'Impressive' turnaround at Hampshire children's home following promising Ofsted inspection

A CHILDREN'S home that was under pressure from a watchdog has turned around its fortunes.

Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 8:52 pm
Swanwick Lodge. Picture: Google Maps
Swanwick Lodge. Picture: Google Maps

Swanwick Lodge in Glen Road, Swanwick, is a children’s home that houses 10 youngsters between the ages of 10 and 17, providing residential care, education and health care to those at risk of harm to themselves and others.

The children's home is inspected by Ofsted, which has consistently rated it as 'requires improvement' since 2018.

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But now, following its most recent inspection in April, the children's home has now been ranked as 'good'.

Ofsted evaluated children's education and health, the leadership at Swanwick Lodge and how children are being helped and protected.

Councillors on Hampshire County Council's corporate parenting board were full of praise for how staff have turned things around.

The board's chairwoman, Councillor Ann Briggs, said: 'I am really pleased with the Ofsted report - I don't know how the staff turned it around so quickly.

'They all must have worked very hard.'

Liberal Democrat for Dibden and Hythe, Cllr Malcolm Wade, added: ‘I visited Swanwick Lodge a few years ago - to get this good rating from Ofsted is frankly brilliant.’

Conservative for Fareham Crofton, Cllr Pal Hayre, visited the lodge this year.

She told the board she was 'very impressed' by the progress made.

Both the Department for Education and Hampshire County Council have invested heavily into Swanwick Lodge to drive this improvement.

Staff say they are keen to not rest on their laurels, however, and further improvements are being sought to secure its bolstered reputation.

Registered secure unit manager, Sarah Herbert, said: ‘Whilst everyone at Swanwick is proud of its collective achievements, we cannot be complacent.

‘To sustain and build on the quality of care provided and the service’s financial viability we continue to focus on continual development and improvement.’

Planned improvements include filling all job vacancies across care and facilities, redevelopment of training programmes and using trauma-informed practices - something already being done by Hampshire Constabulary.

Early conversations are also taking place with the Department for Education about a new children's home being built, although this is at least half a decade away and would first need a location to be identified.