Info for parents

Who is responsible for the guide dog?

Day-to-day responsibility falls to the guide dog owner, however whilst the young person is under the age of 16, the parent or guardian is legally responsible for the dog. Guide Dogs’ legal agreement ensures that the Association is able to fully support partnerships on an ongoing basis.

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What safeguards are in place to protect the potential vulnerability of a child?

Guide Dogs’ staff that support clients on a regular basis undertake criminal records check every three years and attend a ‘Safeguarding Course’ covering key areas of working with potentially vulnerable adults and children.

Staff working directly with young people will undertake an additional three day course covering key elements recommended by the Children’s Workforce Development Council. This course covers areas such as effective communication and engagement with children, young people’s development, supporting transitions and multi-agency working.

All contact with the young person will be made in conjunction with their parent/guardian.

All parents/guardians will need to sign a data protection form giving permission for Guide Dogs to store the young person’s information electronically.

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When and where will the training take place?

We will endeavour to fully accommodate a young person’s education commitments. For this reason, training with a guide dog for a young person will generally take place during summer holidays and/or evenings.

Young people’s training is carried out primarily in the home area.  However there may be times where overnight hotel accommodation is necessary.

In such circumstances we require a minor to be accompanied by their parent or guardian.

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How long might my child have to wait for training with a guide dog?

All successful new applicants will be placed on a waiting list. Whilst most training of young people will take place during summer holidays at this stage we can not give a definitive waiting time period.

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What happens if my child is not suitable to train with a guide dog – what other support or advice can you provide?

Guide Dogs will advise on services available based on the results of an independent mobility assessment. In certain situations we can offer alternative mobility training and or other services. We also link with many other service organisations for blind and partially-sighted people.

Ultimately we will aim to assist or signpost in accordance with the individual’s need.

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Young male guide dog owner