Sippola reform school has a long history in providing substitute care services. The modern reform school provides strong special competence in child welfare for the needs of children and families. For the purpose of substitute care, the Sippola reform school provides places of care in small units and a special care unit as well as its Hovi school for completing comprehensive school.
The treatment, education and care are based on multiprofessional team work at the reform school, which is supported with other social and health care services that meet the individual needs of children if necessary. Every child has two personal key-workers. The work of personal key-workers is reliant on a culture of “caring with what is good” and working in teams designated for the children. The teams designated for the children ensure the implementation of individual and multiprofessional care and education.
Family work is a significant part of the care of a child. Parents are valued as the persons closest to their own child. Family work is carried out by the child’s entire care team. Family work includes contacting the child’s parents, meetings at the reform school and the child’s home, joint discussions and care teams, an opportunity to participate in parents’ groups, a family day and celebrations at the reform school. Families have access to the Alakartano guest housing. Children's weekends at home are an important part of the culture of raising children together.
At the Sippolan Hovi school, each child’s school attendance is planned individually and in cooperation with the family and others involved. The schoolwork is carried out in small groups of 4–8 pupils, one of which operates in the special care department. A special teacher and school assistant work as a pair in each group of 4–5 pupils.
After school days and on weekends, meals and bedtimes, household chores, evenings with personal personal key-workers, joint and individual recreational activities, and groups and excursions set the rhythm to the daily life at the housing units. The reform school premises have a skate park, basketball and football fields, frisbee gold track, and gym and music spaces. The Sippola reform school organises social pedagogical horse activities based on interactions between a child, adult and a horse and related experiences. An ART (Aggression Replacement Training) group involves practising social skills, mind management and moral reasoning. A weekly exercise club offers versatile physical activities for all children.
The goals set for the child’s care and education are planned together in a client plan discussion. The contents of the plan are supplemented with a personal plan for the child’s care and education. The personal key-worker and teacher use a monthly letter to report about daily life and current issues together with the child. The aim is that the child will have a good life and will be able to cope according to his or her personal resources. Sippola’s particular strength is its strong community spirit and engaging in joint activities.
See a video presentation of recreational activities at the Sippola reform school.