.

We are proud to offer care with a difference, and strive to ensure that our staff are well supported in doing the amazing job they do. Here, our Residential Services Manager, James Lucas, shares why working for Care in Mind has differed from his previous experiences:

What makes us different?

Having worked within the care sector since the age of 21 and having held a number of different roles within different care providers, I can honestly say that no company has come close to offering the support and guidance that Care in Mind does for its staff team.

Obviously support structures like supervisions and team meetings are commonplace within the care sector. However, within Care in Mind, there is also Reflective Practice and Staff Support within service, as well as Team Briefs company wide. I feel that these support structures are something that are highly valuable in looking out for the welfare of our staff team. Working within residential care is a massively challenging job and staff are exposed to some really challenging situations in the line of their duty, it is vital that this is recognised and the relevant support is in place to ensure the wellbeing of our staff members.

This is something that is hugely appreciated by people like myself, who have worked for different care companies previously, who recognise that Care in Mind really do go above and beyond to support their employees and recognise the challenging work they do day in, day out.

Having a happy, supported care team is essential in ensuring the quality of care we are providing.

How do you think the care we offer to young people is different compared to what other mental health residential services offer?

I believe the thing that sets Care in Mind apart is the company values and the way these are central to all of the work completed with the young people in our care.

The 6 core values (Innovative, Collaborative, Empowering, Compassionate, Committed, Respectful) are intrinsic to every aspect of the care received by our young people and the amazing work done on a daily basis by the care teams in our homes.

What makes Care in Mind different? | Our Values

The residential staff are introduced to the Care in Mind values as early as the interview stage and asked to consider which of the values they feel they relate to most. As their employment commences, they are asked to give consideration as to how they are meeting these values on a regular basis, ensuring that they are always central to the work they are completing.

By ensuring that these values are constantly being considered and at the forefront of care staff’s working practices, it creates some really positive environments for our young people to fulfil their potential and assist in their recovery journey.

Another huge benefit is the internal MDT which provides much better consistency for the young people in the management of their care. The positive working relationships between the residential and clinical teams is massively beneficial in ensuring effective information sharing and the direction of the delivery of quality care and support. Not being reliant on external services, and the inconsistencies/delays/etc that comes along with these, provides much more stability for our young people.

What do you think has been our key to success?

Aside from the points previously mentioned, I think something that has been key to Care in Mind’s success is the attitude towards development, improvement and positive change. This is an approach that is evident from top to bottom within the organisation.

Care in Mind is an organisation that constantly strives for improvement, rather than change for the sake of change. Prior to any new systems or structures being implemented, feedback is sought from delegates from all positions – from Support Workers to Managers – to ensure that the changes are going to be beneficial in providing quality evidence for the service and assist in leading to better outcomes for the young people.

Staff are also empowered to make suggestions for potential changes and recognised and rewarded for these suggestions should they be implemented. This is obviously vital in ensuring that our staff feel valued and appreciated. It is also important for the progression of the staff and development opportunities.

This is something else that has been intrinsic in Care in Mind’s success, developing their staff into both management and senior management positions. Due to the specialised and unique nature of the work we do, it is hugely beneficial for Care in Mind to promote from within to ensure ingrained company values and working knowledge and understanding of our models of care.

How do you feel about our 10-year anniversary?

In June I will have been with Care in Mind for 5 years, so I have been with the company for around half of its journey so far. I started as a Deputy Manager before progressing to an RM, Residential Lead and recently obtained my current position of Residential Services Manager.

What makes Care in Mind different? | 10 Years of Care in Mind

More than anything else, I am really proud of having been a part of the progression of the company and directly (or indirectly) being involved in the care, progression and recovery of some fantastic young people.

As I have previously mentioned, it is a massively challenging line of work, but I believe that it is evident that the positives always outweigh the negatives.

How do you see the future of Care in Mind?

I’m excited to see where Care in Mind is at the 20-year anniversary. I would like to think that the company will continue to expand, which in turn will allow us to offer more placements for young people to recover within a community setting and provide them with opportunities that they would otherwise not have access to.

I do wholeheartedly believe that as much as Care in Mind does continue to grow – the core values will always be maintained, allowing the opportunity for the excellent work that is currently being completed to be done on a larger scale.