Following a thorough two-day inspection of our children’s home, ‘Progress House’ has been graded ‘Good’ by Ofsted.

The Ofsted report praises the staff and is positive about the future of our three-bed home which provides specialist 52-week residential care, 24 hours a day, for Deaf young people.
Registered Care Home Manager James Heaver leads the Care Team, who includes Deputy Manager Vicky Coombs and nine Residential Support Workers (RSWs) who are all trained in Deaf awareness and qualified in British Sign Language (BSL) up to Level 3.

Inspectors judged that our care staff:

“speak warmly about the young people and are concerned for their welfare. They love their work and are highly motivated.”

James said:

“Receiving a ‘Good’ Ofsted grading has been fantastic. It’s recognition of how hard our team work, especially bringing a new young person into Progress House this year and helping them settle in. Ofsted recognised that we had worked hard to make this transition positive for all the young people who live at Progress House, and that they are happy and well settled. Ofsted were also highly impressed by our safeguarding procedures, and the child-focused way in which these are managed.”

Ofsted also recognised how the staff at Progress House help Deaf young people establish their own identities and become confident and engaged members of the local community.

The report states:

“The staff have taught the young people about the importance of inclusion and challenging discrimination. For example, they have been very supportive of a young person who is exploring their identity. The Registered Manager and staff have helped them to join a local support group… and have worked exceptionally well with other young people in the home. As a result, the young people now have a much better understanding of the challenges their friend faces as a Deaf young person who is also a member of another minority group.”

“The young people are fully involved in the home. They have been on holiday with the staff and have had special birthday outings to concerts and to see their favourite football team play. They enjoy trips to the stables and cinema, and going swimming. Every week, each young person chooses and cooks a meal for the household. This helps to create a ‘family’ atmosphere as well as developing new skills.”

James added:

“We have a very strong and consistent staff team who are all here to provide the best possible outcomes for our young people. They have worked incredibly hard to get us here and will continue to work hard to improve in the future. Four of our staff took our young people on holiday to Spain this year – it is really important for the young people to have opportunities like this. It’s a chance to relax and be themselves, and experience new things.”

The Progress House Care Team take into account the young people’s needs as Deaf residents, ranging from specialist equipment to overcoming communication barriers. Ofsted noted that:

“the home employs both deaf and hearing staff, all of whom are skilled in British Sign Language. The staff always sign, even when speaking to hearing colleagues, so that the young people can follow the conversation and do not feel left out.”

James and Deputy Manager Vicky were also individually praised in the report, with inspectors noting that:

“The Registered Manager is very experienced. He is ambitious for the home, and this is shown in the considerable progress made over the last year. The Deputy Manager was new to the role in October 2016, and since her arrival the Registered Manager has seen a dramatic change in staff and young people. The Registered Manager and Deputy Manager have a good working relationship and have lots of ideas.”

Ofsted’s ‘Good’ grading requires a children’s home to provide effective services that help, protect and care for children and young people and ensure that their welfare are safeguarded and promoted.

“Now we need to move forward and aim for ‘Outstanding’ in our next report,” said James. “Our goal is to keep improving and eventually achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating.”