Ofsted criticises children's home where staff 'condone' drugs

By Jess Brown

| 13 January 2016

Ofsted has criticised a residential children's home where staff allowed drugs to be used on the premises.

Ofsted rates children's home inadequate after finding commonplace drug misuse. Picture: Phil Adams

An inspection report into the children's home in Somerset, which is run by Cambian Care, concluded that drug and alcohol misuse was commonplace within the home. The home has been rated as "inadequate" by the inspectorate.

“One young person was smoking cannabis with a friend in their bedroom during the inspection," the Ofsted report states.

"This was not an isolated incident. Staff are not managing this unacceptable behaviour in any way."

The report added that staff failed to check and monitor regularly the bedroom of one young person who is a drug user.

"The young person is allowed to spend time in their room with drug-using friends," the report states.

"This gives young people a clear message that staff condone the drug misuse and smoking.”

The report, which followed a visit in November, found that a failure by staff to challenge inappropriate behaviour of the residents led to “a lack of boundaries” that placed the young people at risk of harm.

“Direct work with young people fails to deal with the key issues and risks. This approach to care sends the wrong message to young people that staff condone behaviours such as illegal drug taking and criminal action,” the report states.

Ofsted stated the newly appointed manager of the home has accepted the report’s findings and has acted on the safeguarding concerns raised.

Jeremy Wiles, group business development director at the Cambian Group, said: “We are disappointed by this inspection report and are pleased to see that the efforts of the regional manager to address this situation have been recognised.

"Ofsted returned after the inspection and prior to the young person leaving, they were very pleased with the progress they saw and complimentary to the home.

"We have very clear guidelines regarding drug misuse and smoking in our homes. Appropriate corrective action has been taken regarding this matter.”
A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “Although this is not our home and we have no children here, we are concerned by the findings of this report and urge Ofsted to take appropriate action.”

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