Ofsted reveals state of childcare – exceptional progress to vulnerable child with razor blades

Children’s homes and childcare services have been in the spotlight in recent weeks. There are calls to cut back on the “obscene” profits made by private companies that earn millions caring for vulnerable children.

In May, we reported that Birmingham Children’s Trust chief executive Andy Couldrick blasted the ‘unacceptable’ way companies were making up to 25 per cent of profits from fees charged to local councils. Edgbaston MP Preet Kaur Gill called the level of profit made by some companies “obscene”.

In Solihull, the number of children in care has increased by 24% since 2019. A report presented to councilors showed that the increase had placed a “significant financial burden” on the council and left children in need of help waiting too long to get help.

These are the social welfare bodies regulated by Ofsted in the borough. They are listed below along with the most recent report and what inspectors found.

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Unnamed care home run by Compass Children’s Homes Limited

This children’s home is one of a number Ofsted are unable to name as it could put children at risk. But we do know that it was registered in February 2017 and had its first full inspection that year.

Since then, it has undergone four full inspections, two intermediate inspections and a control visit during the pandemic. Its last inspection took place on June 22 and 23, 2021.

The home, which is privately owned and operated, provides care and accommodation for up to four children whose negative childhood experiences could cause them to exhibit complex behaviours.

Inspectors found that the home provided effective services that met the requirements to be classified as good. But the effectiveness of household leaders and managers had to be improved to be good.

The inspectors wrote: “The staff really care about the children and are proud of their achievements. This positive affirmation encourages children to achieve their goals. As a result, all children make good progress in all areas of their lives.

Read the full report here.

Unnamed care home operated by Caterpillar Care Services Limited

This relatively new children’s home was registered in August 2021. It is run by Caterpillar Care Services Limited and was inspected by Ofsted officers on 9 and 10 February 2022.

This home accommodates up to two children who may experience behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. Inspectors wrote: “The Children’s Home does not yet provide quality help and care to children and young people. However, there are no serious or generalized failings which prevent their welfare from being protected. or promoted.”

An excerpt read: “The home environment is well maintained. However, some elements have not been removed and could become hazards for the child.

“For example, a glass mirror and hanging vertical blind cords were found in the bathroom. The registered manager recognized this at the time of the visit and is taking corrective action.”

Another part of the report continues: “Staff did not always take effective steps to protect the child from harm. For example, despite [a] child harming himself, staff continued to provide the child with razor blades as part of his personal care regimen.

“That’s because staff and managers hadn’t made the connection between the risk of self-harm and access to a bladed tool. Although the child’s injuries were superficial, poor decision-making and lack of oversight by managers compromised the child’s safety. were taken during the inspection to reduce the likelihood of this happening again.”

BirminghamLive has contacted Caterpillar Care Services Limited for comment. At press time, they did not respond to a request for a response.

Read the full report here.

Action for Children – Midlands Adoption and Permanence Service

Action for Children is a well-established national children’s charity that is also registered as a voluntary adoption agency. Its Birmingham office is in the Smith’s Wood area of ​​Solihull.

Since April 2019, 25 children have been the subject of an adoption order. Nineteen children have been matched and placed with adopters and 13 approved adopters are waiting to be matched with a child.

Ofsted said the agency provided efficient services which meet the requirements of the property. Inspectors said: “Managers and staff place a high priority on the safety of children. Staff have a good understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

“They take a multi-agency approach to ensure children are supported and protected. Where necessary, managers and staff issue strong challenges to other professionals to ensure they are fulfilling their duties. As a result, the well-being of adopters and children is preserved.

Read the full report here.

Family company

Family Society is based in Marston Green and has specialist adoption and promotion social workers located in the Midlands and Oxfordshire. Ofsted reported that the voluntary adoption agency provided highly efficient services which consistently exceeded good standards. The actions of the Voluntary Adoption Agency have helped to significantly improve outcomes and positive experiences for children, youth and adults.

Read the full report here.

National host agency

This promotion agency is part of a national company based in Birmingham Business Park near the NEC. There are 298 caregivers in 173 households caring for 269 children. In October 2018, Ofsted found that the independent employment agency provided efficient services which met the requirements of the property. This is an improvement from its last inspection in June 2017.

Read the full report here.

Springfield House School

Springfield House School is a school run by Birmingham City Council. This is a residential community special school for boys and girls aged four to 11 who have a range of special educational needs.

The school currently has 96 students and is only open on weekdays during school terms. The school is in a rural position near Knowle and can accommodate 17 children in its pavilion.

During an inspection in July 2019, inspectors discovered that the special boarding school was not yet providing quality help and care to children and young people. But officers said there were no serious or widespread failures that prevented welfare from being protected or promoted.

A section of a report said: “Children have comfortable bedrooms which they can personalise. However, there are rising damp areas in the residential supply, which have not been adequately addressed. from the unpleasant hallway.

“The children look forward to staying in the residence and enjoy their time with each other and with the staff. They build warm and trusting relationships with the child-focused staff.”

Read the full report here.

Voice Fostering Ltd

Recorded in August 2012, Voice Fostering Ltd was inspected between 7th and 11th February 2022.

Ofsted said the independent placement agency provided highly efficient services which consistently exceeded good standards. The actions of the independent placement agency have helped to significantly improve outcomes and positive experiences for children and youth, officers said.

Inspectors said: “This foster care agency works tirelessly to ensure that children have exceptionally positive childhood experiences. The agency excels in providing highly individual support to foster families.

“Professionals and foster families alike describe this support as ‘unparalleled’. In turn, highly skilled foster families tailor their support to meet the children’s needs, no matter how complex those needs. As a result , children are making remarkable progress in all aspects of their lives.”

Read the full report here.

Do you have a Solihull story? Contact us by emailing [email protected]

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