Children’s home gets high marks

Exmoor Grove staff members(left to right) Sylvia Lowe, Maria Drummond, Nora Dixon, Steve Morrell, Christine Purvis, Jodie Belbin(cor) and Katie Bage.
Exmoor Grove staff members(left to right) Sylvia Lowe, Maria Drummond, Nora Dixon, Steve Morrell, Christine Purvis, Jodie Belbin(cor) and Katie Bage.

A CHILDREN’S home is celebrating after being rated as good in a recent inspection.

Exmoor Grove Children’s Home, in Hartlepool, has been given an overall “good” rating after a recent visit from Ofsted inspectors.

Staff at the care unit, which offers short-break residential care for up to seven children and young people with physical and/or learning disabilities, say they are delighted.

A good service is classed as one of “high quality that exceeds minimum requirements”.

Home manager Sylvia Lowe said: “We are very pleased that all of the hard work of the staff has been reflected in the inspector’s report.

“The new grading system, which has a tougher threshold, came in in April so we are delighted to retain the good rating.”

The inspection found:

l The overall effectiveness of the home was judged to be good;

l Outcomes for children and young people were judged to be good;

l The quality of care was also judged to be good;

l Safeguarding children and young people was judged to be adequate;

l The leadership and management of the home are good.

A report said: “The inspector found the home provided good, consistent, well planned care, which resulted in good outcomes for young people.

“The inspector also advised he found the staff team very good at celebrating young people’s achievements and creating a caring atmosphere in which the young people are happy and feel comfortable.”

The centre, which underwent a £100,000 refurbishment in October 2010, is run by Hartlepool Borough Council.

Independent councillor Cath Hill, portfolio holder for children’s and community services, will discuss the report at a meeting next week.

A report said: “In conclusion the judgment of good given by Ofsted represents a significant progression of the service in the past twelve’s months as the threshold for judgments has been significantly raised since April 2012.”

Inspectors also made a series of good practice recommendations including ensuring the home implements risk assessments that are up to date and ensuring if any staff in the home resort to any measure of control or restraint this is carefully and clearly recorded with full details by the staff involved.

Another recommendation was that the home keeps a copy of the recruitment and vetting checks carried out on staff.

Exmoor Grove is registered with Ofsted to provide short-break care provision for young people between the ages of five and 18.

The home was a purpose built building to deliver care for children with disabilities and opened in September 1985.

Ofsted has a duty to inspect children’s homes twice a year.

The portfolio meeting is due to take place on Tuesday, December 4, at 10am at the Civic Centre.