Outstanding Hartlepool children's home raises aspirations

A children's home has received the highest possible rating following an official inspection.

Friday, 23rd December 2016, 11:35 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:04 pm
Home manager Alan Welsh holding a copy of the Ofsted report with fellow staff (standing left to right) Ian Bell, Jackie Moran, Dan Graver, Ian Coates and Dave Simpson with (front left to right) Trish Adams and Lindsey Newbury. Picture by FRANK REID

Stockton Road Children’s Home run by Hartlepool Borough Council is rated outstanding by Ofsted.

Inspectors praised the management and staff for building meaningful relationships with the young people and providing them with life-enhancing activities.

The top rating marks a steady improvement for the home since June 2014 when it was rated ‘adequate’.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Unit manager Alan Welsh said the outstanding rating is the result of three years of striving to improve outcomes and systems that make a real difference to children and young people in Hartlepool.

He said: “It is so pleasing to see the direction and ethos of the home being recognised in this way.

“The freedom to move in a direction that improves life chances for children and offers many and varied experiences that promote growth and aspirations is an accolade to all involved with the home.

“This is truly a collective effort, from our cleaner to senior management. From the staff and children to their families and social workers and schools.

“We strive to be part of the community, assisting neighbours, tending an allotment and fundraising too. The team can be proud of what they have achieved.”

In their report, Ofsted said the young people are very well nurtured and valued and staff are very skilled at building and sustaining their trust.

It stated: “Young people have a chance to immerse themselves in activities that they are interested in significantly increasing the likelihood of their gaining future employment.

“Their skills in these areas develop, as do their self esteem and confidence.”

Examples of individuals’ exception achievements included one youngster gaining a scuba diving qualification, another being a volunteer football coach of younger children, and one completing a snowboarding assessment.

Families and the young people themselves spoke highly of he home to Ofsted.

The report added: “The manager promotes an aspirational culture that instils positive self-belief in young people that they are capable of achieving what they set out to do.

“Proactive steps are taken by the manager to address the signs of risk-taking behaviour, ensuring that young people are protected.”

The report was welcomed by the council’s Children’s Services Committee.

Vice chair Councillor Marjorie James said: “It has been a really wonderful journey and the outcome is people are benefitting.”