The quality of the environment at Sundrum View was rated as very good by inspectors
A new purpose-built children's house in South Ayrshire is making a real difference for the young people who live there and supporting them to achieve positive outcomes.
That's according to the Care Inspectorate, which carried out an unannounced inspection of Sundrum View in Coylton at the end of last year – the first since the house opened its doors to young people in March 2018.
Inspectors assessed the quality of care and support, the quality of staffing, and the quality of management and leadership as good, while the quality of the environment was rated as very good.
This was reflected in feedback from young people themselves who said they liked the house and valued the support they received from staff – with one young person actually saying: "I don't think things could be any better".
Sundrum View provides care and accommodation for up to seven children and young people and is designed to allow them to grow, develop and meet their full potential in all aspects of their lives.
In terms of its care and support, inspectors said the house demonstrated important strengths in supporting young people towards positive outcomes; provided a stable and homely place to stay; showed strong partnerships with families; and trusting relationships between staff and young people were clear to see. They also identified that ongoing work to implement person-centred plans would make plans more meaningful and better involve young people, while daily recording could better relate to individual care plans.
With regards to staffing, inspectors saw strong examples of creative work supporting young people to develop positive coping strategies; staff knew the young people as individuals and understood their needs; and quality assurance systems had been developed to ensure regular supervision of staff. More frequent formal supervision, increased involvement of residential staff in care planning, and involving young people meaningfully in the recruitment of staff were all suggested as areas that would further enhance the quality of staffing.
While recognising significant progress in the quality of management and leadership and commending developments such as service level audits and effective quality assurance measures, inspectors recommended improvements in relation to better management recording of actions taken following any incidents and ensuring incident notifications are made to the Care Inspectorate as required.
The quality of the environment was considered to contribute to a sense of pride by the children and young people who were well-motivated to take care of the house, and inspectors liked the approach taken to allow young people to personalise their space.
Councillor William Grant, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People, said: "This report is a great start for Sundrum View as it heralds a new era for how we look after our children and young people in South Ayrshire.
"Sundrum View was designed with lots of care and consideration and with young people right at the heart of every decision, so I'm particularly pleased to see that the involvement of young people in all aspects of service delivery has been recognised in such a positive way and commend everyone involved.
"It's a safe and nurturing home that will support the young people who live here to achieve their full potential and secure a positive future. And that's what being a corporate parent is all about – taking responsibility for looked after children and young people, making their needs a priority, and supporting them to achieve the same as we would want for our own children
"It's very easy to see how that can be achieved in a place where young people have their space, privacy and freedom, right alongside access to the people, help and support they need.
"Being there and supporting our young people as they grow up and into a happy and positive adulthood is one of the biggest responsibilities – and privileges – anyone can have. And while we continue to build on the many positives identified by the inspectors and address any suggested areas for improvement, it's clear that Sundrum View is already well on its way to helping us achieve that for the children and young people of South Ayrshire."
The Care Inspectorate's report on Sundrum View is available here.