Cedar House, in Newton Aycliffe, was praised by inspectors after a two-day inspection and found to be ‘outstanding’ in all areas.

Cedar House is one of four children’s residential homes run by the North East Autism Society. 

Ofsted looked at the overall experiences of the children and young people living in Cedar House, as well as how staff safeguard children, and the quality of management and leadership in the home.

Inspectors said:

The staff team give children and young people a choice, a voice, and extraordinary quality of life through valuing and respecting each child and young person.
The attitudes and beliefs of the management team and staff are inspiring. They all hold high aspirations for children and young people,” the report added. 

Registered Manager Lee Miller, who has run the home since April last year, said,

It was a really amazing inspection. It was just fantastic to get that feedback after all the hard work that the team’s put in over the last year. Everyone was really happy with the outcome.

The home is registered for eight children and young people, who live in individual apartments which can be adapted for their needs and preferences.

Ofsted praised the way adaptations were made in the home to support children with individual sensory needs, or to allow all the children and young people to be able to communicate and be understood by staff.

Lee added that the individual needs of the children and young people were at the centre of staff’s approach at Cedar House.

“We’re just supporting the young people to be as independent as possible and basing everything off the young people’s needs, which Ofsted really highlighted us for. Everything is done in the best interests of the children,” Lee said.

The report added:

The sense of belonging for the children and young people extends to their families. Staff welcome families into the home or support time together in the community. This has helped relationships to thrive.
Some children and young people have been able to develop relationships with siblings for the first time, enjoying new experiences together. One child has attended a family wedding, allowing them to be part of the family photos.

Since the inspection was carried out, the team has stayed busy, creating a new sensory room in the house to provide a relaxing space for the children, and adapting the home for the needs of new residents.

“We’re continuing to have that child centred focus and changing the home based on the children that are in there, and just continually trying to improve,” Lee added.

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