Trust children’s home providing ‘outstanding’ service

Staff at a children’s home rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted are credited with sprinkling ‘their magic dust’ on the young people to ‘improve their lives and education.’

The Tickhill Square home, which is one of six run by Doncaster Children’s Services Trust on behalf of Doncaster Council, provides accommodation and care for five children and young people.

In their report, the Ofsted inspectors rate the home as ‘outstanding’ in all three categories, which cover the experiences and progress of the children and young people; how well they are helped and protected; and the effectiveness of leaders and managers.

The report states: “All of the children and young people have made exceptional progress in every aspect of their development” and notes that the young people’s experiences at the home are having a positive impact on their lives.

Thanks to having an understanding of the children and young people’s life experiences the staff can provide ‘individualised, responsive and extremely child-focused care’, says the report.

The staff have, say the inspectors, supported the children and young people to engage in education – with all benefitting from improved attendance ad attainment - as well as helped them to deal with their emotions effectively.

“The children and young people develop an understanding of boundaries and consequences and this has significantly improved relationships within families…enabling some to return to the care of their families,” states the report. A parent told the inspectors: “They have taught us how to talk to each other.”

Staff are credited with building strong partnerships with agencies including health services and the Virtual School, run by the council. The professionals within these speak highly of the manager and staff. One told the inspectors: “They sprinkle their magic dust on the young people and improve their lives and education alike.”

Staff listen to the children and young people and encourage them to air their views. This includes one child being appointed ‘voice champion’, who meets regularly with the manager to provide feedback on behalf of the other children and young people.

Manager, Emma Parker is described by the inspectors as ‘highly confident’ and promoting a culture of positivity at the home. “Her aspirations for the children and young people are those of any parent and she does not hesitate to challenge and advocate on behalf of them,” the report states. Consequently the children and young people grow in self-confidence and security, the inspectors add.

Likewise, the inspectors have praise for the members of the leadership team who they cite as being ‘highly experienced and competent’ and as ‘providing inspiring role models for the staff team, the children and young people and their families.’

Supervision and support for staff are deemed to be outstanding, with one long-standing member of staff telling the inspectors: “It is the best it has ever been…We are so well supported and everybody works together.”

Commenting on the report, Paul Moffat, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “We are extremely proud of the manager and team at Tickhill Square and we are thrilled that their hard work and dedication towards improving the lives of the children and young people in their care has been recognised as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.”

“Volunteers are the best. People don’t understand or realise how much time and effort it takes to make their young person feel safe and trust them.”

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