Two Sunderland children's homes rated as 'outstanding' by watchdog

Michael More, manager of Colombo Road children's home in Sunderland.
Michael More, manager of Colombo Road children's home in Sunderland.

Two children's homes on Wearside have been given top marks by a watchdog.

Monument View and Columbo Road were both rated as "outstanding" by Ofsted, the Government office for standards in education, children's services and skills.

City council bosses and chiefs at Together for Children (TfC), which provides children’s services and manages four children’s homes in Sunderland that each accommodate six young people aged between 12 and 18, praised the work of staff at the homes.

The report on Monument View found it "warm and inviting, creating a calming and relaxing environment".

The report added that: "Children and young people say they feel happy and safe in their home and they trust the adults who care for them.

" From their starting points children and young people have made outstanding progress.

"The registered manager and staff team are excellent advocates for all the children and young people.

The report on Colombo Road meanwhile states that: "The safe and consistent care that the young people receive helps them to make exceptional progress.

" Every young person has 100% attendance in their educational setting and staff has high aspirations for the young people."

It added: "The manager is aspirational and forward thinking.

"He does not become complacent, but continues to drive improvements forward."

Councillor Louise Farthing, portfolio holder for children’s services in Sunderland, said: “It is very pleasing to have a further independent verification from Ofsted on the wonderful care and support these homes provide for our vulnerable young people.

"The staff and managers involved should be congratulated on their outstanding practice.”

Martin Birch, director of Children’s Social Care at TfC, said: “These reports confirm exceptional leadership, management and mentorship that our staff demonstrate on a daily basis while supporting disadvantaged young people who have experienced emotional difficulties and have challenging behaviours.

“All children need support and our children are no different.

"The children's homes provide excellent support to the children and young people living within the homes and this is recognised by Ofsted to be of the highest quality.

"The work and achievements of these two residential children’s homes is first class.”

Sharon Willis, strategic service manager, at TfC, said: “These reports recognise the hard work, commitment and motivation of our teams.

"We are continuously looking at new and innovative ways to improve outcomes for our young people.

"Our current programme of training and support from our consultant psychologist for Looked After Children has greatly improved staff understanding of the impact of childhood trauma and the benefits of therapeutic parenting.

"I am unbelievably proud of our young people and of a truly inspirational workforce.”

Michael More, manager of the Colombo Road home, said: “When young people first come to a residential home like this, they often and understandably experience some level of anxiety and resentment.

"We treat them with respect and each link worker advocates for the young person in their care as best we can.

"Ofsted witnessed what for us is all in a day’s work.”