Home Children and Young People Short breaks home judged to be “Good”
Photo of two children with SEND

Short breaks home judged to be “Good”

by Guy Murphy

Fullerton Grove in Knowsley has been judged to be “Good” by Ofsted. It provides short break care for children with learning and / or disabilities.

The overall experiences and progress of children and young people was judged to be Good, taking into account how well children and young people are helped and protected (Good) and the effectiveness of leaders and managers (Outstanding).

Inspectors noted that:-

  • Staff know the children well and they have a good understanding of each child’s needs. The staff are child centred and speak enthusiastically about each individual child’s progress.
  • Staff have a good understanding of each individual child’s communication needs and preferred methods. By using Makaton, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)and social stories, the children are involved in their day-to-day care. They actively choose their meals and activities that they would like to do.
  • Children are sensitively supported by staff to start learning essential life skills, such as meal preparation, helping them to become independent.
  • The manager ensures that parents are involved in the planning of the child moving into the home. Parents share their knowledge of the child and this enables the child’s needs to be identified. There is regular communication between staff and parents to ensure that children feel comfortable when they are coming to stay at the home.
  • Staff work closely with the children’s schools. This helps children to continue to attend safely.
  • Keeping children safe is a priority for staff. One parent said “I trust the staff to look after my son. I feel at ease when he is at the home. I feel he is safe; the staff know my child’s needs well.”
  • The home is managed by a qualified, dedicated, inspirational and ambitious manager. She is supported by two extremely capable deputy managers, who share the same aspirations for children.
  • The manager has a clear plan of how to keep improving the quality of the service and care for children. Children receive high-quality care.
  • One social worker said “In my view, staff perform a vital service to young people and their families, who are often facing difficult experiences. They provide an invaluable ‘lifeline’ in the form of not only respite but also personal support, which often goes above and beyond what is expected of them.”
  • The manager is committed to ensuring that children’s needs continue to be met when they become young adults, working alongside other professionals in ensuring that appropriate services are available and staff play an active part in supporting children through this change.

Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said “I was delighted to read Fullerton Grove’s latest Ofsted inspection report. It provides invaluable short stay support to both children and their families which is highlighted throughout this report. Children’s needs are being met and they are provided with opportunities to learn and develop. Parents too welcome the support being provided and confirm that staff know their child’s needs well.

“The manager has only been in post for just over a year, but she is having a huge impact and has significantly contributed to Fullerton Grove achieving a Good outcome. The manager and staff should be incredibly proud of this inspection report. Well done.”