Concern over future of Minster View children's home in Southwell after youngsters 'shipped out' before Christmas
Concern has been raised about the future of a children’s home in Southwell after youngsters were moved out before Christmas.
A man, who wants to remain anonymous, said he feared it was a hush-hush county council closure programme.
However, Nottinghamshire County Council said Minster View Children’s Home was not under threat, saying the changes were necessary because of staffing challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The homes looks after youngsters with severe learning difficulties and was rated good in the last inspection by the Care Quality Commission last year.
The man said he felt the disabled youngsters had been inappropriately transferred to different homes.
“In some cases, these children had been there for years and this will be distressing for them,” he said.
“Parents are very upset. Lives have been wrecked for absolutely nothing.”
He said transfers between children’s homes were usually dealt with over several weeks or months, and that this quick transition would be doubly distressing for the vulnerable young people.
He said: “I’m seriously concerned. To have moved children just before Christmas who are making great progress into unknown placements — it is not good for any child, never mind children with learning disabilities and autism.
“It is shocking — Nottinghamshire County Council has got some questions to answer.”
Philip Owen, children and young people’s committee chairman at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The pandemic has increased staffing challenges in residential settings and circumstances at Minster View have meant that it could not continue to operate to the very high standards of safe and effective care that is expected, with the same number of young people being cared for.
“Temporary changes have been put in place while that is fully addressed.
“At this time the home continues to look after a very small number of young people with complex needs and their care plans are under careful review.
“For those who have transferred to other placements, we worked closely with their families while this was arranged, the transitions went successfully and they are now settled.
“ We continue to communicate regularly with these families directly and it would not be appropriate to comment publicly about individual cases.
“There are no proposals to close Minster View or any other of the local authority’s children’s homes.
“Were such proposals to be made they would be formally consulted on and discussed at the relevant committees in full public view.
“No such consultations are planned.”