Skip to content

Standards improve at children’s home

Be the first to share!
By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
Dumfries and West
Standards improve at children’s home

A BREAKDOWN in relationships between staff and young people at a Dumfries children’s home during the height of the pandemic led to a poor report by inspectors.

That is the assessment by Lillian Cringles, social work chief for Dumfries and Galloway, as she reflected on the criticisms levelled towards Hardthorn Road Children’s House.

She also insisted that steps have been taken to improve the running of the facility and is “confident” inspectors will be pleased with progress made.

Following a visit by the Care Inspectorate in February last year, inspectors downgraded the facility, marking three key areas as two out of six (weak) and the other two categories as four out of six (good).

The Hardthorn Road home has been providing care for a maximum of five children and young people, aged between eight and 18, since 2013.

At the council’s social work committee last week, Nith Councillor John Campbell asked for an update.

Lillian Cringles responded: “We clearly were disappointed when we received this feedback from the Care Inspectorate.

“It’s not a reason or an excuse, but it is a factor that these inspections took place during the height of the pandemic.

“Particularly for our residential staff, things were extremely difficult – managing young people in the unit, with no school or other levels of activity that they would normally be part of.

“A lot of the times the unit was really stable with a lot of positive feedback from the young people, but at points they really struggled with the lockdown.

“And I think with any family group, there has been breakdowns in relationships with parents and children. It’s the same for the unit, there were some breakdowns with the staff and young people.”

She added that Hardthorn is “generally a very settled unit” but that there was a lot of movement during the pandemic with new young people coming in and others moving in.

“We’re working hard with the leadership team within the unit,” said Lillian. “I would be confident when we’re re-inspected we’ll be back to the grades we had.”


25th May

Silage clamp checks advised

By Fiona Reid | DNG24