THE doors look set to close on a Padiham children’s home as part of changes to residential care across the county.
Under the proposals, drawn up by Lancashire County Council to reduce the number of young people in care, The Old Vicarage in Whalley Road will be closed by April.
It will be one of five homes shut in Lancashire as the council looks to reduce the number from 15 to 10 with foster care the preferred option.
County Coun. Susie Charles, Cabinet member for children and schools, said: “In Lancashire, we have twice as many teenagers in residential care homes as in other similar authorities.
“We want to reduce that number because we do not believe that this is always the best environment for a young person.
“Instead, we intend to give families early support before the point at which relationships break down. For some children of course, residential care will remain the best placement, particularly those with very complex needs. We have some outstanding children’s homes in Lancashire providing a high standard of care, and we will ensure this option remains available for those who need it.
“We know these are complex and sensitive services, which is why we are spreading the changes over three years.”
Disruption will be kept to a minimum for young people currently living in the homes and County Coun. Charles added: “We are constantly looking for new foster carers including those who might be able to offer a home to a teenager.
“Full support is given as well as an allowance and I would urge anyone who thinks they may be able to help to contact our fostering recruitment team on 0800 195 1183.”