Glad I can be of help!
how do you deal with physical violence in the childrens home you work in? - This entirely depends upon each individual young person. I am fully trained in 'TCI' - a system used by our social services that involve emotional counselling and physical restraints that we would employ to a child who appeared to be escalating from their baseline behaviours. Obviously a physical restraint would not be carried out on a young person who is physically larger and stronger than I am, or a child with any sort of physical disability. Therefore in such instances, a number of techniques would be used depending upon whats in their individual care plans.
How many kids do you work with? - In the larger unit I work in there is a maximum of 12 bedrooms, divided into 2 6-bed units. The smaller one has only 4.
What does the work involve? What do you do whilst they're at school? - Shifts are normally broken down into early, lates and nights. Each shift is different, on an early weekday the shift will involve helping the young people get up, get themselves organised for school, help them with breakfast, and sometimes accompanying the younger ones to school. Then the rest of the day would be filled with housework duties, such as catching up with laundry etc. You might also have a number of calls to make to social workers etc, updating them on the young people. A late shift (and an early weekend) would normally involve helping the young people get themselves organised after school, helping with homework etc. Outings may also be planned in the evening where you would spend some time with a small number of young people (ie. going to the cinema, going swimming, going to the gym..). During all shifts you must be vigilant, and sometimes some young people may require full supervision.
Do you do night shifts? What are they like? - Yes I do the occasional nightshift. They're quite easy-going. It would involve settling the younger ones to bed, getting their suppers etc. With the older ones we usually sit up and watch a DVD/TV then get them settled to their beds at bedtimes. Then the rest of the night involves catching up on laundry, making sure unit is tidy, working through money (petty cash and organising pocket monies..). After that you're pretty much free to do as you please, and keep an eye on the young people throughout the night.
How much do you get paid? - I'm only on a sessional contract, but I get paid £8.88 an hour, which is the average for sessional support worker wages. I'm not sure how this works out on a full-time contract, you may (and probably do) get paid a little more. Again, it depends upon your employer.
How quickly do kids pass through the home? Do some of them stay for a long time and do others leave quickly? - Yes exactly. We've had some young people who have been with us for 5/6 years. Others stay for a few days/weeks and get re-admitted back home. This usually depends upon their reasons for being in the unit and individual circumstances at the family home.
In the person spec they asked for a working knowledge of the childrens act 1989...and what does that really mean on a day to day basis? Is there lots of law and court involved in this sorta stuff? - I must admit I don't have an in-depth knowledge of the childrens act 1989, but I think it just means that every child has a right to voice their opinions on their own circumstances, their own reasons for being in residential care, and that they deserve the right of privacy. I think it would just be common sense stuff really!
How much work do you do with parents? - Again this depends on each individual child. Some have no contact whatsoever with family members so we do little to no work with their parents. Others have quite regular contact with families (sometimes at home, others in the unit). With these cases, we have a lot of contact with parents, by updating them on the phone and seeing them when they come to the unit.
Hope this helps!