Investment In Children’s Homes

A £3 million one-off grant from the Scottish Government will help looked after children are to get extra help to support the transition to living on their own, and pay for general improvements to residential schools and care homes.

Children and Early Years Minister Adam Ingram said: “We want everyone to play a part in a smarter, more prosperous Scotland and this money can help looked after children fulfil their ambitions. Taking the step from residential care to independent living can be daunting so we want it to be as easy as possible for these young people to make the switch and enjoy future success.

“Looked after children have their whole lives ahead of them and this funding will help get them prepared and energised to seize every opportunity. As well as giving young people better chances of securing a job or training course when they leave residential care, this money will adapt living conditions to better reflect independent life.

“Familiarising residential care children with domestic duties will help give them the confidence to be self-supporting and play a full part in a flourishing Scotland.”

Scottish Institute for Residential Child Care Director Jennifer Davidson said: “We are pleased the Scottish Executive recognises, through this supplemental funding, the need to improve the environment and opportunities for young people experiencing residential child care.

“Recent research has highlighted the importance of the living environment in young people’s care experience and future. Many young people in residential care have experienced educational disadvantage and it is important that residential units are equipped to help them overcome this.”

The grant is aimed at:

  • Adapting living accommodation to encourage self-sufficiency – increasing kitchen space, providing more cookers etc
  • Improving facilities for workshops in woodcraft, metalwork, sewing, mechanics etc to increase the chances of securing an apprenticeship, traineeship or vocational training course
  • Where children are too young to plan for independent living, the grant can be used for general improvements e.g. refurbishing classrooms and play facilities

Throughout Scotland 227 residential establishments, with around 2,300 places (beds), will benefit from the grant. Each establishment will receive £1,180 per bed. As of March 31, 2006, 1,560 children were in residential care accommodation in council children’s homes, voluntary agency run homes and residential schools.