What is Exmouth Like?

Exmouth is a relatively small but busy seaside town in East Devon boasting a beautiful long sandy beach and stunning countryside near by.

Small enough to feel quiet yet large enough so as to not feel isolating, we think that Exmouth is the perfect place to concentrate on your family. There is a wealth of free or modestly priced family activities and attractions available.

Exmouth is also conveniently located near to Exeter and the M5 with good public transport links to the large bus/coach and train stations and Airport in Exeter.

What are the Assessment Units like?

All families have their own fully-furnished Unit to share with their child(ren). Along with all the furniture you'd expect, there is a fridge/freezer, safe, TV/DVD and Hi-Fi in every Unit.

To get a better idea of what the units are like, take a look at our two houses, Serendipity and Koru. These pages have further information about the units and communal areas along with photographs.

A list of items provided by Serendipity is checked at the beginning and end of the placement. The items in the Units are the responsibility of the residents and must be replaced should they be lost or purposely damaged. If items are stolen, the police will be informed.

Will there be other families there?

Yes. Serendipity has 3 units and Koru has 3 units.

There are two communal meals per week for which a nominal charge is made. These are a good time to get to know the other residents and are compulsory as part of our support programme.

Can I bring my pet?

No. Pets are not allowed on the premises for health and safety reasons. You will have to arrange for someone to look after your pets for you during your placement.

Can I bring my own things?

Yes. We encourage you to bring your own personal ‘knick knacks’ to help you feel more at home. Residents will often bring photographs to put up, ornaments, games consoles etc...

Can I have visitors?

Unless special arrangements are made, you will not be able to receive visitors before the Interim Review meeting which happens approximately four weeks into placement.

Providing that the people you wish to visit have been approved by the Local Authority, your visitors will be welcome every weekend following the Interim Review meeting.

You can have visitors on Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 2pm and 7pm.

Sometimes, Serendipity staff may be asked by the Local Authority to supervise your visits and specific restrictions may apply. If this is the case, this will be clearly explained to you prior to visits taking place.

For the comfort of our other residents, we request that visitors do not use the communal areas at either Serendipity or Koru house. This includes the courtyard gardens, which means that visitors will not be able to smoke on our premises.

What about CCTV/Audio Surveillance?

For the safety of all residents, CCTV and/or audio surveillance systems are operational in all units and communal areas. This is a compulsory requirement and will continue throughout the duration of your placement.

Audio monitoring of individual units will also take place 24 hours per day.

Privacy for couples is respected where possible, for example, CCTV images on parents sleeping area will be blocked during the night, however, children must be kept in full view of CCTV cameras at all times.

More information about Observations and Monitoring can be found here.

Can I receive phone calls?

Serendipity do not transfer personal telephone calls except in exceptional circumstances.

Most parents come into placement with their own mobile telephones and you can make and receive personal telephone calls at your own discretion.

It is important that you are able to concentrate during sessions and meetings, so we will ask you to put mobile telephones away at these times.

What about laundry?

There is a subsidised washing machine and tumble dryer for families to use that takes coins.

Is there always someone there to talk to?

Serendipity is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year so you will never be in the building on your own.

Whilst Key Team Members are not always there. Support staff are always available if you need them and senior staff remain on call 24/7 if they are needed.

I have a baby. Do I need to bring everything?

All of our units are fully furnished and functional for daily living. Therefore you will only need to bring your own personal belongings (but please remember this includes your own towels!)

It is nice for you to bring your own equipment if you have a baby or young child so please feel free to come with any highchairs, play mats, toys, moses baskets etc that you think you may need.

We do have a range of baby equipment and toys which you are welcome to borrow during your placement, but it is important that you have your own pram or pushchair as we will not be able to provide these.

Please feel free to give us a ring if you feel unsure what to bring with you.

Will placement effect my benefit entitlements?

Your stay at Serendipity is temporary so should not affect your entitlement to benefits. However, we have an allocated member of our assessment team who will support you to access all benefit entitlements whilst in placement.

If there is any delay in receiving your benefits whilst you are in placement, Serendipity will work with the Local Authority to make sure you have enough money during placement.

What do I have to pay for?

Whilst staying at Serendipity or Koru, residents must contribute to utility bills such as electricity, gas, water. This charge is £20 for a single parent and £25 for a couple (weekly)

Am I free to go out whenever I want to?

Until the Interim Review meeting which happens approximately four weeks into placement, all parents are accompanied by staff when they go out with their child(ren).

At the Interim Review meeting, it may be decided that a parent(s) can go out with their child without staff being present for a limited period of time. This independent ‘time out’ can be increased as placement progresses.

The decision about whether independent ‘time out’ can take place must be agreed by the Local Authority and you must have previously demonstrated that you are able to keep your child(ren) safe whilst out in the community with staff.

Easy Read Format

We also have the information on this page available in easy-read format which you can download and print.

Download Easy Read PDF