Personalised bedrooms, golf and boredom busters in place for improving children’s home


A children’s home in Hartlepool which was told it required improvements is starting to make progress says a watchdog.

The home, which provides care for up to three children with social, emotional and/or mental health difficulties, was given a full inspection in October last year and told it required improvements to be good.

However, following a recent visit, Ofsted inspectors said a number of the requirements have been put in place and the home, which is run by Cambian Childcare Ltd, now offers a “warm and welcoming” environment.

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At the last inspection, Ofsted raised four requirements and two recommendations and managers have taken sufficient action to address three of the requirements and both of the recommendations.

The education inspectors said the manager left the home in November 2021 and since then there has been an interim manager. However, a new manager has been appointed and is currently subject to employment checks.

The report said: “A requirement relating to the environment was raised at the last inspection. Staff have ensured that children’s bedrooms are now personalised and that communal areas have been refurbished to a good standard. The home now offers a warm and welcoming environment for children.

“This helps children to feel appreciated and to develop a sense of belonging. Children’s school attendance is varied. Staff work closely with teachers to ensure that any barriers to learning that children face are addressed. This ensures that children receive the help that they need to continue with their learning.

“Children now benefit from having more structure and routine to their day. Staff support children to take part in individual and group activities. Group activities include playing golf and going for walks. These activities stimulate children and help them to build positive relationships with each other and with staff. As a result, children are not bored at the home and they now spend less time in the community on their own.”

The inspectors said this had led to a reduction in missing-from-care incidents since the last inspection. They said staff have now completed training in behaviour management and training specific to the children’s needs. This helps staff to better understand children’s behaviours and experiences.

The report said: “As a result, staff deliver regular and more focused key-work sessions. The impact of this work is yet to be fully assessed. Children contribute to decisions made at the home. They hold regular meetings to share their views. In addition, they can speak to staff at any time to express their wishes and feelings. This helps children to feel valued and respected by staff.”

A spokesperson for Cambian Childcare Ltd, said: “We are grateful to the efforts of our staff that are reflected in this report and are pleased with the progress that the home continues to make.”

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