A residential family assessment centre which works with the courts and local authorities has been told by inspectors it ‘still requires improvement to be good’.

Privately-run Kaleidoscope Assessment Services Ltd in Stretford was visited on April 4 after it was deemed ‘inadequate’ in December 2022 followed by a monitoring inspection in January.

Then, inspectors found that ‘suitable action’ had been taken to meet three statutory compliance notices, but fell short on two more.

It did not meet the requirement that the facility was managed with ‘sufficient care, competence and skill’.

“In particular, the registered person should ensure that monitoring arrangements for the centre meet requirements, clearly identify shortfalls and provide evidence for the action that has been taken to make improvements,” the report said.

The centre also did not ‘establish and maintain a system for reviewing at appropriate intervals and improve the quality of care provided’.

However, Kaleidoscope passed muster on ensuring the centre made ‘proper provision’ for the health and welfare of residents, and ‘making provision for the care, treatments, education and supervision of residents as is appropriate to their age and needs’.

It also complied with a requirement to consult with the fire authority and provide adequate means of escape.

The report said that there is currently no registered manager for the centre. The acting manager has applied to register with Ofsted but is still waiting for an interview.

“The centre is not yet delivering good assessments of parenting capacity and/or is not delivering good care and help,” Ofsted said. “The weaknesses identified need to be addressed to fully support children’s and parents’ progress through the assessment process and to mitigate risk in the medium and long term.

“But there are no serious or widespread failures that mean children’s welfare is not safeguarded and promoted.”

The inspectors said that the senior team has worked hard to implement several improvements at the centre since the ‘inadequate’ judgement at the previous inspection.

“The centre has been fully renovated and decorated,” it said. “It is clean, well-equipped, suitable furnished and homely. There are also clear systems in place to ensure families’ flats are maintained to a high standard.

“There is a qualified social worker in post to undertake families’ assessments. She is supervised by an appropriately experienced external professional who also quality assures her assessments.

“Improvements have been made to the process of planning assessment sessions with parents and assuring that there is effective monitoring and recording of sessions.

“There is a robust system in place for gathering full information from placing authorities in relation to families needs, prior to placements commencing.”

The report recommended that the centre’s ‘registered person’ should ensure that they can demonstrate, including from written and electronic records, that they consistently follow good recruitments practice, and all applicable current statutory requirements and guidance, in staff recruitment.

A spokesperson for the centre declined to comment