Children’s homes ‘will help young people to thrive’

South Gloucestershire Council is buying three properties to be used as children’s homes. 

This will help the council build capacity to ensure that more young people, who cannot live with their families for various reasons, can have a stable home and appropriate help, when they need it and where they need it, to get the best start in life.

The council acts as Corporate Parent to a number of children in the district and has a responsibility to support them in much the same way as any other family. There are not enough homes in the district, meaning that too often homes have to be found for them miles from their communities. This can cause major disruption to their education, support networks and family connections. The new homes the council is buying will allow more of these children to remain in or to move back to their own areas. 

The three properties will look just like any other family homes in appearance and for the children living there and for their neighbours, feel as close to that as possible. Each house will be for up to three children, aged between 11-17 years old. They will be nurturing, warm, welcoming spaces. 

The houses will be owned by the council, but managed by a specialist provider, who will support young people through trained carers, who will aim to give them the safe home environment which they may not have had in the past.

South Glos Council cabinet member for children and young people, Cllr Maggie Tyrell, said: “All children deserve to be part of their local community, with access to good resources such as parks and recreational areas. Where a young person’s family is unable to look after them in the way they need, the council sometimes has to step in and act as a Corporate Parent.

“In that role, we want what all parents want for their children, which is a bright future. That starts with a stable home, support and care and allows them to grow and thrive and to achieve their potential.

“Young people from South Gloucestershire should be able to grow up here and if there is disruption to family life that shouldn’t mean that their schooling, circles of friends and local connections are also disturbed. 

“There are currently not enough local places for us to do this work, which is why we are in the process of buying three properties here.

“These children are a valued part of our community and so we want to be able to help them grow up here, and provide the help they need to overcome whatever setbacks they may have experienced in their young lives.”

Care leavers have told the council how important it is for them to stay local wherever possible, and as part of a council commitment to help young people shape the support services they need, it is important that their views are heard. 

\One said: “Young people from South Gloucestershire shouldn’t be moved miles and miles away from their hometown, because it’s isolating and makes you feel more alone than ever and depressed. Children should stay in South Gloucestershire, so they get to stay close to their social workers and support networks.”