Inspectors highlight 'serious and widespread failures' at Yorkshire children's home

A children’s home in South Yorkshire has been rated inadequate by Ofsted after inspectors raised concerns about “serious and widespread failures that mean children are not protected or safeguarded”.

Ofsted stated staff at the privately-run home in Doncaster “have been unable to ensure that children are protected". 

This is a stock image and none of the children shown live at the children's home.
Ofsted stated staff at the privately-run home in Doncaster “have been unable to ensure that children are protected". This is a stock image and none of the children shown live at the children's home.

Happy Group (UK) Limited, which runs the home for vulnerable children, has been provided with a list of recommendations and urged to make improvements after an inspection was carried out in May.

In a report, Ofsted stated staff at the privately-run home “have been unable to ensure that children are protected and experience a calm and nurturing environment in which to flourish”.

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It says staff have been “unable to manage behaviour” and they have resorted to calling to police on numerous occasions, while upsetting incidents are “frequent, intense and last for a significant amount of time”.

Children at the home are at risk of harm and exploitation because staff have failed to “educate and discuss significant safeguarding concerns” and risks such as knife crime and gangs.

Children “go missing from the home” and staff “often do not know where a child is”, the report adds, and while children “enjoy some positive relationships with staff” and there are a range of engaging activities on offer, changes in staffing “means that there is inconsistency in the care delivered”.

When inspectors visited the home, they found the registered manager had been absent since March, his replacement had not received a thorough handover and there was a high turnover of staff.

The inspectors also said the new manager had “failed to ensure that children receive care from staff who are skilled and experienced to meet the children’s needs” as some had not been trained in self-harm, knife crime or exploitation from county lines drugs gangs.

The report adds: "The experiences of children living in this home are mixed. One child has recently made progress. However, the staff have been unable to ensure that children are protected and experience a calm and nurturing environment in which to flourish.

"There are no routines and boundaries in place that enable children to gain a sense of belonging and safety.

"Care plans are ineffective in addressing the emotional wellbeing of children by using strategies to respond to the presenting behaviours. This has led to a child moving on from the home as staff cannot meet the needs of the child."

Doncaster Council says it has not placed any children who are currently living at the home and it has not been approached with any concerns.

Happy Group (UK) Limited has been approached for comment.