Day-to-day responsibility falls to the guide dog owner, however while 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.
Guide Dogs’ staff, who support clients on a regular basis, undertake a criminal record check every three years and are required to attend safeguarding training in relation to working with young people.
Staff working directly with children and young people will undertake an additional course which 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.
We endeavour to fully accommodate a young person’s education commitments. For this reason, guide dog training for young people generally takes 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.
Unfortunately, we can’t give a definitive waiting time period. All successful new applicants will be placed on a waiting list, with most training for young people taking place during summer holidays.
Guide Dogs will advise on the services available based on the results of a thorough 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.
You won’t be on your own – we’ll aim to either assist or signpost to ensure the needs of your child are met.