Plans unveiled to support young people leaving care

At its next meeting (Wednesday 30 March), Gloucestershire County Council’s cabinet will be asked to approve plans to transform a former care home in Stroud into accommodation to help young people develop the skills they need to live independently.

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Council’s cabinet will be asked to consider changing Southfield House into semi-independent accommodation, with specialist support services, that will help young people leaving care, by giving them the support they need as they head into adulthood and find their independence.

The plans for Southfield House will build upon the success of ground-breaking Trevone House in Gloucester, by providing additional high quality in-county accommodation and support for care leavers. Award winning Trevone House was designed with young people at its heart, with input from young people with experience of being in care and Southfield House will follow the same successful model.

The plans are part of the council’s sufficiency strategy, which aims to make sure children and young people in the county get the right placement, first time and the chance of a flourishing future.

If approved, Southfield House will host semi-independent accommodation for up to 30 young people aged from 16 to 25 including:

  • 18 flats for young people who are leaving care, at Southfield Main House
  • 8 flats and 1 crash pad for care experienced young people who are in employment, training or apprenticeships, at Southfield Old House

To make sure the building is fit for purpose, the council propose to invest £3.35 million for refurbishing and building work.

The council will engage with the local community at all stages of this project, working to ensure these young people become part of the wider community.

Cllr Stephen Davies, cabinet member for children’s safeguarding and early years at Gloucestershire County Council said: “Developing Southfield House will mean we can offer more young people who are leaving care, high quality accommodation and the support they need to live independently, here in Gloucestershire.”

“We have already seen many young people benefit significantly from similar accommodation at Trevone House, which has successfully supported them to develop and move on into adulthood. Southfield House will help us build on that success and help more young people stay in Gloucestershire, close to family and friends, as they adjust to the next stage of their lives.”

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