Wales News Online

Local & National News for Wales

PLANS to provide residential accommodation to look after children in care in Blaenau Gwent have been backed by councillors.

At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday, September 21, councillors discussed a proposal to find land to build a care home, or a building that can be converted to become one.

The report by interim director of social services Tanya Evans explained the need to develop a business case to provide local authority children’s residential provision in Blaenau Gwent in collaboration with a neighbouring authority.

The report explained that Blaenau Gwent social services does not have the expertise or capacity to manage its own children’s residential provision and would need to explore a partnership with neighbouring authorities to support and manage the provision on their behalf.

Blaenau Gwent currently has 12 children in care. Of these, one is in residential accommodation in Newport, and all the others are living in accommodation outside the county.

Ms Evans said:

“This has been on certainly my agenda for some time and I think the development of the regional capital fund is enabled us to to progress this.

“I am a big advocate for keeping our children local to Blaenauy Gwent so they can maintain their school provision, they can maintain their contact with their own families and with their their friends and any you sort of social activities that they are undertaking in the community.

” I firmly believe that it is the right way forward.”

Council leader Steve Thomas said:

“This is something that many past and current councillors, myself included have wanted for some time.”

Cabinet member for place and regeneration, Cllr John C Morgan said:

“I fully support this initiative, it’s something we’ve wanted for years and years and years.

“I thank Tanya and her team for driving it forward, without a shadow of doubt  it will benefit the children of Blaenau Gwent.”

The cabinet unanimously approved the proposal.

The proposal is also seen as playing a part in “eliminating” private profit off the back of looking after children in care, which is a Welsh Government priority.

A bid for £1.1 million for grant funding from the Welsh Government Health and Social Care Integration and Rebalancing Capital Fund has already been submitted to help fund the project.

It is expected that it  will take between 18 months and two years to find out if the funding bid is successful, identify and buy the property in Blaenau Gwent, which would accommodate four children.

Blaenau Gwent would then need to make alteration to the building to make sure it complies with the Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) regulations so that it can be registered as a children’s home.

%d bloggers like this: