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Specialist care home given green light

Created on 12/11/2020 @ 07:36
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A scheme that will bring children and young people in care who have the most complex needs back home to Powys has been give the go ahead.

Staff from Children’s Social Services will now need to find a property with up to six bedrooms, and convert it to become a specialised care home for up to three children.

It would also need to have space for a classroom.

Members of Powys County Council’s Cabinet were told at their meeting on Tuesday, November 10, that there is a lack of this kind of specialist, care not just in Wales, but the UK in general.

Head of Children’s Social Services, Jan Coles, explained why it’s needed.

Ms Coles said: “The need for secure accommodation is due to a lack of provision for children who can’t contain their emotions.

“Their behaviour can escalate to levels that can sometimes be harmful.”

“This is because of the trauma they have experienced in their lives.”

Ms Coles explained that the children they were looking to help have difficulty building relationships with others and accepting support.

Ms Coles added: “This is a Wales and UK wide problem and we think we can and should do something for our children in Powys.”

Ms Coles pointed out that due to the scarcity of places, care providers can “pick and choose” who they take, and charge “almost whatever they want.”

The idea is to have  Children’s Social Services work with the Education Services and Powys Teaching Health Board to provide a joined up approach to looking after the children.

Portfolio holder for Adult Social Services, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, pointed out there was a solid economic argument to back the proposal.

Cllr Alexander, said: “When we have to place the youngster outside our own borders, what we’re doing is exporting the jobs that are going with looking after that young person.”

“It would be lovely to think we can build up expertise in this county and people could have careers looking after young people.”

“We would not be sending our Powys rate payers money to support jobs in other parts of the country, but support them at home.”

She added that the cabinet do “talk a lot” about the Powys Pound, and that this “is” a Powys Pound project.

The project is worth in total £525,00, with £300,000 coming from a Welsh Government grant.

One of the challenges facing the project is that the  £300,000 needs to used by March 31, 2021.

Council leader, Cllr Rosemarie Harris, said: “There’s a fairly acute time pressure here, are we comfortable that we can meet that?

Ms Coles replied: “It will be a challenge, but we’re confident.

“The timeline is ambitious and I hope you realise you do have an ambitious Children’s Services, this is a big project that needs to be delivered.”

Children’s Social Services portfolio holder, Cllr Rachel Powell, said: “This is about doing the right thing, the importance of bringing young people back to our county is about that sense of belonging.”

Nine children/young people with complex behavioural and emotional needs are in residential placements outside Powys.

The average cost of having one child in a therapeutic children’s home costs on average is £7,046 a week but it can go up to £13,000.


By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporting Service




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