A residential children’s home where children make “impressive and exceptional” progress has been graded as “Outstanding” in all areas by regulator Ofsted.
Begdale House is part of Keys Group and supports children who, before moving to the home, may have had traumatic and adverse childhood experiences. The young people cared for have complex needs and are potentially vulnerable to exploitation.
Inspectors found that the “highly-skilled” staff team at the home provide individualised and tailored care and are well-trained to meet the children’s needs. Their report noted that where additional training is needed, it is swiftly implemented, including by Keys Group’s own in-house specialists, allowing staff to respond effectively to emerging challenges.
In their report Ofsted inspectors said: “This home is outstanding. The progress that the children have made since they moved to the home is impressive. Two children have progressed so well that their social workers have said that they are ready to move to foster care. From these children’s starting points, this is exceptional progress.”
Individual children’s progress was noted in the report. One child had been supported to stop medication while another had been supported to overcome a speech disorder.
The home’s support in ensuring children receive education in a way that meets their individual needs was also praised. The report said: “All children are in education; some of which is bespoke. One child’s education placement broke down. The staff advocated for the child tenaciously and ensured that they worked well with external professionals to source an appropriate school. This child now attends a mainstream school. One child who was out of school for six months now attends and engages in school daily.”
How the home supported the children during COVID-19 was also highlighted. The report noted that the children had been provided with “exciting opportunities” whenever lockdown periods allowed and had enjoyed holidays, glamping, surfing, rock climbing, ocean diving and other activities. The home’s managers worked “exceptionally hard” to ensure children were creatively entertained.
This helped, inspectors said, to “push the children outside of their comfort zones, build their social networks and increase their self-esteem. The staff know how to have fun with the children and do so frequently. There are lots of photographs in the home of the children on fun-filled trips, days out and holidays. This home feels, looks and is like a family home.“
Pauline Paterson, Director of Quality and Regulation at Keys Group, said: “Our aim always is to provide outstanding care for children and young people, and we’re thrilled that the hard work and commitment of the team at Begdale, and the positive outcomes children there experience, has been recognised this way by Ofsted with a judgement of ‘outstanding’ in all areas.
“The outstanding grade, and all of the wonderful comments from Ofsted, are well deserved.”