More Surrey children in care to be cared for in Surrey

Entrance to Surrey care home for children

In a move to bolster support for children in care, Surrey County Council has announced the inauguration of three state-of-the-art children’s homes, marking a significant stride in their commitment to enhancing residential capacity within the county. Situated in Epsom and Walton-on-Thames, these purpose-built facilities aim to provide a nurturing environment for Surrey children in need.

The council’s investment of £34 million in improving sufficiency for children in care, coupled with £2.4 million allocated for workforce development, underscores their dedication to addressing the pressing needs of vulnerable children within the county. This comprehensive capital programme encompasses the creation of new facilities as well as the renovation and expansion of existing ones, resulting in the addition of over 30 individual bedrooms, thus affording more children the opportunity to remain within their communities.

Presently, approximately 70% of Surrey children in residential care are placed outside the county due to a scarcity of available homes. The council’s strategic investment aims to reverse this trend by bolstering in-county provision. The newly inaugurated homes in Epsom and Walton-on-Thames, accommodating a total of ten children each, prioritize the placement of children currently residing outside the county, fostering a sense of belonging and stability.

The completion of these homes has been met with enthusiasm by Clare Curran, Cabinet Member for Children, Families, and Lifelong Learning, who expressed her delight at the prospect of offering more Surrey children a supportive home environment. Similarly, Natalie Bramhall, Cabinet Member for Property, Waste, and Infrastructure, commended the meticulous planning and design considerations that have gone into creating these homes, emphasizing their accessibility, homeliness, and integration with local amenities.

The construction of these homes has paved the way for new career opportunities in residential care, aligning with the council’s commitment to workforce development. As the council moves closer to its sufficiency targets, with an additional home currently underway in Dorking, Surrey may emerge as a leading provider of children’s home places nationwide by 2027.

Two Surrey children’s homes have already receiving ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ ratings from Ofsted this year. As Surrey County Council continues to expand its residential care capacity, the welfare of vulnerable children within the county is set to receive a substantial boost.

For more information, visit Surrey County Council’s website and YouTube channel for insights into their Sufficiency Strategies and a video tour of one of the newly inaugurated children’s homes, featuring commentary from key council members. Additionally, individuals interested in pursuing a career in residential care in Surrey are encouraged to explore current opportunities on the Surrey County Council job pages.