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Article date - 03 January 2020
The council-run respite centre on Rainford Road – which provides short breaks for children and young people with complex health, learning and social communication needs – received a visit from inspectors in December 2019 and has been judged to be outstanding across the board.
The inspection came less than 12-months after Ofsted last paid a visit to Abbeyford and makes it the third outstanding report in as many years.
Key findings found that young people make excellent progress at Abbeyford and are encouraged to try new activities which leads to them learning new skills.
Elsewhere in the glowing report, it was noted that the home is a very safe place for children to stay, with parents reporting a high level of confidence in the staff team’s ability to keep their children safe, and demonstrating a high level of understanding of each young person’s complex health needs.
In addition, the inspector was full of praise for the senior leadership team who are ‘committed to providing a high-quality, child centred service to the vulnerable young people in their care.’ – as well as offering full support to staff, which in turn has resulted in a high level of morale.
Writing in her report, social care inspector, Sophie Thompson, commented on the many positive experiences children encounter which make their stay at Abbeyford enjoyable. Evidence of this coming in the form of a comment made by one parent interviewed as part of the inspection process who stated that their child ‘loves it there. It’s fabulous. His face lights up when you tell him he’s going there.’
Speaking of his pride, Registered Manager Paul Spencer said: “We’ve established such a motivated and inspirational team of staff here who, together with the continued support of parents and guardians of the children and young people who attend Abbeyford, are without doubt the key to this success.
"Our attitude is to never get complacent and we will now look to aspire to maintain our outstanding status and continue to offer a quality service in the future to people in our communities who depend on us.”
Passing on her congratulations, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Protecting Young People, Councillor Nova Charlton, said:
“The report is testimony to the dedicated team of staff who go above and beyond to ensure the children and young people in their care receive positive and rewarding experiences during their time there.
“As a council, we are committed to raising standards - particularly in children’s services to ensure our most vulnerable are kept safe and protected - and fantastic facilities like Abbeyford are a shining example of what can be achieved.”