We’ve Been Rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted!

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that our registered children’s homes have been rated by Ofsted, with Borrowdale, Howgills and Bay Tree receiving ‘Outstanding’ and Bowscar Farm receiving a ‘Good’ rating.

Over the years, we have created a methodology for developing programs and plans for placements in residential children’s homes. As a team, we have been working hard to develop excellent standards within our children’s homes by providing our young people with exceptional residential childcare and support.

All our homes listed below are hubs for our Wilderness Experiences.

Wilderness Experiences is a child-in-crisis intervention programme which provides care for children and young people who require crisis support. This is achieved through both planned and emergency admissions, supporting any young people who have been subject to abuse, neglect or exploitation. We also work with children who may be at risk for reasons such as family circumstances, gang involvement, witness to serious crimes and situations which may leave them vulnerable.

Children within our Wilderness Experience programme benefit from outdoor education and activities which develop teamwork such as camping, rock climbing and canoeing. These outdoor experiences provide the young people with opportunities, skills and confidence.

Below, we have listed some of the highlights the inspectors focused upon in their reports.


Borrowdale View is rated ‘Outstanding’

Borrowdale View is one of our Ofsted registered children’s homes that acts as a location hub for our Wilderness Experiences. The location offers a home to young people aged between 8 and 17 which offers both short-term and long-term placements. The report found:

‘Borrowdale has access to on-site and off-site qualified professions such as mental health practitioners, psychologists and therapists. The children within the home benefit from an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to education and care.

A social worker said: ‘This service is brilliant; without this level of intervention this would be a child in and out of care.’

End of placement reports are provided to professionals and families, along with a child-friendly version for the children and young people. These reports clearly show a significant decrease in the children and young people’s behaviour. For example, drug use is ceased, missing from home incidents are rare and the need for physical intervention is diminished. These reports clearly show the success of the children and young people’s placement in this service. 

The staff have a well-developed and individualised specialist knowledge about the risks and issues related to child sexual exploitation, self-harm, gang culture, county lines, restorative practice, radicalisation, extremism, attachment, trauma and loss. This enables them to pre-empt, plan, review and, ultimately, reduce these risks for the children and young people.


Howgills is rated ‘Outstanding’

Another hub for our Wilderness Experiences, Howgills offers a home to four young people aged between 8 and 17 years of age. The goal of Howgills children’s social care home is to create a location where young people can build appropriate relationships with adults and thrive in a non-judgemental way. As with all our homes, we believe that a safe and nurturing environment allows children and young people in care to build these relationships. The report found:

‘Most young people placed in the home are hopeful that they can eventually return to their families, or at least their home areas. This has been achieved for a high number of young people placed, which evidences the fantastic progress they make and the significant reduction of their risks.

The company is developing a mental health action group and one young person won the competition to design a logo for the group. He was exceptionally proud of this and felt that he had never won anything before. 

Staff have very good understanding of young people’s risks due to a good training package which covers issues such as gangs, child sexual exploitation and contextual safeguarding. The company is using 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. 

Staff are trained in the pathway for adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and therefore have a good understanding of how young people’s experiences as children affect them as they grow into adulthood.’ 


Bowscar Farm is rated ‘Good’

Bowscar Farm offers both short-term and long-term residential care and is another hub for our Wilderness Experiences. The location is one of our most unique residential care homes for children as it is split in the middle, offering the young people their own unique space. One is a three-bedroom house and the other is a smaller, two-bedded property. The report found:

One senior social worker spoke in very positive terms about the home. She reported that the home is ‘providing a steppingstone to a more functional adult life’ for their placed child. 

Staff feel that they have a good level of support and supervision. They understand their roles and feel confident in meeting the children’s needs and managing their risks. They benefit from a detailed induction and an interesting and varied training programme. 

Children at this home often come from cities where they are at risk of gang exploitation, criminal exploitation, sexual exploitation, drugs and county lines. Staff are trained to understand these issues and to provide the right type of support and education to help break children out of the cycle of risk they were in. 

Missing from home incidents dramatically reduce for young people placed at this home. This is in part due to the rural location of the properties, but also because of the high level of supervision provided. 

Changes have been made to the staff teams so that each child is provided with a ‘core’ staff team. This offers them continuity of care. 

Children who have previously not engaged well in education or who have not attended school now take part in their programme of education. Requests for more challenging work are met. A range of educational activities and visits also help children to enjoy and achieve their educational potential.’ 

Through our Wilderness Experiences hubs, we focus on helping young people heal and thrive. The outdoor experiences combined with the alternative education and care we provide offers young people the skills and confidence they need to thrive.

If you have any questions relating to our registered children’s homes or our Wilderness Experiences, please get in touch with our referrals team at referrals@awwltd.com.

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