One of the really important things good Children’s Homes do is help the children in their care understand why they are there and how being in care (hopefully temporarily) can help them.
In 2018 Ofsted published a report explaining what children and young people told them about their experiences of living in children’s homes or living with foster carers in England. Findings from questionnaire responses from 1,527 children and young people living in a children’s home.
The report contains some revealing statistics and some pertinent comment from young people, both of which go to the heart of why we provide the care services we do. .
The report found that in 92% of responses children living in children’s homes said they had been helped to understand why they came into care. Two comments highlight the benefit of this:
“Staff have sat and explained why I am in care and have helped me use strategies to stay calm with the topic” (Aged 16)
“I have been helped by my placement because I had access to therapy sessions which allowed me to sort out the issues that first brought me to be in care. This allowed me to have an opportunity at a positive future.” (Aged 18)
Children also responded to say how they felt they had been helped by staff in children’s homes:
“No staff member lets me feel low and they always ask me how I am feeling.” (Aged 15)
“Staff always help me if I feel pressurised into doing things I dont feel comfortable in to say no” (Aged 12)
At UCS we understand that our homes cannot always be a substitute for a stable and loving family home. But for over 6,000 children and young people they do provide a vital lifeline that helps them to understand their situation and to develop both socially and emotionally.
We look forward, throughout 2019, to doing the very best we can to help more children and young people who need the care we provide.