Up to five children would be living at the home.
The expected age range is 14 to 17. However, there could be times when children are as young as 13 years old, and live in the home until they are old enough to live alone. This might be when they have finished education. The longest a child would live at the property is about 6 years.
Ages would need to be specified in the Ofsted registration should the proposal proceed.
Based on the needs of the current cohort (and this may change by 2019), the likely residents would be 3 girls and 2 boys, ranging from 13 to 18 years.
Depending on that need, the home could be single sex or mixed. This will need to specified in the OFSTED registration.
There are examples of well-managed single sex and mixed homes around the country that residents could request to visit if they wish.
The decision to build a five bed facility is based on the anticipated needs of the young people in the Richmond upon Thames cohort who will be assigned to this home.
It is anticipated that the majority of young people living in the children's home in Richmond would be from Richmond. However, the operating model proposed by Richmond Council and AfC includes some flexibility to potentially accommodate a child from a different borough if there was no Richmond child that could be placed at the home.
Regardless of which authority a child is from, placements would only be agreed if the needs of the incoming child were compatible with the existing group. This flexibility reduces the financial risk of establishing a children’s home.
The backgrounds of the children and young people could be as diverse as in other areas of society in modern Britain. A common factor will be that experiences within their birth family had combined to make growing up there untenable, and they would have been taken into the care of their local authority (usually Richmond Council).
Children who could move into this home in 2019 could currently be in residential care outside the borough, in the care of a foster family, or indeed still be with their borough birth family.
Based on past and existing cohorts of Richmond upon Thames children living in this type of home, it is very unlikely any of the children would have criminal records.
However, the particular children who would live in the home are not known at this stage, so this cannot be confirmed.
With regard to access to local school places, it is important to keep the number of children involved in context - the proposal is for a home for five young people of secondary school / sixth form age. This small number of children would not have a material impact on availability of local school / college places for the wider community.
Whilst most of the children would attend schools or colleges, it is possible that the older ones would pursue a more vocational pathway, for example an apprenticeship, once they had passed statutory school leaving age.
As with other teenagers who attend secondary school or sixth form in the borough, some may walk, some may catch a public bus, some may catch a train, and others may be given a lift in a car. As with other children in the borough, an adult may accompany them but this would be unusual.
Updated: 9 August 2017