For Kirkwood it means that as a children’s home it has been rated as providing an exceptional level of care. ‘OUTSTANDING’ is not given lightly – only the very best providers are awarded this accolade. In the last 12 months only 1.6% of providers were judged as outstanding by Ofsted.
The published report had this to say about Kirkwood
* The quality of relationships between staff and children is exceptional. Staff develop warm, nurturing and secure relationships with children. They spend considerable amounts of time with the children and know them well. This helps children to form strong attachments. As a result of this, children feel cared for and are happy living in the home.
* Staff consistently place the children’s well-being at the centre of their practice. One professional said, ‘They make [name of child] feel like a priority; they always prioritise children.’
* Staff support children to safely manage conflict and difficult feelings. Staff involve children in finding creative alternative strategies to manage feelings in a positive way. Staff are trained in behaviour management. They have a focus on de-escalation strategies. This means staff support children’s behaviour safely and effectively. Staff confidently put their training into practice. As a result of this, staff have not had to hold children to keep them safe.
* There is a strong, consistent leadership team within the home. The manager leads by example; he is enthusiastic, inspirational and ambitious for children. As a result of this, he is influential in changing the lives of the children who live in the home. One professional said, ‘The manager has created a strong sense of security, trust and belief.