The London Secure Children’s Home Review provided strong evidence of a significant need for a secure children’s home with re-integration / transition accommodation in London in order to better support and improve outcomes for some of London’s most vulnerable children and young people.
The Department for Education have awarded funding to London, to build and develop this provision and London Boroughs will oversee the project and the running of the new provision through the PLV.
The PLV will also provide a mechanism for future joint commissioning to improve the lives of London’s children.
The SCH project will deliver improved access to appropriate and safe local facilities that will provide specialist care, education, and support for London’s most vulnerable children.
The project will address the following issues:
- Nationally, there is a significant shortage of secure children’s home provision, and the situation is particularly stark in London as there are no secure children’s homes in the capital.
- Often, places are not available for London children when referrals are made, leading to a wait of several months or the use of alternative, high-cost and less suitable provision.
- When a place is available, despite their complex needs, London’s children who require secure welfare provision are often placed the furthest from their home – on average around 200 miles away, meaning some children lose regular contact with their families, friends and communities.
- When children are placed at this distance it impacts negatively on the outcomes that can be achieved for the child.
The new SCH is expected to launch around 2026, subject to the project achieving the relevant milestones.