Barnardo’s aiming to build ‘halfway’ homes for care leavers

The children's charity is aiming to buy land in Maryhill from Glasgow City Council.

Barnardo’s aiming to build ‘halfway’ homes for care leavers iStock

Children’s charity Barnardo’s is set to buy land in Maryhill from Glasgow City Council to build ‘halfway’ homes for care leavers.

A site at the junction of Shiskine Drive and Duart Street has been identified for the project.

Young people in the homes would be supported by a team of staff to help them with the “transition into independent living”.

Glasgow councillors will be asked to agree to the deal in principle at a meeting on Thursday.

Terms will then be negotiated but a nominal fee of £1 is expected.

“Many young adults, who have spent the majority of their time in care, quite often struggle to come to terms with the requirements to manage on their own and in particular to retain a tenancy of their own,” a council report states.

The ‘Gap Homes Initiative’ aims to provide affordable accommodation, and time and space, for the young people to manage the transition.

A planning application from Barnardo’s Scotland for supported residential accommodation has yet to be determined.

No other charities offer the same service in Glasgow, the council report added. A halfway house “between care and sole tenancies”, provides “young people with the support they need to become independent”.

There would be four smaller, one-bedroom homes and a larger home, which would be staffed 24 hours a day. The support would be “tailored to the needs of each individual young person”.

The charity approached Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) to discuss the plan. It has been working alongside the HSCP to support care experienced people for more than 26 years.

Currently, the service for those over 16 includes two staffed residential properties, 19 satellite flats and a drop-in centre.

The planning application from Barnardo’s states: “We identified the need for additional small-scale accommodation for young people who require a higher level of on-site support to make the first steps towards living more independently, for example, young people leaving secure or care or returning from out of authority placements.”

The larger home would be “designed to offer some of the benefits of a family home, such as shared social space, shared meals and individualised support”.

Declared surplus to the council’s requirements in October last year, the land in Maryhill is on the vacant and derelict land register.

By disposing of the site to a charity, the council would miss out on £15,000 to £20,000, the report states.

Barnardo’s plan to deliver nine similar projects across Scotland, with one already under way in Paisley.

By local democracy reporter Drew Sandelands

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