Council looks to develop new children’s assessment centre in Mold in bid to reduce ‘expensive’ social care placements
A local authority is looking to create a new children’s assessment centre in a bid to reduce the cost of “expensive” social care placements.
Flintshire Council has been awarded £500,000 by the Welsh Government to buy a building known as Ty Nyth in Mold.
Officials want to turn the property currently owned by the Clwyd Alyn Housing Association into a residential assessment centre to provide short term care and therapeutic support for youngsters.
It has been estimated that transforming the building could cost up to £1.1m.
A senior figure said it would help to address the rising cost of placing children with independent care providers, which are often located outside the area and charge between £3,500 to £10,000 per week.
In a report to councillors, Neil Ayling, the council’s chief officer for social services, said: “As an authority we are reliant on the independent sector for children’s residential care provision.
“This provision is very expensive and often in placements that are out of area.
“This has led to children being placed away from their communities at an increasing, and unsustainable, financial cost to the local authority.
“As a corporate parent this is not what we want for our children.”
He added: “At the centre of the planned development at Ty Nyth will be the provision of a children’s residential assessment centre providing short term (up to 20 week) care as well as therapeutic assessment and support through a dedicated multi systemic therapy team.
“The purpose is to undertake intensive assessment and support to meet the needs of young people whilst seeking family reunification, or a longer term local fostering/residential placement appropriate to the child’s assessed needs.”
Mr Ayling said there was a possibility the facility could be shared and jointly funded by Wrexham Council.
The project is one of four being pursued in Flintshire over the next three years.
It also includes plans to introduce two extra bed spaces at Arsofa in Mold, a facility which provides short term breaks for children with disabilities.
The council is also looking to provide emergency accommodation where no
placement can be found for a child at short notice, as well as establishing smaller homes for youngsters to live in locally.
The proposals will be considered at a meeting of the authority’s social services scrutiny committee being held tomorrow (Thursday, May 27).
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here). Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com