Racecourse Road children’s home to close

Western Health and Social Care Trust Headquarters in Derry. DER4414MC074

Western Health and Social Care Trust Headquarters in Derry. DER4414MC074

The Western Trust yesterday approved plans to officially close the children’s home at Racecourse Road.

Consultation on the closure began last year and closed on Friday, January 29.

No children are currently living in the Derry home.

Kieran Downey, Western Trust Director of Women and Children’s Services and Executive Director of Social Work said that only one formal response had been received in relation to the proposed closure and that had come from Voypic.

He also said that at the start of the consultation he had been asked how many young people resided in the children’s home.

“There were two children living there at the time and plans were well advanced for them to be moved to a more formal arrangement as part of their care plan,” he said.

“If these plans had fallen through then the consultation or plans to close the home would have had to been put on hold. However prior to Christmas both of these young people received placements in line with their formal care plan.”

He said that the proposal was to close the home, which is one of seven in the Western Trust area. Mr Downey said that ongoing discussions had taken place with staff so the skills and workforce could be used to wrap around the new specialist fostering scheme. He said that consultation had taken place as part of a plan by the Western Trust to repatriate some young people who had been given special placements out of the Trust area and they would be making provision to bring them back home.