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A secure children’s home in Salford has received an ‘outstanding’ grade by inspectors Ofsted, who said it offered children ‘life-changing opportunities’.

Inspectors who visited the home in January found children that feel safe, trust the adults who support them and go on to exceed expectations.

One child told inspectors about staff: “‘They have brought me up.’”

Ofsted does not publish the names or addresses of children’s homes in its reports.

But it has graded the Salford home - which caters to children between the age of 10 and 18 - as ‘Outstanding’.

The centre is a local authority-run ‘secure children’s home,’ - meaning that it is a locked environment.

There are currently 15 secure children’s homes in England and Wales.

They provide care and accommodation to children and young people who have been detained or sentenced by the criminal courts and those who have been remanded to secure local authority accommodation, and those who have been placed there on welfare grounds by local authorities and the courts.

All places available at the Salford site are commissioned on a contractual basis by the Youth Custody Service.

The Ofsted report, published earlier this week, said: “Children at this home have positive and life-changing opportunities.”

“A significant strength of the staff team is its skill and ability to quickly develop strong, respectful and supportive relationships with children. Consequently, children feel safe and learn to trust the adults who support them. 

“In turn, children become more able to understand and reflect on their past, develop new strategies and coping mechanisms, which helps them to make better decisions.

“The individualised high-quality care and genuine fondness shown to the children permeates throughout the setting. Warmth, humour and spontaneous hugs when needed contribute positively to the relaxed interactions. 

“Children are seen to seek the company and reassurance of staff. Children benefit greatly from the support given to them by the mix of professionals who work at this home. The close coordination achieved by these teams ensures that the care given, and insight and skills of the staff, are of a high calibre. 

“As a result, children make excellent progress and, in some cases, progress beyond everyone’s expectations.”

The report added that staff are ‘very aware’ of the children’s fears and anxieties when they arrive, and ‘significant emphasis’ is placed on making them feel safe.

Support to parents during this time is ‘excellent,’ inspectors judged.

“Once a child is admitted, relevant information is obtained swiftly so that the child’s needs are known, support plans can be devised, and personalised care can be delivered.”

Inspectors also praised the ‘step down unit’ which prepares children for their departure, independence, further education or work. 

“When children move from this home, members of staff will continue to support them in the community. This nurturing approach ensures that they continue to feel cared for and valued even when they have left.”

“A parent said, ‘They always do their best for my son. I have absolute faith in them.’”

Read full article on Salford

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