Tag Archives: Children’s Homes

The battle for Spon Lane Children’s Home

Sandwell’s scrutiny committee, which met on 24th June challenged the Council cabinet proposal to move to close the Spon Lane Children’s Home, the last remaining Council run Children’s home in the Borough.

Sandwell’s Cabinet has pursued the closure on the grounds that the building design of the Spon Lane is not conducive to the best care of young people.

The current proposal would lead to the break-up of an experienced and well trained group of residential staff and to the loss of their jobs through redundancy.

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Keep Spon Lane Children’s Home open!

Keep Spon Lane Childrens Home Open (3)Sandwell Council’s Cabinet was met by a noisy lobby of forty people calling on Councillor’s to keep the Spon Lane Children’s Home open.

The Cabinet received a report on 12th June proposing the closure of the last remaining Council provided Children’s Home in Sandwell. The closure will mean the loss of over 15 posts.

The lobby was composed of UNISON, UNITE and GMB members received support from from Smethwick against the cuts and West Midlands Social Work Action Network.
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“An Unnecessary Disruption Of Young People’s Lives” – Children’s Homes Closure’s Update

Only one young person has been placed with an internal Council foster carer following the closure of five Council Children’s Home’s during this last year.

This is in spite of the repeated claims by leading Councillor’s that foster carers were to be recruited to provide alternative family placements as the number of places in Council residential homes was reduced through home closures.

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Protecting the most vulnerable? – Birmingham cuts its children’s services

As Birmingham City Council sets its budget for 2013-14, nearly a quarter of the proposed total cuts of £110m falls disproportionately on the Children and Young People’s (CYP) Budget. There are also significant cuts planned to Play and Youth Services which will be subject to £1m worth of cuts over two years.

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Care Leaver’s Network Meeting – 14th November

The Care Leaver’s Network have a meeting in Birmingham regarding the potential closure of childrens’ homes in the city. Please note that this meeting is for care leavers only.

Wed 14th November 2012 7pm – 9pm
The Elizabeth Fry Room
The Priory Rooms
Quaker Meeting House
40 Bull Street
Birmingham
B4 6AF

A Childhood in Care?
Be a part of this Ground Breaking Care Leaver Network

  • Open to Care Leavers of all ages, whether you’re 18 to 88
  • Discussions on Birmingham City Council’s proposal to shut children’s homes
  • The CLA argue that decisions on residential or foster care should be based on individual needs and not financial considerations
  • A one size fits all approach to caring for our most vulnerable children does not work
  • If you are a care leaver and have a view then come along to the meeting
  • Find out more about the CLA
  • Meetings are for Care Leavers only
  • FREE ENTRY
    RSVP to:
    Darren Coyne
    network@careleavers.com
    0161 236 1980 / 0790 448 5921
    http://www.careleavers.com
    Refreshments provided

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    Consultation Begins On Closure Of 5 Children’s Homes

    Birmingham City Council have begun constulation over the possible closure of five childrens homes in Birmingham, as part of the cuts to the council’s 2012 budget.

    The homes are Chamberlain Road in Billesley, Fountain Road in Harborne, Kings Lodge in Oscott and South Acre and Viscount House, which are both in Dudley. GMB say their closure will cost 170 jobs, and the council expect to save £3m.

    However, the last time they closed children’s homes it ended up costing 41% more with some of the most vulnerable people in Birmingham being sent to care homes hundreds of miles away from their city.

    Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, Coun Brigid Jones, cabinet member for children and family services, said:

    For the vast majority of looked-after children, it is far better they grow up in a settled family environment as this improves their life chances, both emotionally and in terms of educational achievement.
    However, there will be a small number whose needs are better suited to residential care and we will be concentrating our resources in fewer children’s homes in order to focus on the needs of these young people.

    Tom from Birmingham Against the Cuts said:

    The council expect an increase in fostering to cover for the loss of homes for children in care, but they are also cutting the budget for fostering by £1m so it’s not at all clear how they think this will happen. Nonetheless, they have set an “ambitious target” to increase the number of foster families by 50% – from 600 to 900 in order to cover the loss of these 5 homes. When this doesn’t happen, they will instead pay far more to house these children far away from the city they have grown up in, something which may have a devastating affect on someone who really needs stability and security in their life.

    Recent threats to close Charles House and Cambourne House were seen off following campaigns led by parents and supported by local anti-cuts activists. Both these houses provided respite care for disabled children – the big worry with the homes now under threat is that the children in care who will be affected do not have parents that will campaign for them.
    It is therefore even more important that their communities – the people of Birmingham – stand up and stop these closures, to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our city.

    If you leave near any of the homes under threat, please write to your councillor and ask them to explain how they expect to house these children with foster parents whilst also cutting the fostering budget, and why they think this move will not end up costing more money, as it did last time Birmingham City Council closed children’s homes.

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    Save Millmead Road children’s home!

    Millmead children’s home was opened in 2004 to help young people to prepare for life after care. In the home, young people aged 15½ – 17 can learn the skills they need to live on their own.

    Young people leaving care are some of the most disadvantaged in the city. They are over-represented in the prison population and among the homeless and more likely to be unemployed.

    Yet despite this, the council are determined to push on with their program of cuts. They want to shut the doors by March 31st.

    We know that with the support of local people, staff and residents we can win a campaign to save the home, just like staff and parents at Charles House respite centre who won their recent campaign to stay open.

    The council have given two reasons they want to close the home:

    Under capacity?

    The council says the home is under capacity, having only 2 young people living there at the moment. But since autumn 2011 they have put a block on sending any young people to live at Millmead Road.

    Subsidence?

    The council have said that subsidence repairs would be costly. But they have refused to pay for a full survey on what looks like a small crack in the wall.

    Council representatives told a recent residents’ meeting the home would be used for students after March 31st, without the need to carrying out any repairs.

    We believe that young people should not be thrown to the lions at 16, left to survive in hostels with no support.

    Please help us save this valuable service for young people in Birmingham.

    Save Millmead Road campaign

    What you can do:

    · Sign the petition and take a copy for your friends, neighbours and colleagues to sign.

    · Get some leaflets for your street

    · Write to the local MP Gisela Stuart (Labour)

    stuartg@parliament.uk

    · Join us in lobbying the Bartley Green councillors:

    March 7th, 7:30pm at Long Nuke Hall, Long Nuke Road, Northfield

    Get in touch with the joint campaign: 07828 013 091 stirchleyanticuts@gmail.com

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    Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts, Stirchley and Cotteridge Against the Cuts