Ofsted judges two children's homes inadequate

By Jess Brown

| 07 October 2015

Two children's homes have been judged "inadequate" by Ofsted following inspections.

Ofsted has rated two children's homes "inadequate". Picture: Phil Adams

Following a visit in August, a children's home run by Bristol City Council was judged "inadequate" with inspectors criticising staff for "inappropriate restrictions" of young people, such as the front door routinely locked and children being restrained on the floor.

Meanwhile a children's home at Oaklands Park special needs school in Devon was also rated "inadequate", with inspectors raising concerns about a "lack of communication and interest" among staff.

Inspectors visiting the home in Bristol criticised staff at the home for "calling the police to manage young people's behaviour", and for securing young people in their bedroom.

"This does not offer the care and support that young people need in order to feel safe and valued," the report states.

"Staff activate alarms on all bedroom doors every night to alert them if young people come out of their rooms. This restriction is applied routinely to all young people and not as a result of individual risk assessment."

The report also criticised risk management at the home. It said that risks associated with young people offending, misusing drugs, self-harming, going missing or being sexually exploited were not always identified in written risk assessments.

The report on the children's home at Oakland Park said that the lack of interest among staff led to some young people "wandering aimlessly around the home or spending significant amounts of time unoccupied on sofas or floors".

Inspectors said staff failed to provide young people with daily routines, and described the progress of young people as "poor". It commented that one social worker said that young people were "contained rather than developed".

One member of staff didn't know the age of a young person in their care. Ofsted also found that staff weren't clear about their responsibilities to safeguard children because there was no child protection policy in place.

"Safeguarding concerns are not managed effectively to promote the welfare of children and young people," the report states.

"Staff are not recruited via vetting practices designed to protect children and young people."
The report added that some of the fittings were "particularly poor".

"Office-style strip lighting, shared bedrooms, lack of curtains in a large living area and a bed pushed up to the wardrobe contribute to the feeling of an uninviting home," the report states.

A spokesman for Bristol Council said the council has responded quickly to implement the recommendations set out by Ofsted.

"Although we are disappointed that there are some areas where this home does not meet the standards we aspire to, we acknowledge the inspectors findings and have taken appropriate actions to address concerns.
"We recognise the need to improve the monitoring and review processes in place at the home and that we need to do more to effectively manage the security of the residents."
"We were pleased that the inspector acknowledged the inclusive and healthy environment we have created, where young people are actively engaged in many aspects of the home's running.

Oakland Park School has been contacted for comment.

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