A CHILDREN’S home which was temporarily closed after inspectors condemned ‘widespread failures’ – just a year after local authority bosses vowed to put things right after the £600,000-a-year service was judged inadequate – has reopened with a new management team.
The Carlton home, can't be named but is permitted to care for children, was ranked ‘inadequate’ for a second time by Ofsted following a two-day inspection in July.
Due to the findings, a restriction of accommodation notice – which prevents other children being admitted to the home – was served on the council and did not lift until improvements were noted.
Ofsted condemned staff for failing to act on the watchdog’s previous concerns – issued after the local authority approved an estimated £1m for its creation – which included dirty bedrooms and broken beds.
Staff were found to have made ‘unhelpful’ decisions, such as allowing a child access to lighters when there has been an incident of attempted arson.
Due to insufficient action from staff, there was one incident which led to a child being at risk of harm in the community.
A lack of night-time supervision was also questioned, as well as staff members’ use of restraint and how such occurrences have not been properly recorded.
However, following a period of refurbishment and with a new management team, the council reopened the children’s home recently
The three-bedroomed detached property will now provide long-term placements for up to three young people aged between ten and 18 years old and will be staffed constantly with a minimum of two staff members.
Coun Trevor Cave, cabinet spokesperson for children’s services, added: “We want young people in our care to feel safe and have opportunities to live fulfilling lives – this is our priority.
“A second inadequate Ofsted judgement was both unacceptable and disappointing.
“In some cases, residential care provides a stepping stone for a young person to be supported into a family placement, but for other young people, residential care provides the most successful placement setting for their time in care.
“This small, family-style home setting will best meet the needs of each child who comes to live here.
“We want to invest in high quality provision to meet their care needs within their hometown, maintaining their identity as residents of Barnsley.
“Our staff are highly trained to provide a nurturing, consistent and safe living environment in which our children and young people can feel loved, safe, secure, listened to and valued.”