Our children's home in Essex has been recognised in the sector's most prestigious awards, having been shortlisted for Care Team of the Year in the National Children's and Young People's Awards.
Wood Grove is home to four boys and girls aged between 12 and 17, and who, because of challenges they have faced, need the therapeutic, supportive and enabling environment that the home offers. The home offers places to children with social, emotional and mental health needs, autism and learning difficulties and was rated Good in its last Ofsted inspection in 2019.
The team at Wood Grove in Essex work together to create a home that is a true family home, not just a place to live or work.
Working quietly and without fanfare, the team pull together and, led by outstanding Manager Steven Robertson, have created a place where love and respect are paramount and where everyone wants to do well for each other. Over 12 years they have supported many children to return to family living or foster families, always the true aim of the work which we do.
The residential children’s home supports young people with a range of challenges and during COVID-19 had the additional challenge of home-schooling children while some staff were unavailable due to shielding.
But, pulling together and with the attitude of “we’re a family”, there was no negative impact on the young people or their education. The team worked very long days and stayed at the home for days at a time to ensure there was consistency for the children.
When it was time to transition children back to off-site education, with careful guidance and support, what could have been a difficult change for the children was a seamless and positive one.
During lockdown, with only a small garden, they used imagination and determination to create entertainment and ways of maintaining positive contact with families and friends. This included developing food parcels for the local community, indoor golf and getting fit-bits to track activity, keep motivated and encourage movement.
It worked and even despite the profoundly challenging nature of lockdown, there have been no physical interventions at Wood Grove for two years and virtually no incidents of any nature in the same time.
A staff member says: “Over many years we have supported lots of children to return to family and foster placements. It is the most rewarding part of the job.”