Cuckfield children’s home retains ‘outstanding’ rating

A Cuckfield children’s home has retained its ‘outstanding’ rating after a recent inspection.

Monday, 9th August 2021, 2:16 pm
Cuckfield sign. Pic Steve Robards

Orchard House is one of three West Sussex County Council-run homes all highly praised by Ofsted as places where children ‘thrive’ and are kept safe as inspectors awarded each the highest rating possible.

Reports said children were ‘loved’, ‘respected’ and ‘nurtured’ and made ‘significant and meaningful progress’ thanks to staff that ‘truly care for them and put their needs first’.

Inspectors noted the considerable efforts from managers and staff during the pandemic, saying of Orchard House: “Staff have successfully implemented safety measures to manage the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic skilfully and sensitively.”

It accommodates up to 16 children, aged between five and 18 with learning disabilities, providing short and long-stay accommodation.

It was inspected in mid-April and retained its outstanding rating.

Julian Skeates, children’s residential service lead at the county council, said: “To have one home rated outstanding by Ofsted is fantastic, so to have three within a matter of months is simply incredible. I am so proud of each and every one of our staff members who work in our homes.

“Their care, compassion and dedication every day has a hugely positive impact on the children we care for and their families, supporting the council’s aim of helping children to fulfil their potential. I want to thank them for everything they do.”

All three homes will undergo refurbishment next year as part of the council’s major investment in its whole children’s residential estate. This investment has seen the council’s three other children’s homes in Worthing, Shoreham and Durrington fully remodelled and upgraded.

Jacquie Russell, cabinet member for children and young people, said: “I echo Julian’s praise for our staff, they are the reason these three homes are all outstanding. They provide children who have disabilities and complex needs or have had a difficult start in life with the love and care they need to flourish and fulfil their potential.

“I am delighted to say we currently have opportunities to join our fantastic teams. We are looking for outstanding people to work in our outstanding children’s homes. If you have a passion for making a meaningful difference to children’s lives, then please apply.”

West Sussex County Council is currently recruiting for a range of jobs across its existing and newly refurbished children’s homes.