Private secure centre for children wins praise from inspectors

Rainsbrook secure training centre, which is privately-run, has
been praised for its strong practice in safeguarding and protecting
children and its child-centred approach, in a Social Services
Inspectorate report, writes Clare

Young people felt safe and supported in tackling their problems,
and the independent report of the 76-place centre near Rugby, which
expanded by 73 per cent last June, identified a commitment to
involving families and carers.

“The SSI report on Rainsbrook STC shows how far these
privately-run facilities have come since they were widely
criticised as a concept in the world of child care less than a
decade ago,” said Lord Warner, chair of the Youth Justice
Board, which contracts the running of the centre to Rebound.

The SSI raised concerns that remanded young people were
transported by companies contracted by a local council, and not by
one of the accredited companies approved by the YJB.

Escort vehicles were often insecure, there was insufficient
escort staff and escorts sometimes had no identification.
“These are serious matters which need to be immediately
addressed,” the report said.

The SSI also urged consideration to be given to providing
further training in mental health and appropriate aspects of the
Children Act 1989.

None of the recommendations detract from the overall conclusion
that the centre is “performing at the highest level,”
the report said, and giving the young people “every chance of
reducing or eradicating their offending behaviour”.

While 80-bed Oakhill STC at Milton Keynes is planned to open in
June next year, the board confirmed that plans to build a 40-bed
STC in Brentwood, Essex, were back on track for autumn 2005 after
they were delayed following a spending review by the home

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