Sexualised behaviour, missing children and bullying found by Ofsted inspectors at Suffolk children’s home

Suffolk County Council which has repsonsibility for the home said it was making improvements Picture

Suffolk County Council which has repsonsibility for the home said it was making improvements Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

Council bosses have said that measures are being put in place to turn around a struggling children’s home in Suffolk after a host of serious concerns were raised by inspectors.

Ofsted last week published an interim inspection report for the home, which cannot be identified for legal reasons as it works with vulnerable youngsters, after it was last judged to be ‘requires improvement’.

The report said that since the last inspection in April, the home had “declined in effectiveness”, and cited a number of issues.

The report said: “Three incidents of sexualised behaviour are alleged to have taken place since March 2018. Two of these disclosures are under police investigation.”

Other concerns raised included a lack of safeguarding or risk assessment plans for certain children, with one child telling inspectors “I feel as if I have just been dumped here and no one cares”.

The report added that incidents of children going missing had increased and there were “tense dynamics” in the home.

Cliff James, head of corporate parenting for Suffolk County Council said: “We accept the findings of this report and are taking them extremely seriously. “Safeguarding children is our priority so we have, and will, continue to take action to ensure young people at the home are looked after.

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“This includes changing and strengthening the management arrangements in the home and acting on all the recommendations identified in the report.”

Despite the issues, Ofsted inspectors recognised that the staff were “dedicated and resilient” and had built good relationships with the children.

It also highlighted the improvement in physical intervention records and small improvements in the activity programmes for children.

The home was given an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating in April 2017, before improving to ‘requires improvement’ in July last year.

Following a full inspection in April this year and an interim visit in August, the home is still judged to be ‘requires improvement’.

Ofsted has outlined a series of requirements to be met this month, which includes sorting relevant risk plans and review the home’s processes to identify improvements.