“One child stated that he was delighted to visit the home, sporting a wide smile and brimming with excitement.”

This represents just one of the numerous glowing remarks found in the latest Ofsted report for Calderdale Council’s Linden Brook short breaks service for children with disabilities and complex needs, which has achieved an outstanding rating for the fifth consecutive year.

The respite facility offers short break services for children and young individuals, both during the day and overnight, catering to ages four to 17. It provides care, support, and a wide range of activities within a secure environment, granting young people the opportunity to grow while affording parents and caregivers a chance to recharge.

The service has attained an outstanding rating in all areas assessed by Ofsted, including children and young people’s overall experiences and progress, the extent to which children and young people are assisted and protected, as well as the effectiveness of the service’s leaders and managers.

Cllr Adam Wilkinson, the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services at Calderdale Council, expressed:

“Achieving an outstanding rating from Ofsted for five consecutive years is a remarkable accomplishment. It truly recognises the exceptional standard of care consistently provided by the staff at Linden Brook for children and young individuals with complex needs and their families.

“The service at Linden Brook aligns with the council’s commitment to reducing inequalities and facilitating a positive start, success, and overall well-being for children and young people throughout their lives.

“It is truly uplifting to hear feedback about the profound impact Linden Brook has on children and their families, such as one parent describing the staff as a second family.”

The Ofsted report commends Linden Brook for its “exceedingly high-quality care delivered by a team of experts dedicated to supporting disabled children.” It further states: “The staff members are nurturing and devoted to ensuring that children feel settled and secure during their stay. They possess an in-depth understanding of each child’s unique needs, including their emotional well-being and physical health requirements. The staff actively seek to comprehend the children’s perspectives and ensure their involvement in decision-making processes.”

The report highlights the positive experiences and outcomes that children enjoy thanks to Linden Brook’s emphasis on family values, a warm and inviting home environment, strong relationships with families, and a diverse range of enriching activities for the children’s delight during their stays. These activities encompass sensory play, music, community outings for walking and swimming, as well as trips to the countryside and seaside.

Linden Brook’s child-centered approach guarantees that young people receive support to enhance their skills and independence. The report affirms, “Staff members possess a clear understanding of how to access appropriate support for individual children. They proactively collaborate with other agencies, including child and adolescent mental health services, schools, specialised healthcare professionals, and social workers. This collaborative approach enhances the protection of the children.”

One professional shared, “The invaluable service provided for children is truly commendable…the staff members go above and beyond to support both the families and the children.”

This Ofsted report follows the recent achievement of an Equality and Diversity Champion award by a member of the Linden Brook team in the Council’s staff awards for Children and Young People’s Services.