Wheatlands praised for being named outstanding residential care service for 2022
Wheatlands House in Galashiels, Scottish Borders Council’s registered care home for children and young people, has been congratulated by elected members on winning the Scottish Social Services Award for Outstanding Residential Care Service for 2022.
The achievement was acknowledged at the council meeting held on 24 November when members heard that Wheatlands had been one of three services shortlisted for the residential care category, alongside Brucefield and Corporate Parenting Hub, Stirling Council and Wernham House, Aberdeen Cyrenians. They were announced the overall winners at an award ceremony in Glasgow on 9 November.
Held annually, the Scottish Social Services Awards celebrate the work of social work and social care services across Scotland and in particular the individuals, teams and organisations who strive to make a positive difference to the lives of children, young people and adults involved.
The judging panel were extremely impressed across the board for the quality care and outcomes being delivered at Wheatlands for young people in the Scottish Borders, not only over the past 12 months but also in the preceding 10 years.
Among the many strengths of the service, they found the staff team to be highly skilled and experienced, with the relationship-based approach utilised in their work with young people clearly having a positive impact on their wellbeing.
The way in which young people were involved in the running of their home, including taking part in weekly participative meetings, was also noted as having resulted in a number of initiatives and changes to practice.
The Wheatlands admission process was praised for the way in which this takes place over a two to four week period with the aim of minimising any anxiety for young people coming into the home, giving them more time to adjust to their surroundings and get to know both the staff team and other residents.
The loyalty of the team was another key highlight with two thirds of staff having been employed at the home for between 10 and 20 years. This was seen to have made a significant contribution to the stability of the setting and the way in which young people were able to build strong, long lasting and reliable relationships.
As well as working with current residents, the team’s ethos for engaging with young people who have moved on from the home was seen as highly positive, with previous residents receiving Christmas and birthday cards and ‘thinking’ of you’ messages. They were also regularly invited for Sunday dinner and to other special occasions.
Councillor Carol Hamilton, executive member for Developing our Children and Young People, said: “We are already hugely proud of the staff team at Wheatlands as they consistently deliver quality care for young people in the Borders, having received ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’ gradings from the Care Inspectorate every year since 2012.
“Everything they do is aimed at providing the highest quality care for young people in a safe, caring and supportive environment, so that they have the best chance possible of reaching their full potential.”
She added: “This award truly reflects the commitment and professionalism of everyone who works at the home, as well as the positive outcomes achieved for the young people who live there, and they deserve all our congratulations on their success.
“They continue to go from strength to strength and it is wonderful to see their hard work, commitment and dedication recognised nationally in this way.”