Plan to close Derry Children’s Home confirmed

Western Health and Social Care Trust Headquarters in Derry. DER4414MC074
Western Health and Social Care Trust Headquarters in Derry. DER4414MC074

The Western Trust has announced plans to close a Children’s Home in Derry’s cityside and increase its pool of specialist foster carers as an alternative.

The Trust has this afternoon confirmed it is to consult on the proposed closure of Racecourse Road Children’s home as well the wider reconfiguration of children’s services.

The Trust takes very seriously its responsibility as a corporate parent and makes every effort to ensure that our looked after children and young people have safety, security, stability and grow up healthy and happy.

Kieran Downey, Western Trust Director of Women and Children’s Services

The Western Health and Social Care Trust said the move was designed “to further develop and enhance children’s services” in line with its Reform Plan.

The new consultation launched on Friday describes how the Western Trust proposes to close this single residential facility.

The Trust also revealed plans to enhance foster care services, and to increase the recruitment of more specialist foster carers for young people “as an alternative to residential child care”.

The Trust said the shake up of services will allow it to provide additional intensive support to foster carers and, where possible, to ensure that children and young people can continue to be cared for within a family setting in preparation for adulthood.

The consultation will run for 12 weeks and will close at 4pm on Friday 29 January 2016.

Kieran Downey, Western Trust Director of Women and Children’s Services and Executive Director of Social Work said: “The Trust takes very seriously its responsibility as a corporate parent and makes every effort to ensure that our looked after children and young people have safety, security, stability and grow up healthy and happy.

“It is also important that we are able to respond flexibly and sensitively to the changing profile of need and use all our available resources to best effect.

“The Trust is keen to hear and consider carefully all views on our implementation proposals and we would encourage everyone to get their responses in as soon as possible and contribute their views.”

Information on the proposal and on how to respond can be downloaded from the Western Trust’s website www.westerntrust.hscni.net by clicking on ‘Involving You’ and ‘Consultations’.

Responses can be completed and returned via e-mail or post by 4pm on Friday 29 January 2016 to: Kieran Downey, Director of Women and Children’s Services, Trust Headquarters, MDEC, Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry. Email: Kieran.downey@westerntrust.hscni.net.