Home Children and Young People Children’s homes show improvement, say Ofsted
Good to know

Children’s homes show improvement, say Ofsted

by Gemma Melling

A council run home which offers short-break care for children in Knowsley has been graded ‘Good’ in its most recent inspection by Ofsted.

Oasis offers placements to children aged 11-17 years with additional needs. Staff at the setting also provide community-based outreach support to children and families.

The home was found to be Good in all areas – which showed it had made significant progress since its last inspection in February 2020, when inspectors said it required improvement to be good.

Ofsted’s report noted that children staying at Oasis were able to enjoy a wide range of activities, and that staff ensure they have opportunities to try new hobbies and interests. This allows them to meet new friends and increase their confidence and self-esteem.

It said the home was a “warm and welcoming environment” and was “homely and well maintained”.

It also included feedback from one of the carers of a young person who had stayed at the home, who told inspectors: “The service has been an absolute godsend. It really helped us when we were at crisis point”. Ofsted said that parents, carers and social workers speak highly of the care provided and the staff at Oasis.

Inspectors were satisfied that the home has “robust and effective” processes in place to keep children safe, that staff manage behaviour well and help children stick to a good routine during their stay. Parents reported feeling well informed about how their child was doing and that staff are supportive and helpful.

There was praise, too, for the strength of leadership at the home, with inspectors stating that the registered manager “inspires a strong and nurturing child-centred culture”.

Meanwhile, another residential facility for young people in Knowsley was also recently inspected.

The home – in Huyton – had been subject to regular Ofsted monitoring visits, after concerns were raised in 2019 about safeguarding procedures and leadership. This was despite the home previously having been rated Good at its last full inspection.

As a result of Ofsted’s intervention, the home stopped accepting new placements and an overhaul of the management and procedures was undertaken.

At this latest visit, inspectors said that, whilst it still “required improvement” to be Good but noted that these actions had begun to have a positive impact.

The most recent inspection found the manager has ensured that the home is a safe and welcoming environment for children to live in, with health and safety checks routinely undertaken to ensure that the appliances in the home remain fit for purpose and safe. Additionally, the report said the manager has undertaken a thorough assessment of the local area to ensure that any risks are known and managed and that the manager is suitably experienced and child-centred, which is reflected in their decision making.

They said that staff are well supported, benefit from professional supervision and team meetings, and as a result the team feels valued. They also found staff training was a strength, with a comprehensive workforce plan in place providing a clear overview of the team’s strengths and any areas for development.

The home was judged to have made sufficient improvement to allow it to accept new children into placements, and with a management and staffing team in place, is already addressing the areas for further improvement highlighted by Ofsted.