Children’s homes run by Nottingham City Council have been recognised by Ofsted for the high quality of care they give to young people in the city.
The City Council runs six children’s homes in Nottingham which care for up to 17 children and young people at any one time. The council also provides short breaks accommodation for up to 11 children and young people per night. All of these provisions have now been rated as “good” or “outstanding” and the short-breaks unit for children with complex disabilities has been highlighted as a beacon of best practice.
Ofsted gave the ratings after carrying out fourteen unannounced inspections of the six homes and the short breaks unit between April 2015 and March 2016.
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.”
Ofsted’s grades recognise the balanced lifestyle that the homes provide children and young people with by giving them access to well organised and enjoyable extra-curricular activities that promote education and social engagement.
The homes achieve this by ensuring that staff teams have the relevant skills, knowledge and support to provide high quality care. All staff participate in regular training in subjects which are relevant to the needs of young people and managers support training and regular staff supervision to maintain professionalism and commitment. Managers who have high levels of expertise and professional qualifications ensure that staff teams are well trained and knowledgeable about providing care and support as well as understanding the wider issues affecting children and young people in society.
Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years, said: “Nottingham City Council is ambitious about providing care for young people in environments where they will feel valued and looked after, not simply ‘placed in care’.
“Care homes play an important role in giving vulnerable young people a stable environment to build relationships with other people, learn life skills and make progress in education. Being recognised as providers of high quality homes where younger people can feel safe, cared for, listened to and respected is testament not only to the council’s approach but to the hard work and commitment of colleagues.
“I would like to join the teams across Children’s Services in saying well done to the managers and staff of the homes and a huge thank you to colleagues across the Council who support our children in care in a variety of ways.”