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Secure Children’s Homes

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which secure children’s homes in England and Wales (a) closed in each of the last 12 years and (b) are scheduled for closure in the next 12 months; what funds his Department has allocated to all secure children’s homes in 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. (276752)

The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) does not maintain a central record of children’s homes in England and Wales that have closed in each of the last 12 years.

Following the announcement of the new Youth Justice Board (YJB) contracts, there are four secure children’s homes in England currently contracted with the YJB who will not be offered a new contract. These are Kyloe House, Northumberland; Sutton Place, Hull; Atkinson Unit, Exeter; and, Orchard Lodge, London. DCSF and the YJB will work with those units to agree transition arrangements which support the sustainable provision of welfare beds, while the YJB moves to its contracted total of 191 beds by March 2010. Any decision taken on the future of each home will be made by the relevant local authority or, in the case of the privately owned Orchard Lodge, Glen Care Group Ltd.

DCSF will continue to build on its previous capital investment by investing up to a further £50 million in the sector over the next four years to significantly improve the accommodation and facilities available in secure children’s homes. The bulk of that sum will be made available over 2009/10 and 2010/11. Further funding thereafter will be subject to the next spending review.

DCSF is currently in negotiations with the secure children’s homes with regards to the precise level of funding required this year for major capital improvement works.