Children’s homes run by Nottingham City Council have been praised for the quality of care they give to young people.
Ofsted inspectors say the homes are run by caring staff who take time to understand the needs and feelings of young people. They are backed by strong leadership who give high levels of support. Young people are able to take part in a range of new activities and make good progress at school.
All of the children’s homes have been rated as ‘Good’ following the unannounced inspections by Ofsted between July and October this year. A short-breaks unit for children with special educational needs has also been judged as ‘Outstanding’ and should be highlighted as a beacon of best practice.
The City Council runs six homes in Nottingham which care for up to 17 children and young people at any one time. The short-breaks unit caters for up to 11 children and young people per night.
- Staff are kind, caring and extremely inspirational in their approach; they go the extra mile and do this because they genuinely want to; they are motivated by the progress that young people make and work hard to forge positive and trusting relationships with young people
- Managers have a genuine desire to positively affect young people’s lives
- Young people are completely at the centre of the running of their home; routines and day-to-day living are organised around young people’s needs
- All aspects of safeguarding are very well considered; young people feel safe and secure, and those with special educational needs and disabilities are well protected
- Young people make good progress in school and attend well; they are settled well both at school and in the home
Commenting on one of the homes, the Ofsted inspector said: “Young people feel safe and secure in this home. They receive help and support to manage their behaviour and feelings safely. Staff are very clear about what they need to do to protect individuals from harm.”
In another home, the inspector stated: “There is a very strong focus on emotional wellbeing. This is seen as very important in order for young people to develop resilience and a sense of safety. Young people learn to talk about their problems and analyse their feelings with staff.”
The inspector added: “Young people benefit from support to develop their independence skills in accordance with their individual needs and competence. They learn practical tasks, such as cooking, cleaning and doing their own laundry. These skills enable young people to learn about responsibility and self-care.”
Commenting on the short-breaks unit, the inspector said: “Staff are kind, caring and extremely inspirational in their approach. They are highly creative, go the extra mile and do this because they genuinely want to. Their practice is so good that it warrants sharing with the wider sector.”
Cllr David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years, said: “Safeguarding children and young people who come into our care is a top priority for the council. It’s important that they feel safe, cared for, listened to and respected.
“I’m proud that the hard work of our caring and dedicated staff has been recognised by Ofsted. We want our young people to feel that they are valued, that they are not just ‘placed in care’ but that they are coming into an environment where they can make real changes in their life and relationships with other people – especially the way the settle down and make progress at school.
“These reports are testament to the way Nottingham City Council has worked to ensure robust procedures are in place. Our committed staff are making a real difference to the lives of young people.”
The reports can be viewed on the Ofsted website at https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk.