Little girl with a fringe and bunches holding the palm of her hands showing with lots of paint on them. The Girl is smiling.


Staying at Hazeldene

1 Jul 2020

Among many of the fantastic services Break provides is our family assessment centre, Hazeldene. Here, families in crisis come to us or up to 12 weeks of residential round-the-clock support and observation. It’s a very special part of the good we do here at Break, so we wanted to give you an insight into a typical day at Hazeldene.

The morning starts with staff handing over from those on the night shift – going over all that has happened with the families over the past day. They will plan the day’s activities and appointments and then get the day started.

The main part of the day are the family observations – the staff will watch the families interacting, making daily recordings of their progress which is then written up. There are a range of activities and sessions for the families, including workshops on baby brain development and child development, with sensory play for the babies including messy play and water play.

There are also more practical workshops for parents such as health and safety, cooking, and budgeting. This really helps the families gain confidence and learn parenting skills, while setting them up to live successfully independently.

The staff at Hazeldene also take the residents into the local community if they’d like – be it going for a walk, going to the shops, or taking their babies or children to a leisure centre or soft play area. This is really important in helping the families settle and keeping them active within a community.

In the evenings there will often be movie nights or pamper nights for the families, and occasionally there will be a communal dinner or barbeque (when the weather is nice!). The staff are available throughout the night to help out with feeding newborns whenever needed and to make sure everyone is okay.

There is also specialist help available for those that need it. Hazeldene run the Freedom programme for those who have gone through domestic violence, as well as providing extra support for parents that have a learning difficulty of some kind. The staff also work closely with any professionals involved with the individual families’ cases.

One of the many things the team at Hazeldene do to make every family’s stay special is working on something that can be kept way after the family leaves. They’ll gather momentos and photos in a book, along with anecdotes and information about the parents, for example their favourite things. This can then be kept by the child whatever the outcome of their assessment, and is a lovely thing for them to remember their time at Hazeldene by.  

We are so incredibly grateful for all the work our amazing team at Hazeldene do to lend a helping hand to those families who need it most. Although challenging at times, the work they put in is changing lives everyday and we’re incredibly proud that they have been doing so for over 10 years.

Read more about the work we do across the region.