Ofsted inspector tells children’s home it must improve

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A home for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties has been told it requires improvement following an inspection by Ofsted.

The Seahaven home, part of the ARC Children’s Homes Limited, was told it was not yet delivering good help and care for children and young people, following an inspection on July 6.

A report by Ofsted inspector Jennie Christopher was published on August 13 in which she laid out nine statutory requirements which need to be met by Monday (August 31).

Ms Christopher stressed there were no serious or widespread failures at the home which would result in a failure to safeguard the welfare of the children.

And she noted the home had recently appointed an experienced manager, who had identified weaknesses in the system and had already had a positive impact on staff practice and morale.

Many of the points raised for immediate improvement related to poor records keeping, which could be traced back to the time of the previous manager.

Ms Christopher highlighted one issue in particular, which saw a child placed in the home for one night, as an emergency. Not only was there no record of what went on during his stay, but his admissions record was so poorly completed, his name was illegible.

In addition, Seahaven was not supposed to take emergency admissions and his presence was reported to have unsettled the children already present.

Ms Christopher also described one young woman who, she said, had not felt prepared to take the next step towards adult independence. She said: “Young people who are approaching adulthood have not been afforded the opportunity to gain the life skills and emotional resilience needed to manage independently.”

She also said the needs, views and ideas of the children were not yet central to all planning at the home, adding: “While this is improving, individuals are not fully aware of the reasons why they are in care, for example, and do not know their personal history.”

ARC Children’s Homes Limited was approached for comment.

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