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Former respite home in Caldicot set to be used as house for care leavers

Monmouthshire County Council

A FORMER respite home for children with disabilities is to be used to provide supported accommodation for young people who’ve been in care. 

The five bedroom property in a residential area of Caldicot will remain in the council’s ownership but 24-hour support at the property will be provided by an independent agency. 

It is intended the house will provide a “homely setting” for five young people aged 16 to 21 who are either in care or leaving Monmouthshire County Council care. 

A report said it is intended the house will be a first step in the youngsters gaining independence. 

It stated: “During their stay in the provision the goal is to equip the young people to progress onwards to accommodation with a lower intensity of support or into independent accommodation. In this sense the provision will form the first step in a young person’s pathway to independence.” 

Councillor Ian Chandler, the Green Party cabinet member for social care, said the county currently has “insufficient suitable supported accommodation placements and very limited options for young people who have medium to high support needs” with it needing around 20 additional placements a year, including the five the house would provide. 

That has resulted in young people being placed away from their local communities and relationships and also a greater strain on the council’s workforce. 

Finances have also been hit as the council has had to buy “spot-purchased placements” for individual youngsters and some have been placed in what the council has acknowledged are “not in keeping with their needs or stage of development or is beyond their capabilities”. 

It currently spends around £625,273 on such care but anticipates the £300,000 cost of repurposing the property will be fully met from a Welsh Government grant but if it isn’t has agreed to use the money from £3m of borrowing it has agreed to expand its provision of children’s care.