Children’s home closures: Rotherham Council lobbied

Union members are lobbying Rotherham Council over its plans to close two of its three children’s homes.

The authority is proposing to close Silverwood and Cherry Tree House, which are both currently vacant.

It wants to shut what it calls the “poorly performing services” and place more children in foster care.

Protesting outside the town hall, the union Unison said the proposals would leave Rotherham without any in-house residential places for children.

Read on… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-37337285

Children’s home closures approved by Rotherham Council

Two out of Rotherham’s three children’s homes are to close, it has been confirmed.

The proposals to close Silverwood and Cherry Tree House, which are both vacant, were approved by Children’s Commissioner Patricia Bradwell.

The authority wants to shut what it calls the “poorly performing services” and place more children in foster care.

Union members lobbied Rotherham Council over its plans in a protest outside the town hall on Monday morning.

Workers from the union Unison said the proposals would leave Rotherham without any in-house residential places for children.

It said young people were already placed as far afield as Portsmouth and the closures would only make that situation worse.

Read on… http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-37337285

6 thoughts on “Children’s home closures: Rotherham Council lobbied

  1. It’s all very well for Unison to protest about the closure of children’s homes which I believe is also linked to saving jobs and protecting children-not that I disagree with that-but instead of just protesting why is it beyond the wit of Unison to offer constructive alternatives?
    If the homes are no longer fit for purpose and uneconomic there is no possible cause to keep them open. What does Unison propose as the alternatives? Subsidies? PFI? Union funds to buy/let or lease other buildings?
    Any damn fool can complain but not every fool can offer suggestions.

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  2. The homes have been deliberately left under-occupied in order to increase the unit cost per child to £5,800 and £7,300 per week respectively for Silverwood and Cherry Tree House. This makes them appear uneconomic and expensive compared to the out-of-area homes that Rotherham uses (some as far away as Portsmouth). However, the Council’s own Looked after children and care leavers sufficiency strategy document states that the unit cost of in-house homes is £2,700 per week on average compared with £3,500 per week for out of area homes.

    To use your language Colin, any damn fool can see that the answer must be to invest in Silverwood to bring the building up to scratch (Cherry Tree is a modern building) and keep our young people close to their friends, families and communities.

    UNISON has submitted a response to the Council’s proposals, in which we have offered a constructive alternative.

    Nobody has mentioned jobs (apart from Colin). The staff who work in the homes aren’t talking about their jobs; they’re talking about young people. There are 32 people employed at the 2 homes and in the context of the 500 jobs that will go in Rotherham Council in the next 3 years, the job losses are small.

    Whilst beds have been kept empty at Silverwood kids have slept in Riverside House. UNISON happens to believe that is a disgrace.

    Rotherham Council aims to get an outstanding rating for its children’s services by 2018. What is left may well be outstanding but there won’t be too much left at this rate. The unelected commissioners will be gone in a couple of years but their sorry legacy will remain for years. It’s a pity people like Colin aren’t making a fuss about that.

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    • Robin I have just read the Silverwood inspection from February 2016. It says children were not safe, not protected from CSE and were visiting places of concern. Is this what you are defending? You say there won’t be much of a service left. What is % of council places lost in relation to the numbers of places for children in care required? How many children does the service actually support?

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  3. Pingback: The Week That Was – Last Weeks Top Ten 17th September | Rotherham Politics

  4. Pingback: Council approves closure of two children’s homes | Rotherham Politics

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