Children’s Homes Cost £4,100 a Week

The average cost of keeping a youngster in secure accommodation is £4,100 a week. Scottish Executive figures found the cost last year ranged from £3,900 per bed per week to £4,600. The total estimated cost was £15.7 million, a 3.5 per cent fall on the previous year. The number in secure accommodation ranged from a minimum of 73 to a maximum of 90 during the year – the lowest minimum and lowest maximum figure since 2000. Over the year, 251 youngsters were admitted to secure accommodation, half of them aged 15.

And research findings on secure accommodation also published today give a mixed picture. The analysis was commissioned by the Executive to focus on the effectiveness of secure accommodation and its alternatives.

Researchers said they could not establish whether secure accommodation offered value for money because there was little agreement on what could be expected from it, and no comparable services against which to assess it.

But for a “significant minority” of youngsters, social workers considered there had been little change in the behaviour that had prompted their placement. “Two years later, about a quarter were rated as having had a good outcome, but for a similar number the outcome had been poor,” said the report.