An ‘extraordinarily effective’ children’s home with an ‘excellent standard of care’ is celebrating its 10th successful foster care placement this Foster Care Fortnight.
Villa Farm House, first opened in 2001 and is part of Options’ Behavioural, Emotional and Social Difficulties division.
Options provides specialist services for children, young people and adults with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC), learning disabilities and complex needs and behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD).
In 2015, Villa Farm House received the news it had retained its ‘Outstanding’ rating for the fifth consecutive time – an accolade it first gained in 2011. The rating put the home in the top 11 per cent of children’s homes in the country.
Villa Farm House provides an important step in the Options ‘journey of care’. It offers a nurturing environment to children and young people whilst preparing them to transition back into a family environment.
Villa Farm works closely with Options College Shifnal, where its students are provided with personalised education programmes, dependent on their needs and abilities.
Many of the young people at Villa Farm have successfully moved into foster care placements via Options Fostering or to a fostering placement closer to home. Since July 2013, two children have successfully returned home, five children have moved into residential homes for older children, and ten children have successfully moved on to foster placements.
Speaking of the successful step down to fostering pathway, Villa Farm House Registered Manager, Lorraine Gregory, said: “We’ve had children come to Villa Farm who have had difficult histories, but have settled down as a result of positive relationships with staff, and the boundaries that we put in place.
“I am delighted at how many children have successfully stepped down to fostering as part of the Options ‘journey of care’, and I am exceptionally proud of all of the children’s progress.
“Each young person who leaves Villa Farm House receives a leaving present and a letter book, which contains a letter written by each member of staff, this is then presented at a special leaving meal. All of the young people keep in touch with the staff after leaving, and we love to hear how they are getting on.”
Villa Farm House also had reason to celebrate last year as Lorraine was named Britain’s best care home manager at The Great British Care Awards in April 2015.
Latest statistics show that 1000 additional foster carers are needed across the West Midlands in 2016, with a national shortage of at least 9,000 in the UK. Could you become a foster carer? We have a number of forthcoming open days for you to come and find out more http://www.optionsgroup.co.uk/fostering/myths