Staff at Oaklands short break home celebrate after receiving an Ofsted outstanding rating.

Ofsted praise for children’s home

A short breaks home for children with a range of complex disabilities, in Hatfield, has been deemed outstanding by Ofsted in its latest inspection.

Oaklands, run by Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, has been praised by inspectors from the social care watchdog for providing children and young people with “a safe, comfortable and stimulating environment where they can have fun.”

The home, which provides residential short break stays for children aged seven to 18, with both learning and physical disabilities and complex health needs, ensures that the youngsters make significant progress in developing social and life skills, states the Ofsted report.

This is, say inspectors, thanks to ‘excellent day-to-day care plans’ which ‘detail how the children and young people’s holistic needs are to be met.’

The report adds: “The dedicated staff team members work hard with the young people to empower them to learn self-care and life skills, in preparation for their transition to adult provisions. A parent said, ‘Before she went there she couldn’t do much, but now she is learning to be independent.’”

Manager Jason Darbyshire is aspirational for the children and young people in his care to achieve to the best of their potential, the report states, adding that as well as inspiring his staff team to constantly improve practice, he works closely with all partner agencies to ensure that the children and young people receive the consistent targeted care they need.

Effective partnership working between the staff and other professionals includes ‘outstanding partnership working between the home and schools,’ states the report, adding: “The proactive staff team members encourage further shared learning by ensuring that the children and young people have books in their bedrooms that reflect their interests and their cultural heritage.”

Communication and engagement with parents and family members is deemed as important by the home, said inspectors, citing an ‘excellent newsletter and regular coffee mornings.’

The report says: “Families felt supported and valued by staff team members, empowering them to entrust the care of their children to the home. A parent said, ‘I have never met any other people who care as much as they care.’ “

Commenting on the report, Director of Children’s Social Care at Doncaster Children’s Services Trust, Mark Douglas, said: “We have a wonderful team of dedicated staff at Oaklands, who are passionate about ensuring that all the children and young people in their care receive every service they need to develop and flourish. We are extremely proud of them.”

“She had been happy with you as the social work manager because you “had time for children.”

Reported comments of a looked after child made during a meeting

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