Children and young people with learning or physical disabilities in the borough are getting some of the best support of its kind in the country through respite care at Larchwood short break unit.
Larchwood provides short breaks for children and young people who may need personal care, have medical and behavioural requirements and would benefit from support with learning and achievements.
Following a recent Ofsted inspection in March 2018, the facility was rated outstanding for the fifth consecutive year.
‘an abundance of evidence of children being listened to and being involved in the day to day living arrangements. Staff and managers go to great lengths to consult and engage the children in order to seek their views. Finding ways to communicate with them is seen as a priority and staff are trained to use a variety of methods’
‘children benefit enormously from the variety of experiences they have on their short breaks. Visits are extremely child focused and are planned specifically to meet their individual and complex needs’.
The report found:
- children who have disabilities are treated as children first. The staff have high aspirations for them and create opportunities for them to learn new skills
- achievements are celebrated
- the staff actively support children to participate in all aspects of their lives. Consultation is a normal activity and staff work hard to demonstrate that they have listened to children
- behaviour management is excellent. A multi –disciplinary approach provides the staff with a range of tools to help guide their practice
- safeguarding is embedded into practice. Children are looked after by staff who understand their vulnerabilities and take appropriate action when necessary
- leaders and managers have created an environment that puts the child at the centre of everything they do
Cllr Gareth Barnard, executive member for children, young people and learning, said:
“This report shows that we are providing excellent quality care for vulnerable young people in the borough. More importantly, by achieving an outstanding result from Ofsted for the past five years, it shows the consistent level of high quality care from our staff in putting the needs of vulnerable people first.
“Our staff work tirelessly and under great pressure to ensure the impacts on children and young people are at the heart of every decision made. I would like to congratulate and thank them for their effort and dedication. In children’s services there can never be any room for complacency. I am determined we will continue to build even further on this success and ensure each and every child in the borough has the best possible start in life.”
Nikki Edwards, director of children, young people and learning, said:
“This was a rigorous assessment of services we deliver to children and young people in need of support and we are very pleased with the outcome. I am particularly pleased Ofsted recognises the role our staff play in ensuring the children we support remain our number one priority. I am extremely proud of the team for their passion and commitment.
“While the report is extremely positive, we can never be complacent and will continue to work tirelessly to sustain our excellent level of care, ensuring vulnerable people in our borough are given the best life chances.”
To read the repot in full, visit the Ofsted website.