Meet Adam, Residential Manager
Adam joined National Star in 2012 as a Residential Manager. He has responsibility for 22 learners and 70 staff. His overall aim is to ensure that a learner’s experience of National Star College is as good as it can possibly be, and when it’s time for them to leave, they have learned as many new skills as possible and been exposed to lots of different opportunities.
Adam also ensures that the quality of care is outstanding and that staff are working in a safe way within the legal requirements. He makes sure staff feel supported and are trained so they can give excellent care to learners. Adam also supports and works with the families of learners, ensuring that any questions they may have are dealt with quickly.
What attracted you to National Star?
I wanted an opportunity to work with young people with different types of disabilities to those I had worked with previously, and in an educational setting rather than a purely residential one. I had heard about National Star locally, knew it was the best provider of support for young people with disabilities and wanted to be part of it.
I also knew it would give me the opportunity for clear career progression and provide me with the opportunity to work with highly trained professionals and therapists.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
I find it challenging when there is a learner who is having a difficult time and needing to find a new way of working so they can find their time at college enjoyable. Being responsible for a large number of staff and learners can also be challenging, and I often need to prioritise my workload so that I still feel I am in control.
What are the key skills required for your role?
Experience of effectively managing a large team of people and having the knowledge of how to support young people with disabilities is important. I need good time management skills and an ability to prioritise. I also need to know different ways of getting the best out of people, and be approachable. It’s necessary that I understand the legal frameworks in place around safeguarding, mental capacity and the Mental Capacity Act. From an academic point of view, I have been working towards an NVQ Level 5 in Care Management.
When working with learners I treat them equally and speak to them with respect. It is important to have a good sense of humour, to always look for new opportunities for learners to get involved in the local community, advocate for them and facilitate them to be as independent as possible.
How does your role make a difference at National Star?
I hope it allows me to give staff and learners a clear message about how to move forward, ensure that everyone is listened to and feel that they have a voice.
What training and development have you received?
I have attended mandatory training such as safeguarding and also training around management processes – such as how to performance manage staff in an effective way and lead on formal meetings. I have weekly meetings with senior management where I can get guidance, discuss current issues and ask for advice.
What would you say to someone thinking of applying to National Star?
If they are committed to improving the lives of young people with disabilities, and want to develop their knowledge and skills, this is the place for them.