First up, a wee reminder
HC’s “pledge” to do better for children in care (march 2018)
- Inspectors told of lack of control at crisis-hit care home
- Children’s home staff ‘overwhelmed’ by challenging behaviour
Northern Lights can house up to FIVE children at any one time & was meant to open 14th Feb 2011 (valentine’s day) but there was a delay but it opened four months later on June 24th 2011.. To show his support, Fergus Ewing MSP attended the launch. Councillor Margaret Davidson, Chairman of HC’s Housing & Social Work Committee was also there and said..
I am delighted that once again partnership working in Highland is helping us to deliver improved outcomes for our children and young people as set out in our strategic plan: For Highland’s Children 3. By working with Barnardo’s Scotland we are continuing to progress GIRFEC in the Highlands. SOURCE a
SHAMBOLIC & AN UTTER DISGRACE
What’s going on in that “care” home could very easily end up having a detrimental effect on children that are vulnerable & traumatised… Well, that’s assuming it hasn’t already.
No matter what circumstances brought these children into care, even just the trauma of being in care & away from family will mean the majority will have extra needs & more than likely be a little more… “testing” than the average child. It’s blatantly obvious even to an untrained eye & SHOULD have been anticipated. They SHOULD have had enough capable employees to deal with whatever the children throw at them.
I totally disagree with the reports that are blaming location for the issues as there are plenty homes within close proximity & as the report says itself, “common practice for young people to leave the house at various times of the day and night and the frequency of absconding and serious incidents was far in excess for a service of this type.” So the issues are with that particular home, NOT down to the area.
As can be seen from the pics, it’s a brand spanking new place that’s clearly purpose built. It looks fantastic & is in the perfect location. Only 2.5 miles from the school & 3.5 miles from the town centre. Yet it is still in the middle of nowhere with things like horse riding stables & the river within a few minutes walk.. & Loch ness & local beauty spot Dores beach only 5 miles away.
Shame HC & Barnardo’s appear unable to make sure ALL the staff are capable of managing a few stroppy teens.
Northern Lights, Neath Birches, Scaniport, Inverness, IV2 6DL street view
Had Barnardo’s & HC social work department done the job they are grossly over paid to do & made sure the home was well equipped with plenty employees who have all been adequately trained, then the staff wouldn’t be “overwhelmed” by any kind of teenage “crisis”. In fact, there would be far fewer incidents if ALL those working there were in full control of any given situation & able to dealt with issues as & when they arose.
OF COURSE some of the children are running riot! Nobody is stopping them!
& if HC & Barnardo’s were doing the job WE PAY THEM TOO, then perhaps the child / young adult mentioned in the following 3 articles wouldn’t have “gone missing” in Nov 2014 and AGAIN in April 2015 & perhaps she also might not have been DRUNK, FIGHTING & UP IN BLOODY COURT ON AN ASSAULT CHARGE.
As for Councillor Jarvie… He needs to either get grip on the information he puts out into the public domain himself OR get a half decent researcher so he can make sure his facts are bang on, otherwise people might think he’s just yet another another lying councillor.. Hell, I spotted the problems a mile away & found all the relevant info in minutes! (I doubt he could afford me! But hey, i am always open to offers!)
Clearly Northern Lights has damn well not only gone downhill in the last year. Cause both myself & the Highland News have managed to trace problems going back years. It’s been since DAY BLOODY ONE with very few months of peace in between the bad/questionable reports…
HC & Barnardo’s have been in control of Northern Lights for over seven years & are obviously unable or unwilling to do the little it would take to make the place as safe, calm & the least traumatic as possible for the kids & also a safe & pleasant environment for people to work in.
EXTRACTS FROM AUG 2018 REPORT
- inconsistencies in staff practice
- some young people just “did what they wanted.”
Individual comments noted included the following:
- “The goings on carry on some night times makes it impossible for me to sleep.”
- “I often have things go missing from my room.”
- “I want out of here as I can’t cope with what is going on.”
- “I don’t feel safe here anymore.”
- “Some staff change the rules for an easy life as things just explode if some young people don’t get what they want.”
Parents we spoke with told us that they thought the staff were good. But, they just could not control the behaviour of some young people. Comments noted included the following:
- “*** has got involved with so many dodgy people in the town that they can’t break away.”
- Placing social workers we spoke with told us that there had been some success with young people but over the past months they had real concerns about the safety of some young people.
The safety of young people was regarded as a high priority for staff.
- However, it was common practice for young people to leave the house at various times of the day and night and the frequency of absconding and serious incidents was far in excess for a service of this type.
- Young people ignored staff and it was clear that sanctions were not effective.
- Young people who went missing from the house placed themselves at serious risk of harm
- Young people continued to take illegal substances, consume alcohol and offending behaviour continued.
- Staff were not in control
- There were many instances of the police being called to assist staff to deal with situations within the house.
- Young people had not been attending school or college
The 2017 report is WONDERFUL! Only thing i picked up on was this…
It was clear that over the past few months there had been staffing issues. This resulted in staff having to work on their days off and working additional hours. As a result of this, some staff felt that staff morale was low. However, staff stressed that this had not impacted on the quality of care and support provided to young people. We spoke with senior management about the staffing issues and were told that this was being addressed through the recruitment of new staff.
Although we acknowledge that there are times when staffing is problematic, the service provider must ensure that this does not affect staff moral and that additional measures are put in place to relieve the situation. Northern Lights Care Home Service – Care Inspectorate AUG 2017
I haven’t been able to find the 2015 report, but all the rest are here…
- Northern Lights Care Home Service – Care Inspectorate JUNE 2011
- Northern Lights Care Home Service – Care Inspectorate JUNE 2012
- Northern Lights Care Home Service – Care Inspectorate NOV 2012
- Northern Lights Care Home Service – Care Inspectorate MAY 2013
- Northern Lights Care Home Service – Care Inspectorate JULY 2013
- Northern Lights Care Home Service – Care Inspectorate AUG 2014
- Northern Lights Care Home Service – Care Inspectorate 2015 ???
- Northern Lights Care Home Service – Care Inspectorate AUG 2016
- Northern Lights Care Home Service – Care Inspectorate AUG 2017
- Northern Lights Care Home Service – Care Inspectorate AUG 2018
Below I took from the Aug 2017 report. (X & ? added by me!)
Going solely on the reports & what had been reported in the MSM,
In my opinion, out of the 9 reports, 4 are horrific, 3 are fantastic & the integrity of 2 is questionable due to the 3 MSM articles & the fact i can’t find one of the reports. Which coincidentally just so happens to be the report that covers the period the MSM articles were reporting about!!
Considering Northern Lights has only been been open 7 years & can only house 5 kids maximum at any one time! That is an awful track record.
& to be honest, it is relatively simple to fix. The vast majority of both staff & children are fabulous, as is the home itself & the location. The issue is with employing staff members that are unsuitable as the can’t control the one or two defiant teens that want everything their own way. & if either Barnardo’s or HC Social Work were willing to step up & help solve the staffing problems it could be a wonderful wee place that is a credit to all who have lived & worked there & could be something both they & Inverness could be immensely proud of..
But more importantly, it has the potential to become a place that helps countless children who had a rotten start in life begin adulthood on an equal footing with their peers…
Tagged in title
- @HighlandCouncil @BarnardosScot @HighlandCPC
- SANDRA CAMPBELL – @THCDirector_CL – was Head of Children’s Services, Care & Learning at HC. Now HC’s Interim Director of Care & Learning
- FERGUS EWING – @FergusEwingMSP – MSP – Rural Econ Cab Sec
- DREW HENDRY MP – @drewhendrySNP
- MARGARET DAVIDSON – @CllrDavidson
- ISABELLE MACKENZIE – @CllrIsabelleMac
- RICHARD LAIRD – @Richard_Laird
- RON MACWILLIAM – @RonMacWilliam
- ANDREW JARVIE – @CllrJarvie – On HC’s Care, Learning & Housing Committee