About the homes
Many cared for children are at greater risk of social exclusion than their non looked after peers, both because of their experiences prior to coming into care, and by virtue of the fact that they are in care. It is essential, therefore, that the Council, as a Corporate Parent, ensures that their experience of being in care is a positive and supportive one and maximises their full potential.
Cheshire West and Chester Council has a number of children’s homes providing a range of placements from short break care to longer term provision. To be registered each home must comply with the National Minimum Standards for Children’s Homes - which can be viewed on the OFSTED website and are continuously assessed against this inspection framework. Staff within the homes work closely with children and young people, their families, social workers and others professionals involved in ensuring that the children are able to meet their five key outcomes.
Each child has a Care/ Placement Plan which is agreed with relevant parties and is subject to statutory review. All children have access to an advocacy service and an independent visitor where required. Residential staff undertake regular training to ensure that they are competent in providing a high standard of care to the children in placement. This includes NVQ III or IV in Caring for Children. The homes' Registered Managers are all qualified and experienced social workers who have gained additional management qualifications.
Each children's home has a clear Statement of Purpose which outlines its aims and objectives, staffing structures and operational arrangements. All homes also have a Children’s Guide which outlines how the homes are run and what children can expect from staff.
Our homes for children with disabilities
Cheshire West and Chester Council has two homes offering short break provision for children with disabilities who, because of the complexity of their needs, have been assessed as being unsuitable for short break care within a fostering setting. Each home has provision for six placements and is able to meet the needs of children with profound disabilities and challenging behaviour. The homes offer an enriching experience for children, in particular helping them to ‘enjoy and achieve’ as well as ‘stay safe’ and ‘be healthy’. Following assessment, plans are formulated with children and their parents/carers which outline the level of provision required.
Longer term residential care
Cheshire West and Chester Council provides longer term residential care to children in two areas, Little Sutton and Winsford. These homes provide care to children between the ages of 12 to 18 who have been assessed as requiring the structured support of residential care. Most of these children will be supported to either return home to their families or to live independently.
Cheshire West and Chester also has a partnership arrangement with Together Trust who manage a home in Sandbach where a further three placements are commissioned. These placements are for children aged 8 to 13 years who need a focussed programme of support before moving onto family life.
Cheshire West and Chester’s Residential service aims to ensure that its most vulnerable children's needs are met and that their life chances are maximised to enable them to achieve their full potential.