Below are a selection of testimonials from childcare professionals, parents and young people. All testimonials have been anonymised for reasons of privacy and confidentiality. If you have experience of working with us, or have used our services in any capacity, we would love to receive your feedback.
At Ethelbert Children's Services we strive for perfection but are never complacement. If you have any suggestions as to how we could improve any aspect of our service, please contact us directly from here.
Allocated Social Worker
The quality of care provided by all the staff I have met when visiting *** has been high.
From my observations all the staff are very child focused.
All the staff understand that *** is a traumatised child who needs therapeutic care.
All the staff are clearly giving *** the message that they like him. This is so important for *** who did not believe that any carers liked him before he came to Royal Oak.
My observations have been that *** trusts the staff to care for him and to keep him safe. Safe from himself on occasion of course when restraint has been necessary.
*** is very settled in Royal Oak hence his comment that he would like to stay there until he is 18
Restraint reports and incident reports are sent to me promptly. Communication from admin staff is very good. Reports for ***’s CIC Reviews are completed in good time.
S*** I think you have worked really effectively with me and other professionals. You have developed really good working relationships with both ***’s Mum and Dad, so the video contacts to my knowledge have gone well with you supervising them.
In ***’s CIC Reviews you provide clear information distinguishing factual events from your own professional opinion.
Finally it has been a pleasure working with you and I am confident that C*** and you will also work very effectively together
Thanks so much
Outgoing Social Worker
Allocated Social Worker
I have recently taken up a new role in Peterborough, and I am in the process of handing over to a new social worker…. I just want to give some feedback on Royal Oak House and the care that they are providing for L***.
If I could sum it up in one word: 'Excellent'!
Royal Oak have given L*** a warm, loving, and stable home environment. L*** is happy here and feels very much wanted and listened too. I have always looked forward to my visits as there is always something new and positive to hear about the progress that L*** is making, and he always greets me with a big smiling face and a hug.
I have not had any issues in my communications with S*** (Home Manager), and she always ensures that things are followed up on and any significant events are communicated in a timely manner.
Royal Oak have enabled L*** to start to trust that the adults around him can keep him safe, he is a lot more stable emotionally, and articulates that he lives living here. He is encouraged to try out new things, and equally, his hobbies and interests are fully supported.
I have had such a wonderful experience of working with you, and I feel confident that this is the right placement for this young person.
Peterborough City Council
Allocated Social Worker
I hope you are well.
I just wanted to send you a quick message as I am highly impressed with the work being done with my young person; J***.
All the staff at Artillery House have shown a lot of commitment and care towards J***. J*** himself has shared that he likes the staff he works with.
G*** has been a great addition to the team. I am very impressed that J*** is now attending important meetings such as LAC reviews and PEP meetings. This is something he would refuse to do before. I appreciate G***’s communication and how he advocates on behalf on J*** during professionals meetings.
It is not often that I message management in regards to staff I work with, but I felt it was important to express how I feel about the staff at Artillery House.
London Borough of Barnet
Virtual School Head
(Received during Covid-19 Lockdown)
Dear S*** and K***,
As part of our Virtual School Team meeting, we have introduced an agenda item which allows members of the team to give a 'Shout Out' to professionals they feel have either gone over and above for young people or they wish to commend for the approach they take to working with Looked After Children in general.
You received a 'Shout Out' from B*** O*** for the support and care you have provided for the Hillingdon LAC you are currently working with.
In B's words.... K*** T***(HLTA) has been going into the home on a daily basis to support R*** in his learning along with an LSA.They have identified strategies to support behaviours which R*** can show and these will be shared and replicated when R*** returns to school.
K*** has been teaching R*** the full curriculum and has been very creative in how this has been delivered. The home's Kitchen has now been turned into a solar system when they were completing work on this topic.
R*** has managed to sit practise paper for FS1 which is something he would've struggled to complete in school. R*** has made above expected progress whilst being educated at home.
S*** H*** DT has been in regular contact with R***and K*** to monitor progress. S*** has implemented Dungeons and Dragons on a Friday morning which is a strategy game and has allowed R*** to develop his logic and problem solving skills.
S*** will be liaising with S*** at home, K*** and R*** to plan for his transition back as this will be difficult for him.
It is important to me and the VS team collectively that this work is recognised and praised. Thank you for all that you are doing for our young people.
Hillingdon Virtual School for Children Looked After, Previously Children Looked After and Care Leavers
I find the quality of care provided at Ethelbert to be consistently excellent. There is good care and warmth towards children by staff. There is consistent routine and clear and consistent boundary set which helps children to feel secure and settled and cared for.
With a child currently placed, they have established excellent rapport with him, engaged him well in education and activities and reduced the risk of absconding and offending to practically zero.
They use praise and rewards well which has helped the child to understand the consequences of his behaviour in a positive way.
I really like Harold House and the dedication of staff at care home as well as in education.
Independent Reviewing Officer
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
The standard of care is very good… excellent support to involve C**** as much as possible in the plans for his placement… excellent range of activities provided…keyworker knows the child well and has been very supportive with contact arrangements.
Communication is excellent. The home is excellent at involving and welcoming parents as well as professionals.
Allocated Social Worker
London Borough of Hounslow
Within the last two years there have been meetings between local residential care providers, YOS and magistrates representing the Youth Bench. Ethelbert Homes have supported this with enthusiasm, and hosted the most recent event themselves.
This has led to improved relationships between the homes and magistrates based on mutual learning about roles and responsibilities, leading to comments from the magistrates that they appreciate positive improvements and in particular the opportunity to hear more from home managers about the work that they do with young people.
A form devised by YOS to ensure that young people who are looked after come to court with full information about them was adopted immediately by Ethelbert Homes, and this too has led to more effective joint working and provision of essential information to the court in a timely manner when young people do appear in court.
Practice Manager, Youth Justice, KIASS - Thanet & Canterbury
We would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for the kindness you have given to P****. When P**** when to Durham House at the beginning we were very worried for him, how he would overcome being away from his family and home but after the second visit we knew that you would take care of him very well and that was a great relief for us. That belief has never been broken to the end of his stay with you at Durham House.
Your help, professional handling, understanding, your friendship is commendable and credit to your profession and your employer and we know that you will carry on with this professional care whatever child is in your care. P**** being in your care has become stronger in his outlook and understanding to other people. You have given him more strength and understanding to go to the next stage of his life.
Every time we have visited him you have made us very welcome, also we could see how you have cared for him as he was happy and fun loving boy could be. Yes, we do know that there were times where P**** misbehaved, it was not easy for you but he also knew that you were there for him and got him out of those problems. We would like to thank you all again, we will never forget you. How you looked after him even on the last day of his stay with you. We know that P**** in his way will never forget you.
As a team of professionals you should be proud of yourselves.
Once again, big thank you for how you took care of P****.
With fond regards and wish you well.
A***, D**** and S**** S****
I am writing to you to inform you of the appreciation and thanks that we extend to B**** S**** and M**** G**** and all staff at Royal Oak House.
M**** S**** attended St Anthony’s School throughout his secondary education and is now leaving us to continue his Post-16 education at Hadlow College, Canterbury. M**** benefitted from having consistency from B**** and M**** which allowed them to build up a very close working relationship with St Anthony’s School staff. It is unfortunately rare for a pupil to have the same Home Manager and Key Worker throughout their time with us and this undoubtedly has contributed to the success that M**** enjoyed here at school.
M**** was supported at every Personal Education Plan Meeting, Annual Review of his Statement, Teacher Consultations and numerous school functions. I am aware of many occasions when M**** has attended with M**** even when it did not fall on one of his working days.
M**** worked tirelessly with M**** last summer to ensure he could master travelling to and from school independently for his last year at school and with much celebration this was achieved. M**** travelled many journeys with M**** and then cautiously stepped back to allow him to complete his route alone.
M****’s maturity was evident in many areas of his life and it was wonderful to witness him at his last meeting at school… participating and contributing fully, such a vast difference to the times when he was in and out of the room, hiding under his clothing and calling out from afar.
I believe that M****’s progress both academically, socially and emotionally has been due to the consistent support from the professionals that have surrounded him and in particular M**** and B****.
Pupil Welfare Manager - responsibility for Children in Care
St. Anthony's School
Dear C**** M*******
My name is Y***** H****** I live at Micawber House. This is my first time being in care. I have been at Micawber House for 2 years and 3 months. It is really nice there the staff are amazing. I never thought being in care could change me but it has. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. Sad to think I will be leaving in June. I just wanted to say a Big thank you to everyone that has helped me
Young Person - Northamptonshire
L**** receives a good standard of care at Hillview.
Staff are tuned in to L****’s emotional and social needs… all L****’s needs are being met… L****’s social and emotional development has improved greatly since being at Hillview… we receive weekly updates via email and phone calls when needed.
All staff are caring and kind to L****… I feel the service offered to L**** is very good – gives him the opportunity to develop in a safe place, surrounded by people who care.
Allocated Social Worker
The setting is very different from the usual residential unit. It’s quite small and a traditional seaside style house. The staff are very welcoming and nothing is too much trouble- meetings, support for contact, visits to unit and to LA settings. As it is small they get to know the young people very quickly. There is great honesty with the way in which they see and work with young people and they will keep in touch and ask consent if required. There is a lot of emotional warmth and parents, carers and professionals are welcomed. They look for activities for young people that really meet their needs. As they are also all local people and very mature in their professional approach, they are not surprised or shocked with anything.
The young person I had at Llee House... has now moved back to a local foster family (within Ethelbert Agency). It was something that we had thought would have taken much longer but K**** and his team worked very hard with real dedication and support and have achieved an excellent outcome for this young person.
I recommend this provision and if I can provide any further information, please contact me.
Team Manager, LAC
Hammersmith & Fulham
I would wish to commend you and your staff for the comprehensive report completed for this young person LAC review. It was greatly refreshing to have such a detailed report.
It is important to acknowledge good practice and I felt this appraisal is warranted. Well done.
Independent Reviewing Officer and Safeguarding Manager
West Ipswich & South East Suffolk