Three ‘thriving’ children’s homes rated Outstanding by Ofsted

Job opportunities available to work in West Sussex County Council's Outstanding homes

 

Released: 3 August, 2021

Three West Sussex County Council-run children’s homes have been rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

Orchard House in Cuckfield, Teasel Close and High Trees, both in Crawley, were all highly praised as homes where children ‘thrive’ and are kept safe as inspectors awarded each the highest rating possible.

The recently published reports said children were ‘loved’, ‘respected’ and ‘nurtured’ and made ‘significant and meaningful progress’ thanks to staff that ‘truly care for them and put their needs first’. Inspectors noted the considerable efforts from managers and staff during the pandemic, saying of Orchard House: “Staff have successfully implemented safety measures to manage the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic skilfully and sensitively.”

Julian Skeates, Children’s Residential Service Lead at West Sussex County Council, said: “To have one home rated Outstanding by Ofsted is fantastic, so to have three within a matter of months is simply incredible. I am so proud of each and every one of our staff members who work in our homes. Their care, compassion and dedication every day has a hugely positive impact on the children we care for and their families, supporting the council’s aim of helping children to fulfil their potential. I want to thank them for everything they do.”

All three homes will undergo refurbishment next year as part of West Sussex County Council’s major investment in its whole children’s residential estate. This investment has seen the Council’s three other children’s homes fully remodelled and upgraded. Bright Star (formerly Cissbury Lodge) in Worthing, Breakwater (formerly Seaside) in Shoreham and May House in Durrington and will reopen this year to provide local accommodation, support and services for more West Sussex children and young people who have a wide range of needs.

Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “I echo Julian’s praise for our staff, they are the reason these three homes are all Outstanding. They provide children who have disabilities and complex needs or have had a difficult start in life with the love and care they need to flourish and fulfil their potential.

“I am delighted to say we currently have opportunities to join our fantastic teams. We are looking for outstanding people to work in our outstanding children's homes. If you have a passion for making a meaningful difference to children’s lives, then please apply.”

West Sussex County Council is currently recruiting for a range of jobs across its existing and newly refurbished children’s homes. Available positions include childcare workers to work during the day or night, premises managers, cooks and bursars. To find out more about the current positions and to apply, visit our children’s residential recruitment webpage.

Orchard House
Orchard House accommodates up to 16 children, aged between five and 18 with learning disabilities, providing short and long-stay accommodation. It was inspected on 14 to 15 April 2021 and was previously rated Outstanding.

In the report, Ofsted inspectors said of Orchard House:
• Children live in a home where they are respected and loved. Staff display genuine fondness and enjoyment of each child’s unique personality, foibles and strengths.
• Children thrive on the support and nurture provided. The thought and consideration shown to them, combined with the detailed knowledge of their needs, means that some children make spectacular progress.
• Children’s needs and their vulnerability are fully understood by the staff who care for them. Their safety is seen is as precious and, subsequently, strenuous efforts are made and detailed plans implemented to keep them safe and secure, both physically and emotionally.

High Trees
High Trees provides care and accommodation for up to four children who have moderate or severe learning disabilities, offering a mix of permanent placements and short-break care. It was inspected on 27 and 28 April 2021 and previously rated Good.

In the report, Ofsted said of High Trees:
• The home provides highly effective services that consistently exceed the standards of good. The actions of the children’s home contribute to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for children and young people who need help, protection and care.
• Children make excellent progress while living in this home. They develop a mature and responsible attitude, especially in regard to their education.
• A strength of the home is the relationships that children form with the staff.
• Children are confident that staff truly care for them and put their needs first.

Teasel Close
Teasel Close provides care and accommodation for up to five children who have experienced difficulties in their lives. It was inspected on 25 and 26 May, 2021 and was previously rated Good.

In the report, Ofsted said of Teasel:
• The home provides highly effective services that consistently exceed the standards of good. The actions of the children’s home contribute to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for children and young people who need help, protection and care.
• Every child in this home has made significant and meaningful progress. For some children, their progress has been remarkable, particularly when taking into account their past histories and experiences of trauma and disruption.
• Children thrive within a culture of respect for, and appreciation of, their individual character and needs. They benefit from close trusting relationships with the staff who care for them.

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