A new report reveals that Rotherham Council has purchased four new children’s homes, in a bid to make sure looked-after children can stay in the borough close to their family and community, and reduce the cost of out-of-borough placements.
The saving to the council is estimated to be around £99,000.
Four managers and 44 members of staff have been recruited, two homes have been opened and registered with education watchdog Ofsted, and five youngsters have moved into the homes since they opened.
Before February 2020, Rotherham did not have any ‘mainstream’ in-house residential children’s homes for looked after children, and the only children’s home being operated was Libery House – short-break children’s home for disabled children.
A new four-bed residential home, named Pegasus by youngsters, was registered with Ofsted in July 2020, and houses two children at Dinnington.
New proposals will see staff and youngsters transferred to a new home in Wath this month, and Pegasus will be used as a long-term residential home.
A report to Rotherham’s cabinet states: ” This property is better suited to a longer term residential and will enable children’s home to be used to capacity.”
A two-bed home in Kimberworth houses one youngster, one a one-bed home in South Herringthorpe was due to open as emergency accommodation for one youngster in Autumn 2020, but is delayed whilst management and staff are recruited.
Another emergency accommodation site is East Herringthorpe was due to open in Autumn 2020, but is also delayed whilst management and staff are recruited.
Cabinet papers state a further two four-bed residential homes will be sought, to provide an additional eight beds.
The council’s children’s service will submit a bid in October to the recentlyannounced Department for Educations children’s homes capital programme, for funding for new children’s homes provision.