"Strong, effective relationships exist between staff and young people. Interactions are respectful and warm. Young people benefit from the stability provided by a team of committed, enthusiastic staff. The majority of the team members have worked at the home for many years. They are experienced and hold the relevant childcare qualifications. As a result, young people are safe and have fun.
Young people live in a home that provides them with good opportunities to have personal and private space. Young people’s bedrooms are decorated in accordance with their personal interests and hobbies. For example, one young person likes ’Star Wars’ and, his bedroom is decorated with this as a theme. This approach provides a strong sense of identity and belonging for each young person.
The staff have successfully developed the young people’s interests and talents. This has a positive impact on their personal development. For example, one young person who expressed an interest in playing the guitar now owns four acoustic guitars and a ukulele and attends weekly lessons. As a result, his talents have developed and he is writing his own music and lyrics. At the time of the inspection, a second young person and two of his allocated care staff were climbing Snowdon.
Communication between the staff and young people is respectful, jovial and nurturing. The views, wishes and feelings of young people are considered informally throughout the day. Weekly house meetings take place but these are adult-led meetings and, typically, the discussions held are limited to menu choices and activity options. Records kept by staff do not demonstrate that young people’s views have contributed to the quality of care provided and the development of the home.
Staff have high aspirations for the young people. They encourage the young people to embrace all the opportunities available to them. The young people are encouraged, supported and guided to reach their ambitions and goals. One young person said, ‘I like all my team. They are great. They really help me. Since I have lived here, I have learnt to cook. I’ve stayed in a hotel and ordered room service, which was fun. I love living here and do not want to live anywhere else.’
Young people benefit from the individualised care provided by staff. This care stems from a comprehensive understanding of the needs of young people. Many struggle with academic and everyday tasks because of their specific conditions and additional learning needs. Young people have developed in this home after a number of previous placement breakdowns and long periods of exclusions from school. A parent said 'it took six years of poor education and struggling in schools that couldn't meet his needs before we found this place, and it's been a godsend.'
Each young person benefits from their own small team of dedicated workers. This provides consistency for young people and allows them to form relationships. Young people are comfortable in this environment, they appear relaxed and at home. One young person described the home as 'epic'. Young people are valued, they feel listened to and are consulted about all aspects of their life. Staff, the manager and directors are imaginative in providing ways to help young people overcome their difficulties and make progress.
Young people continue to make significant progress in developing emotional well
being and confidence. Often from a very difficult starting point they develop socially acceptable behaviour, communication skills and begin to benefit from the
opportunities that these improvements bring. It is possible to discern significant
improvements in a very short space of time and many of these are life changing, such as being able to play and communicate with other young people.
Secretary of State for Health congratulates Ashcroft on CQC Outstanding rating Read letter.
Ashcroft re-inspected by the CQC on 04.05.2017 and retains its Outastanding rating. Read the full report here.
SOM TA20 3AJ
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