A CENTRE which provides respite breaks for vulnerable youngsters encountering difficulties in their personal lives is making a positive difference to their wellbeing, inspectors have said.

The Barnsley Council-run venue - which has not been named due to safeguarding reasons - was visited by Ofsted over a two-day period last month.

Staff provide care through short break arrangements for children with learning or physical disabilities, some of whom have complex health conditions.

The report said: “Inspectors found that children make good progress from attending the home’s short-break provision, and it has made a positive difference to their lives.

“Staff spend quality time with the children and this time and support have helped the children develop their verbal communication and independence skills.

“As a result, children have become more resilient, as they have been helped to reduce their anxieties and frustrations.

“The relationships between the staff and the children are nurturing and calm; staff know the children well and they make sure that the children’s short-break stays are fun and entertaining.

“Children are relaxed in their environment, and they enjoy being in the company of the staff and the other children.

“Family members see the changes in their children, and they know that this is due to the support and guidance that their children receive from the staff, inspectors say.”

Inspectors found that the service continues to provide much-needed support and respite for an increasing number of children and their families.

Ofsted also acknowledged the long-standing commitment of both the council’s leadership and management to continually improving its offer to young people, and awarded a ‘good’ rating.

At a previous meeting, cabinet members agreed on additional investment to strengthen children’s services, including action to help young people leaving care in Barnsley to maintain relationships, tackle the risk of homelessness and deprivation, as well as enable them to participate in education and attain skills or qualifications that will ensure pathways into employment and higher education.

Coun Trevor Cave, cabinet spokesperson for children’s services, said: “I’m proud to say that the home has been rated good in every inspection since 2018, and the hard work of our staff means that the quality of services provided has remained consistent.

“My sincere thanks go to all the staff, whose dedication shines through in this inspection report.

“The home has been designed to provide a welcoming environment for the children who stay, which means that they always feel at home, where they enjoy spending time and can flourish.

“Inspectors could see how much children matter in Barnsley - we strive to make sure their voices are heard and involve them in our decision making.

“We mean it when we say we want Barnsley to be the place of possibilities for every child and young person who lives here, and we will continue to work hard to make this happen.”