Residential care for children and children's homes are there to ensure that the needs of children are met when they cannot live with their own family.
They are a place for children to develop and grow, as well as providing food, shelter, and space for play and leisure in a caring environment. Children's homes look after children with many different needs.
When children and young people come to live in a children's home they will have a Care Plan. Their Care Plan says why a child is living in a home, what is supposed to happen while they are living there and what is supposed to happen at the end of their stay.
Most children will go home, but a few go to live with other families and a few go to live in other homes. Older children who are not planning to return home, are given help to prepare them for living on their own - this is called Aftercare.
Education is important. Children go to their own school if they have a school place, or we help to get them back into school. Although some young people may still attend different resources in the community, for example school, college, etc.
It is very important that children and young people stay in touch with their family and friends. It is only when they might be hurt, or a Court Order says that contact is not allowed, that some children will not be able to have visits from their family or will not be able to visit them.
Children and young people are respected as individuals. By providing for their religious and cultural needs children are encouraged to keep their sense of personal identity and community.
Eligibility for the service
Children and young people have to live away from their own families for all sorts of reasons, eg:
- Their parents are unwell
- They have problems with their family and need to spend some time away from home, eg: behaviour problems or educational difficulties
- They may have a disability and need a break from living with their families
- They are in the care of local authority subject on a Court Order or an Interim Care Order, and,
Generally, when children and young people need to live away from their families, they will stay with foster carers. It is only when Foster care is either not possible or not desirable accommodation or may not be what the young person would choose.
In all cases, we make sure that all the alternatives are fully considered before recommending residential care.
Multi Agency Support Hub
If you think a child or young person is being abused or mistreated or you have concerns about the safety or welfare of a child, you must speak to someone immediately.
Please telephone the Multi Agency Support Hub (MASH) on 01234 718700 (office hours) or call 0300 300 8123 (out of hours).