Vinney Green Secure Children’s Home is a residential home located close to the city of Bristol, UK, accommodating up to 24 young people aged between 10 and 17. The Home includes an educational facility and was fully opened in February 1995.
The young people come from a diverse range of backgrounds; some may not have English as their first language, while others may have underlying physical health and mental well-being conditions. Residential periods vary from just a few weeks, or in some cases a few years. The ethos of the Home revolves around supporting young people, and though not a substitute for family life, it has similar responsibilities.
Rehabilitation through Reward
The key focus for the Home is on rehabilitation and behaviour management. As part of this, the management team use entertainment services as a reward, giving controlled and earned access to age-appropriate TV, films, radio, and music during the time young people spend in their room as a clear and tangible incentive for good behaviour.
As well as being vital in helping to support the mental and physical well-being of the youngpeople, any impact of a deterioration in behaviour within the Home may also result in the staff themselves becoming physically vulnerable.
Bradley Henson, Business Manager at Vinney Green explains the rationale, “There is a direct and obvious correlation between good behaviour levels from the young people and the safety of our staff. Therefore, having a behaviour management solution in place which is resilient and robust, and is delivering uninterrupted content to keep our young people safely occupied and enriched when in their rooms, is critical.”
Ensuring the young people do not have access to specific programmes which are deemed either age or content inappropriate is also vital. Tripleplay’s unique EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) restriction functionally ensures staff can centrally block individual movies, shows or a series of programmes where content may be inflammatory or unsuitable.
Furthermore, Home staff need to have the peace of mind and confidence that the system is stable and resilient, and downtime is kept to an absolute minimum. This in turn helps to maintain equilibrium within the Home.
Highlighting the importance of security, Bradley Henson continues, “We need to know the Portal is sufficiently secure so that some of our more technologically savvy young people can’t gain unauthorised access and either interrupt the feed or change the content. Having the peace of mind that the portal is secure, gives us one less thing to worry about.”
Prolonged social isolation
Shortly after Vinney Green Secure Children’s Home upgraded its technology the world was struck by the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning at times the young people were required to spend longer periods of time on their own than normal, and with reduced social interaction. New arrivals to the Home were also required to isolate for 10 days, creating an additional level of stress and anxiety to an already troubling and disturbing time for an individual. Delivering reliable and varied streamed TV content to individual rooms became more vital than ever.
Centralised and Secure
The Home initially deployed Tripleplay’s Interactive IPTV Portal solution to each of the 24 rooms in 2015, with a significant refresh program in 2020. The upgraded IPTV Portal, supported on a mid-tier server enables the delivery of licenced content to all screens and includes third party material, such as movie packages.
There are around 60 TV channels and 20 radio channels on offer, and staff can easily adjust access and the time spent watching these channels as a direct reflection of an individual’s behaviour.
Furthermore, the young people are encouraged to share their own music content to the Home’s music channels. This provides aspirational benefits to other youngsters and supports rehabilitation through community engagement.
These extra incentives are regarded favourably by OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) with noticeable improvements in the young people’s behaviour and engagement extending to the classroom thereby helping to ensure as little disruption to their education as possible.
Bradley Henson comments, “Working with Tripleplay has been extremely straightforward. A single point of contact who was responsive and supportive has been invaluable. There has been an inherent value to using Tripleplay; they’ve been very solution focussed, and we feel like they really understand us and our unique requirements.”
Vinney Green is anticipating deploying some of the advanced features, including bonus packages for very good behaviour, and additional sports packages. Additionally, with young people being more accustomed to communicating online, a ticketing system or chat functionality will be implemented. This enhanced functionality will enable the young people to alert staff if non-urgent welfare support is needed, without having to verbalise their needs – for example if they want to speak to their Case Manager – an important consideration where they may be left feeling vulnerable or isolated in a new and unfamiliar environment.
Bradley Henson summarises, “Working with Tripleplay’s technology has been simple. It has enhanced our facility and the experience of our young people. Additionally, the expertise of their partner Power On TV, has been massively important in getting the solution deployed, providing ongoing support, and providing additional enhancement ideas. It’s been a great partnership.”
Bradley Henson concludes with, “The solution we have been able to deploy is truly incredible and is making a profound and positive difference to our young people and helping to improve their long-term life chances.”
As one of the only software-based manufacturers of IPTV & Digital Signage, Tripleplay has the flexibility to focus its platform predominantly on clients’ needs and has been able to use creativity and technology alongside Power On TV, to help Vinney Green Secure Children’s Home shape the Tripleplay platform into a unique solution which works for them as an organisation.