Sites for homes for vulnerable children revealed

The Oxford Times: . .

THE locations of two new homes to protect vulnerable young children have been revealed.

Oxfordshire County Council wants to build an assessment centre in Thame, off Chinnor Road, for up to six children at risk of coming into the care system, and a “move-on” home in Didcot’s Mereland Road for up to four older teenagers preparing to leave care.

Two public meetings will be held later this month, where officers will give details of the proposals.

These will be held on Wednesday, June 25, at Didcot Civic Hall and on Thursday, June 26, at Thame Town Hall. Both events will run between 4pm and 8pm.

The council’s cabinet member for children, education and families, Melinda Tilley, said: “As well as helping ensure the safety of vulnerable young people in care, the new homes will reduce the need to send children to out-of-county placements many miles away – which costs the taxpayer more.

“We all have a responsibility to help keep children safe, especially vulnerable young people who have often experienced traumatic childhoods. We want to work with local communities to provide the best possible environment for our young people.”

The council announced it would spend £7m on the homes in the wake of the Bullfinch child abuse scandal in Oxford.

Plans for another assessment centre and move-on home are still under development, with their locations have yet to be finalised.

The council expects to submit a planning application for the homes in Thame and Didcot next month, with the aim of opening them next year.

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