Programs & Facilities - Educational Residential Unit

The Educational Residential Unit (ERU) was established during 2005, after many years of planning and research in response to the school community’s desire to provide afacility to further enhance students’ independence and reach their full potential.

The ERU’s core objectives are:

To further develop independence and everyday living skills
To promote self-determination
To prepare our students for life as young adults.

The ERU runs four to five programs each year ranging from four weeks to a full term in duration. Each program falls under the title of complex needs, personal hygiene,domestic or life management. The program also prepares students for possible placement at the FARM campus’ Transition to Community Living Units (TCL). Groups are based on the level of existing independence exhibited by participating students, age, family priority and iep class goals.  Some of the steps involved when considering a future program are: • Identifying high /medium priority students • Staff discussions when grouping students based on similar goals, age, sex and compatibility • Consent from students and parent/carers • Medical and consent forms returned • Individual meetings with parents/carers • Individual goals established and aligned with class ieps • Information session for all parents/carers prior to program commencement • Pre testing and individual interviews completed.

Complex needs
• Programs generally between four and six weeks in duration
• One goal identified and worked on • General age between 13-18
• General goals around personal hygiene, sleeping, eating, community involvement.

Personal Hygiene
• Programs range between four and ten weeks
• General age group 13-15
• Three goals identified and aligned with iep
• General goals around all personal hygiene tasks including teeth brushing, showering, personal care, toileting.

Domestic
• Programs full term in duration
• General age group 14-16
• Three goals identified and aligned with iep
• General goals around domestic duties, chores, simple meal preparation, some travel training, washing clothes, morning and night routines.

Life Management
• Programs full term in duration • General age group 16-18
• Three goals identified and aligned with iep
• General goals around public transport, money handling, budgeting, transferring skills, meal preparation, shopping, chores
• Week placement of independent living at TCL unit at FARM campus to practice daily routines in different setting.

Farm Placement
• Term placement at FARM campus tcl unit semi- independent living
• Bond application, rent assistance procedure
• All aspects of living independently including paying rent, cooking, public transport and routines
• Staff member next door for as required-support.

Along with individual goals students get the opportunity to indirectly work on many other areas including self-determination, confidence, patience and socialization. Students are consistently tested throughout the programs including pre and post scoring, weekly task analysis and goal attainment to ensure a thorough report is obtained at programs end. Students are require to complete homework tasks each week which may include some small aspect of individual goals. It is essential families understand that it is an educational facility and NOT a respite facility. Commitment and involvement is required from each family that has a student participate to ensure skills are transitioned and students reach the best possible individual outcomes. All scoring and reports are loaded onto the school system for class and future ERU program requirements. Four staff members are associated with the program working afternoon and night shifts, with two staff members on at all times with a maximum of eight students per program. The cost per program is $40 per week which includes all meals and activities. Programs operate Monday afternoon until Friday morning before students return home for the weekend. For more information please contact the school or check out our blog at http://eru.ballaratss.vic.edu.au/blog