A CARE provider near Mauchline has praised the work of its team after its first inspection report was published - despite a watchdog identifying some concerns over its "inconsistent practices".

The Care Inspectorate rated the service at the East Welton Farm children's residential home as 'good' overall, with key messages including the nurturing care given to children, support from staff, and that kids were suitably accommodated together.

But the report also identified "examples of inconsistent approaches within the team" and said that "this meant that [the children's] care was less stable".

The service is provided by Phoenix Abbey Ltd, which is based in Paisley and also runs Greenview, near Kilwinning.

East Welton is registered for up to two children and young people and, in Phoenix Abbey's words, is "designed to support children and young people who may have experienced significant trauma" and who "require some extra support".

The watchdog's report praised the "positive daily routines" which gave "much needed structure for children who, at times, could be stressed and overwhelmed".

It said that "the importance of working collectively as a team, and with partners, was clearly expressed by those managers and staff who helped to inform this inspection".

The report added: "By supporting the children to flourish and grow, they had the chance to become resilient and more trusting, and there was evidence of this progression."

But the inspectors also identified concerns around "inconsistent practice" which "caused confusion about boundaries and power struggles with some staff, as children tested what they were allowed to do or not".

READ MORE: New yoga and fitness studio set for Mauchline as plans approved

The inspectors added: "This could cause them to feel that they can't rely on staff. It led to friction in the team, with some members of staff becoming disgruntled and disempowered.

"Confidence in management was not yet at an optimum level and we have made an area for improvement with regard to building trust through transparent practices."

The recently-opened service was given plenty of positive comment in the report, including how its environment helped kids to learn, feel safe and develop their skills.

The report said: "Consistent bedtimes and mealtimes helped the children to feel safe and secure, and thoughtful practices at bedtime, combining story telling and positive touch, helped to reassure children that they were safe and secure.

"The children spent time with an independent advocate and by going to the park, where the children were more relaxed and able to say what they wanted, they were able to tell this worker what was important to them."

READ MORE: Review underway for problematic Mauchline junction

The 'area for improvement' set out by the Care Inspectorate said the centre should "build staff trust through inclusive leadership that seeks active collaboration from all members of the team to carry out effective decision making and problem solving in the service".

It also said staff should "actively promote consistent practice on agreed approaches to children and young people's care and support needs, and undertake a detailed review of progress and supportively address any real or perceived issues affecting staff confidence in their work with children and young people".

A Phoenix Abbey spokesperson said: “As this is our first inspection since opening, we are proud of the outcome at East Welton, and look forward to building on our capacity to meet the needs of our children and young people."