Published Wednesday 29 May 2019 at 15:11
Children’s staff at a short break centre for disabled children have been praised for their role in achieving outstanding in a national inspection.
Apple Trees in Blackburn, which is run by Blackburn with Darwen Council, was judged to be outstanding in all areas by Ofsted.
Apple Trees provides short breaks for children up to the age of 18 with disabilities. Parents describe the facility as a ‘lifeline’ providing children with care and support when they need it most.
It allows young people to have social experiences outside of their immediate families in a purpose built environment.
Young people can enjoy making new friendships, going out to access the borough’s wider services as well as providing families with a much needed break from their caring responsibilities.
The Ofsted report said:
The children’s home provides highly effective services that consistently exceed the standards of good. The actions of the children’s home contribute to significantly improved outcomes and positive experiences for children and young people who need help, protection and care.
The staff are highly skilled in supporting disabled children with complex needs, including associated healthcare needs. They provide each child with a very nurturing and highly individualised standard of care that meets their complex needs.Children have thoroughly enjoyable short breaks that add considerably to the quality of their lives.
Each child’s stay is exceptionally well planned and organised. The manager and staff carefully match the children who stay at the same time. A lot of thought goes into making sure that children get on with one another and receive the best possible support, to get the most out of their stay.
Jayne Ivory, Director of Children’s Services at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:
Apple Trees provides a wonderful service for children and young people who have additional needs so that they have opportunities to learn and grow whilst their families have time to re-charge.
Families know that they can trust staff with the care of their children so it is lovely to hear their feedback about the positive difference the staff make to their lives.
I would like to thank the staff team and partners for all of their hard work and commitment to making Apple Trees such a special place for children and young people in Blackburn with Darwen, and to celebrate the achievement of being OUTSTANDING.
Cllr Maureen Bateson, Executive Member for Children’s, Young People and Education, said:
This is absolutely fantastic news and is a real testament to the hard work and dedication of the caring and highly-skilled staff at Apple Trees. They fully deserve this recognition as they make such a difference to the children and families in the borough.
Apple Trees provides a range of services, depending on the needs of the child, young person and carer, care can range from an hour a few times a week with a support worker to help access services in the community, ranging to a number of overnight breaks each year for children and young people with complex needs.
Watch this short video to find out what makes Apple Trees so special: