Council-run Children’s Home Receives Outstanding Ofsted Judgement

(L-R) Business support Jane Forbes; assistant unit manager Lauren Waring; registered unit manager Helena Baptista; Reading’s Lead Councillor for Children’s Services Cllr Jan Gavin; assistant unit manager Sherwin Springer and resident children’s care officer Vue Shumba.
(L-R) Business support Jane Forbes; assistant unit manager Lauren Waring; registered unit manager Helena Baptista; Reading’s Lead Councillor for Children’s Services Cllr Jan Gavin; assistant unit manager Sherwin Springer and resident children’s care officer Vue Shumba.

A CHILDREN’S home run by Reading Borough Council has been judged Outstanding following a full Ofsted inspection.

Pinecroft Residential Unit, in Whitley, retained its status after a visit from inspectors in September.

The inspection report  says the overall experiences and progress of children and young people living in the home and the impact and effectiveness of leaders and managers are ‘outstanding’ while how well children and young people are helped and protected is ‘good’.

Pinecroft cares for young people with a wide range of learning disabilities and communication difficulties who present with high-risk and challenging behaviours.

Inspectors say each young person is spoken of and treated with great respect and affection by staff; they are treated as an individual with wishes that are understood and abilities that are nurtured.  The childcare practice of the manager and staff is described as highly regarded by family members and other professionals.

The report also says young people with complex learning difficulties are enabled to lead fulfilling lives, their communication needs are understood and they participate in and influence the life of the home.

It says young people make progress across all the developmental areas and the improvement of the health of some young people since admission is remarkable. Staff, other professionals and family members comment on young people being happier, appearing healthier and more settled due to the care of staff and routines of the home.

Staff are praised for constantly seeking the views of young people and giving them the opportunity to raise any concerns with independent advocates.

Inspectors say professionals are wholehearted in the praise they give for the work done at the home.

One professional said:

“It is a privilege to visit and see how children and young people grow in confidence, independence and belief in themselves.”

The manager, Helena Baptista, is described as committed to improving the lives of young people and to enhancing the service offered by the home. Excellent relationships are also forged with educational professionals to ensure young people benefit as much as possible from their schooling.

Councillor Jan Gavin, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Children’s Services, said:

“I would like to offer my congratulations to the management and staff at Pinecroft Residential Unit for achieving this outstanding judgement from Ofsted.

“It is clear from reading the inspector’s report that all staff at the home are dedicated to improving the lives of every young person who stays at Pinecroft.

“I am also delighted to see how young people at the home are encouraged to have their say and that their voices are genuinely listened to and their views acted upon.”

Ofsted inspectors visited Pinecroft on September 6th 2016. The home previously received an outstanding judgement in September 2015.