Over the summer, OFSTED completed inspections in three specialist homes where CCATS provides therapeutic support for young people with harmful sexual behaviour. It was encouraging to note that our therapeutic role was viewed very positively in all three reports. Broadly, OFSTED found that:
“In-house clinical therapy… supports young people in their journey to becoming increasingly safe within the wider community, and enables them to benefit from improved emotional well-being and happiness.”
The collaborative approach that CCATS and other colleagues in the home adopt was praised in the reports. OFSTED noted:
“Cohesive and effective working relationships between care staff, education staff and clinicians ensure that young people receive an individual and holistic package of support to address their identified needs. This high level of care and positive multi-agency working ensures that young people make progress from their individual starting points.”
CCATS, along with the residential homes, adopt an individualised approach to manage risk and bring about positive change in the young people. OFSTED found our therapy to be flexible, in that work with young people is consistently reviewed to ensure progress is being made at an achievable pace, any immediate concerns are addressed, and interventions evaluated in terms of their effectiveness. Young people were found to engage positively with CCATS sessions:
“Children engage meaningfully in their sessions to explore emotionally challenging past experiences, and build healthier strategies to help regulate their emotions and increase their resilience.”
Furthermore, OFSTED commended CCATS therapy in meeting young people’s areas of risk and need within their individualised therapeutic programme:
“Therapists work with the children and staff to develop strategies to support safe progress towards their goals. The highly effective planning and proactive safeguarding practice contributes to a significant reduction in risk and, consequently, to children’s sense of safety and stability.”
In particular, OFSTED provided one example where staff and therapists worked together to prepare a young person for family contact:
“Staff are willing to ‘go above and beyond’ to support children to enjoy positive contact with their families. Some exemplary work was in progress at the time of the inspection to prepare a child to attend a family celebration. Staff and therapists had worked with the child to develop cue cards so that he can discreetly seek help if circumstances become challenging.”
CCATS prides itself on evidence-informed practice, and we are keen to apply and integrate our knowledge to improve outcomes for young people. This was recognised in the OFSTED reports, which noted that our therapy was “integrated into the planning of the positive behaviour support model used in the home’s practice.” This supportive model builds young people’s sense of self-esteem and identity, recognising areas of strength and celebrating achievement.
It would not be possible for CCATS to receive such favourable comments from OFSTED without the support of our dedicated and professional team. Moving forward, we will endeavour to maintain these high standards in our work within the residential homes.