Another great accomplishment for us at First Blue Healthcare, with Bellhurst Cottage being rated OUTSTANDING by Ofsted! We are always striving to provide the best possible environment for the young people in our care, and it's times like these that we are reminded how rewarding our commitment and dedication is.
Bellhurst Cottage is our first to achieve this rating, but we'll be continuing with our hard work to be reaching this rating with all our children's homes.
Endless Support, Dedication, and Improvement
As with all our homes, the young people are the focus of our development and ethos at Bellhurst. We pride ourselves in the opportunities that we provide to the children - to learn, grow and flourish - not only within the home but within the community as well, where they are always supported by the adults.
Whilst there are certain tasks that are crucial to a young person's development, we understand that they need to be viewed as good experiences, so we do our best in making them fun and memorable. An example of this, is role play during our fire drills. The young people learn how to safely evacuate the children's home in the event of a fire, whilst enjoying the experience of the "lesson".
In order to provide tailored care to the individual needs of the children at Bellhurst, we make great use of the PACE parenting approach. We also believe that providing the best care to our young people is a group effort and have been able to maintain amazing relationships with social workers and with birth families. There have been occasions where we have faced barriers with families who struggle to trust and build relationships, so to better understand and overcome this, we adopted the systemic approach. As a team, we completed genograms and eco mapping to explore relationships and family narratives, which enabled us to communicate with the family and build relationships with family members who were initially very reluctant.
As a result, these practises allow for a stronger bond between the child and their birth family, reassures the child that we all work together to achieve the best for them and prevents them from feeling conflicted between their family and the carers at Bellhurst.
All the adults are fully supported and encouraged to seek their personal goals and aspirations and have development plans in place to assist them in achieving such goals. The home manager gifts the carers with motivational postcards to recognise their great practises and achievements, whilst also helping manage external factors that may impact their day-to-day performance.
Staff are regularly supervised and attend team meetings where systemic pods take place to discuss either all young people, or a specific young person to explore possible barriers, as well as hopes and ambitions and how to help achieve them.
Refreshers, bitesize training, and activities relevant to current themes within the home are also regular occurrences during team meetings - always promoting improvement.
Giving Back to the Community
Although our young people sometimes feel shy and find it challenging to be in crowds, the adults, and children at Bellhurst feel it is important to give back to the community. We all agreed that a great way to achieve this would be by all taking part in furnishing the adults' sleeping rooms with items purchased from local charity shops.
These types of projects really contribute toward giving our children a sense of belonging, which is so important for stability and creating a family-like environment.
Where Focus Goes, Energy Flows
It's not only the adults' rooms that get decorated! All the young people at Bellhurst are encouraged to create their own beautiful bedrooms, tailored to their individual likes and interests and they are also welcomed to give their input on the overall decoration of the home.
We actively promote the children stepping out of their comfort zones and support them getting involved in activities that they once would have never believed possible, such as indoor skydiving, sea fishing, and inflatable lake obstacle courses.