The first of eight new, smaller children’s homes planned for this and future years has opened in one of Bristol’s popular residential areas.
Frome House, owned and managed by Bristol City Council, has a family-home feel and layout, and has been designed specifically for children in care. The two children, who have recently moved into the modernised property, have all the amenities right on their doorstep including leisure activities, schools, shops, places of worship and youth clubs.
Most children in care grow up in a foster family and, whilst that is the mainstay of Bristol’s care, children’s homes provide an important alternative. Seven other properties, similar to Frome House, will open over the next three years across Bristol, replacing current offering of larger homes for five or six children.
Councillor Helen Godwin, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Women, said: “Everyone deserves to have a safe place they can call home, especially the most vulnerable children. It is our aspiration to have in-house accommodation more closely replicating family life and meeting the needs of children and young people with complex needs which cannot be met through foster care or other family placements.
“This home has been tailored to the requirements of our children living here so that, with the help of a team of professionals, they can grow and develop. They will have access to specialist health and education services and mentoring, and engage in a programme of activities matching their needs.
“By redesigning our children’s homes and having a larger number of smaller homes with care and environment focused on therapy and providing support to deal with traumatic experiences, we will be able to offer a wider range of matching and placement options so we can find the best possible homes for our children in care.
“Previously, caring for children who face the most complex challenges has been difficult to achieve in the larger homes. The new model means we will be able to start to bring back children who have been placed out of Bristol to their home town, creating better stability and future for them.”
The next home is set to open in spring 2020.