'Chaotic' Blackpool children's home to shut after 'inadequate' Ofsted rating

Coun Graham Cain
Coun Graham Cain
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A council-run children's home branded 'chaotic' by Ofsted inspectors is being temporarily closed with youngsters transferred to alternative accommodation.

The premises at 331 Bispham Road in Blackpool were rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted following an inspection in June.

Among the findings were that children had caused damage to the home, police had to be regularly called to deal with serious incidents, bullying had taken place between the young people, and young people had gone missing.

Children were also found on occasion to be under fhe influence of harmful substances.

Pressures had led to staff going on sick leave with those who remained said to be "committed but exhausted." The manager had resigned in March and agency staff were being brought in.

The Ofsted report said: "The home has been chaotic for a number of months. Staff have spent their time trying to manage continual serious incidents."

The council has now decided to close the home, which provides long term accommodation for up to six young people, from August 6 until October 31 while it reviews its residential services.

The 13 staff will be deployed to other roles in children's social care.

Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council deputy leader, said: “We were very concerned that Ofsted found there to be some inadequacies at the home in Bispham.

“When we received the feedback immediate action was taken to address the core concerns that were highlighted and as there are no children currently living at the home we are taking the opportunity to incorporate the service in to a full review of our residential services for children and young people.”

A council report says 331 Bispham Road has not been running to full capacity during the past 18 months because better support is enabling more children with specialist needs to be placed in foster care.

These placements cost up to £1,200 per week and "offer stable family homes for children who have experienced and continue to experience the effects of neglect and trauma."