A hub for our Wilderness Experiences, Howgills offers a home to four young people aged between 8 and 17+ years of age, however, 17 is the maximum age of admission. The home aims to help children at risk recover from experiences which may have rendered them vulnerable and irrupted their primary relationships.
We’re delighted that our Howgills service has been rated as “Outstanding” in its most recent Ofsted inspection, praising the “fantastic progress” the young people make, as well as the “significant reduction of their risks” as a result of a high number of them being able to return to their families or home areas after their placement ends.
The goal of Howgills children’s social care home is to create a location where young people can build appropriate relationships with adults, learn to cope with their feelings and thrive in a non-judgemental environment. We believe that the safe, nurturing and caring environment of Howgills allows the children in crisis and young people to build these relationships with the team who will offer support, advice and encouragement. Our most recent Ofsted report highlights that “staff are trained in the pathway for adverse childhood experiences (ACE)”, meaning they have a “good understanding of how young people’s experiences as children affect them as they grow into adulthood.”
As this location is home to both short and long-term placements, we aim to make the children’s social care home a positive one, where all can learn new skills and experiences. For the longer placements, we encourage young people to develop life skills, broaden their horizons and prepare for the future.
At Howgills we work with a range of children in crisis who present a range of characteristics including challenging behaviour, self-esteem and image issues, complex needs and associated mental health needs. We only offer placements to those young people who we feel can benefit from our experience, expertise and unique rural locations, or will benefit from the outdoor provision we provide.
Howgills has spacious bedrooms, several communal living spaces including lounge, dining room, a fully equipped kitchen with separate utility, small study and games room, and a lower multi-function room that leads out into the garden. The home also has an education room separate for meetings and school times to keep the school and home times separate. On the lower floor, there is also a music room area that can be used by young people to calm and spend time being creative.
Many of the children at risk in our care have experienced trauma and dysfunction within their family environments and have difficulty regulating their emotions and behaviours. Often, they may have experienced several care placements before attending Howgills. All of our staff are trained and have a good understanding of young people’s risks. Our latest Ofsted report mentioned our “good training package, which covers issues such as gangs, child sexual exploitation and contextual safeguarding”. The Ofsted report also commended Howgills’ “innovative practice in respect of contextual safeguarding, to the extent that the service manager now sits on a university advisory group and has been invited to undertake a doctorate in this area”.
The home is based in the rural community of Cumbria, which is the perfect setting for working with such vulnerable young people. This secluded location improves the young person’s chances of rehabilitation by enabling them to have time to reflect in a safe, relaxed environment away from the problems associated with their home areas.
The structure is provided through daily living routines, group activities and one to one time with key workers. We encourage the young people within the home to lead healthy lifestyles and pride ourselves on the success in our outdoor activity program. In using the outdoor environment, we bring about learning, education, stability, trust and time to calm down and reflect.
We also encourage young people to get involved with initiatives within the home. This was praised by our latest Ofsted report, which recognised that “one young person won the competition to design a logo for the group”. Not only did the young person win the competition, but he was “exceptionally proud of this and felt that he had never won anything before”.
Howgills has an individual risk assessment to highlight its physical design and layout. The home also has a fire risk assessment for the purpose of safety and each child in the home will have their own individual risk assessment. This ensures that all processes within the home are specific to the young persons’ individual needs within Howgills and ensures we can put necessary controls in place to minimise risk.
For any further information, please contact our referral team today for a chat or to request a Statement of Purchase at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cumbria (Wilderness Experiences)