A Surrey children’s home has been rated “requires improvement” on its first inspection by Ofsted. Their report said no children were living at the unnamed home, run by the company Charis Services for Children Ltd, at the time of the inspection.
The two children that had lived there had both left the home at short notice, therefore without support “to help them move on in a stable and positive way”.
The home was first registered with Ofsted in July 2021 and was visited by inspectors on February 8 and 9. According to the report, staff “struggled to maintain positive relationships with the children”.
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It said: “As a result, staff were not able to consistently provide nurturing care that fully considered and met the children’s needs, and this negatively affected children’s day-to-day experiences.” Charis Services for Children Ltd did not wish to provide a statement regarding the inspection.
Inspectors rated the home as “requires improvement to be good” in the “overall experiences and progress of children and young people” as well as in the areas of “how well children and young people are helped and protected” and “the effectiveness of leaders and managers”.
This home is registered to provide care for up to four children and is described as a “therapeutic children’s home” for children with emotional, behavioural, and mental health difficulties, and associated mild to moderate learning difficulties.
Inspectors said the home’s managers and leaders acknowledged the challenges the home had faced and have plans in place to learn from the experiences. They said the registered manager promoted “a culture where she has aspirations for children”.
The first child to live at the home “did initially demonstrate the potential for good progress”, according to the report, but when the second child moved in the dynamics changed and the children began to go missing together.
The report said: “Staff were unable to break this cycle of behaviour in order to keep the children safe. This led to both children moving on from the home at short notice, without opportunity for a planned ending and support to help them move on in a stable and positive way.”
Inspectors said that when children did go missing, staff responded appropriately and that external professionals “spoke positively about how the manager and staff respond to any safeguarding concerns”.
Inspectors said: “The children’s home is not yet delivering good help and care for children and young people. However, there are no serious or widespread failures that result in their welfare not being safeguarded or promoted.”
The report also said relationships between staff and external professionals were sound. It added: “External professionals shared that they had positive communication with the provider regarding the children in their care. The registered manager has plans in place to further develop relationships within the community.”