CHQ Comment……. What Young People Told Ofsted

The children’s homes sector is growing rapidly as you can see from my other posts and the demand for places does not seem to be waning.

Are you running or working in a home that wants to meet the needs of vulnerable young people? I commend you because these young people need quality, choice and above all, people who genuinely care for them and really want their lives to improve. So, it’s great to read the Ofsted 2018 Annual Survey and hear that 96% of children in children’s homes think that they are well looked after ‘most’ or ‘all of the time’.

It would be nice to bask in that but then I started to think about the 4% that didn’t say that. Then, I went back to the overall statistics and noted that the total number of young people in care was 75,420 and a total of 3024 responses were received. 1305 of those were from children’s home. DfE sources say that at the end of 2017 there were 7,890 children’s homes, secure units and semi-independent units. That’s over 6000 missing voices.

Now we know that not everyone will participate, we know that some young people suffer – as we all do from time to time – with consultation fatigue. We also know that the 16.5% response rate that Ofsted achieved from children received is actually pretty decent. It does, however, make us question how good are we at getting the views of children in our care? Does your home/organisation achieve the 96% satisfaction rate that Ofsted found? How well are young people supported to contribute their individual views on a one-to-one level and to influence the running of the home?

Mind Of My Own is a much-praised resource that helps with this.

How well are young people able to influence the children’s home sector and at a national level? Children in Care Councils are excellent platforms for this so wherever appropriate, encourage your young people to get involved. I was really impressed by this recently produced report by TACT which offers young people’s views in a simple and informative way. More importantly, it is a practical resource that can genuinely help us to use language in a way that may help us communicate better with young people.

Click Here To Download –  ‘Language that cares’ Changing the way professionals talk about Children in Care.