Rotherham closes children’s home after Ofsted raises safeguarding concerns

Staff at Woodview home were criticised for not following whistleblowing policy and assessing the risks of child sexual exploitation poorly

Photo: Jochen Tack/imageBROKER/REX Shutterstock

Rotherham council has closed one of its children’s homes after Ofsted raised serious concerns about child safeguarding.

Woodview children’s home was shut 13 October after a critical Ofsted inspection published earlier this month said children and young people were “not kept safe” in the home. It raised concerns about the home’s practices in protecting children from child sexual exploitation, among other issues.

The inspection was the third in a row to result in an inadequate judgement for Woodview. The former staff are not currently expected to report to work pending the outcome of an independent review, a Rotherham council spokesperson told Community Care.

The home housed a maximum of six children and all were moved to new placements prior to the home’s closure.

Lack of awareness

Staff lacked awareness of young people’s risks, injuries to young people were not robustly investigated, and the home’s procedures when children went missing were “ineffective”, the report found.

It also found that four of the six requirements from the previous inadequate inspection had not been met.

“Some risk assessments give conflicting information,” the report found, adding: “For example, it is unclear how the risks of sexual exploitation are identified, assessed, and reviewed. This is a significant risk to young people’s safety as potentially this issue remains unknown. A requirement set around risk assessments and evaluating risk has not been met.”

Requirements not met

Some staff were found to not be following whistleblowing policy and reporting concerns, and a requirement around staff taking effective action to protect young people had not been met.

Rotherham council accepted the findings, and said the decision had been made in principle to close the home before the most recent Ofsted visit.

Jane Parfrement, the council’s safeguarding director, said the most recent Ofsted report accelerated the progress.

“All young people have been on to their new placements and the home has now closed. We are reviewing the care offered in our remaining four children’s homes and will be putting improvement plans in place across them,” she said. The improvement plans will include how homes link to the Evolve, the council’s specialist child sexual exploitation team.

She added: “We had sought to tackle the complex issues on site but we had already concluded the home would be better closed, and alternative plans were put in place to move the residents to placements which could provide a better standard of care.”

2 Responses to Rotherham closes children’s home after Ofsted raises safeguarding concerns

  1. jayne swallow October 22, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

    People seem afraid to use the whistle blowing policy in Rotherham. Sadly I’ve had a poor experience of raising safeguarding concerns in this town, Staff need to feel safe to raise concerns without fear of reprisal, Speaking up should be the norm,is the norm,part of your job, more education needed.
    The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing .. Quote Albert Einstein

    Forward thinking, reduce the risk. Speak up.

  2. Gerald October 23, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    As Jayne says basically its the Overall policies which are the problem and these are the responsibilty of senior management and Councillors, as usual , in the public sector, they blaim the grass roots,most of whom are frustrated and disallusioned by this skape-goat management style.
    Take the political correctness out of Social Care and concentrate solely on the people in need, then we might get a good system.