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"Inadequate" Cornish children's homes to be closed

By West Briton  |  Posted: August 10, 2013

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TWO children's homes in Cornwall will be closed and others reviewed, with the almost £1 million saved by the closures being used to develop new ways of helping young people, it was announced.

The two homes – Penelvan in Camborne and Pendean in Liskeard – were among five across the county providing 21 placements for children and young people.

However, both were rated "inadequate" by Ofsted earlier this year, leading to calls they should be closed and the money redirected elsewhere within Cornwall Council's children and young people portfolio.

The council's Cabinet supported recommendations yesterday to close the two homes, which combined provided beds for four children.

The money from the closure will be used to create three new specialist adolescent support teams and a family centre specialising in helping and protecting adolescents on the edge of care within their family and community or wider network of family and friends.

Pendean will then be sold, with the proceeds used to meet the costs of transforming Penelvan into a specialist adolescent family centre.

The other children's homes – Thornton House in Redruth, Homefield in Illogan and Kensey in Launceston – were all judged "adequate" by Ofsted but will be subject to review from the council.

Portfolio holder Andrew Wallis said: "The council currently has five registered children's homes in Cornwall which provide 21 placements for children and young people.

"Although the homes have a strong track record in providing effective support, recent changes in the Ofsted inspection regime mean that Penelvan and Pendean have recently seen their ratings downgraded.

"With research increasingly demonstrating that the use of family placements is a more effective way of meeting the needs of young people on the edge of care, we will be using the money from the closure of these two homes to reinvest in the new service."

Cornwall Council's children's services were judged adequate by Ofsted in March after more than four years of government intervention.

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