“One child said that he was happy to visit the home, with a big smile and excitement on his face.”
This is one of many glowing comments in the latest Ofsted report for Calderdale Council’s Linden Brook short breaks service for children with disabilities and complex needs, which has been rated outstanding for the fifth year in a row.
The respite facility provides short break services for children and young people, during the day and overnight, from the ages of four to 17. Care, support and a wide range of activities are delivered in a safe environment, giving young people the opportunity to develop, and parents and carers the chance to rest.
The service was rated outstanding in all areas inspected by Ofsted – children and young people’s overall experiences and progress; how well children and young people are helped and protected; and the effectiveness of leaders and managers.
Cllr Adam Wilkinson, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, said:
“Being Ofsted-outstanding for five years in a row is an incredible achievement. It’s worthy recognition of the excellent quality of care that Linden Brook staff provide every day for children and young people with complex needs and their families.
“The service at Linden Brook mirrors the Council’s priority to reduce inequalities, and to help children and young people start well, succeed and be happy and healthy in life.
“It’s fantastic to hear feedback about the impact Linden Brook has on children and their families, such as one parent saying that the staff are like a second family.”
The Ofsted report praises Linden Brook for the “exceptionally high-quality care from a staff team that has expertise in supporting disabled children”. It says: “The staff are nurturing and committed to making sure that children feel settled and secure during their stay. They know each child well…and understand their emotional wellbeing and physical health needs. Staff strive to understand children’s views and ensure that children are consulted with.”
The report highlights the positive experiences and outcomes that children have, thanks to Linden Brook’s family values, a warm and welcoming home environment, good relationships with families and a variety of enriching activities for children to enjoy during their stays, including sensory play, music, walking and swimming in the community, and trips to the countryside and seaside.
Linden Brook’s child-centred approach means that young people are supported to improve their skills and independence, and “Staff are clear about how to access the right support for individual children. They work proactively with other agencies, such as child and adolescent mental health services, schools, specialist health professionals and the social workers…This collaborative approach means that the children are better protected.”
One professional said: “The service that is provided for children is invaluable…they go above and beyond to support the families and children.”
The Ofsted report comes after one of the team members at Linden Brook won the Equality and Diversity Champion award in the Council’s Children and Young People’s Services staff awards.
Linden Brook is an example of the Vision 2024 for Calderdale values of kindness, talent and resilience in action. The year 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday and there is less than a year to go. Where do we want to be by 2024? Get involved on Twitter with #VisionCdale2024 and find out more at www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision