Senior Haringey LBC councillors have moved to develop supported housing for young people with complex learning disabilities and autism within their own borough.
The £3.7m development will bring youngsters aged between 16 and 25 with complex health and care needs ‘back into their community and family support networks’.
It will also allow Haringey, which has an undeveloped local provider market, to save on ‘very expensive’ external placement costs and reduce ‘high-cost, out-of-borough placement spend’.
Currently, as Haringey has no provision itself, young people with complex needs are frequently placed in residential colleges outside of the borough.
The move by commissioners to reduce their reliance on residential schools is understood to be partly in response to concerns about safeguarding in children’s homes, where local authorities have limited oversight.
Changes have since been made to the management at both homes to comply with Ofsted’s requirements.
Joint lead commissioner of adult learning disability and autism at Haringey, Georgie Jones-Conaghan, told The MJ: ‘Being closer to home offers commissioners greater assurance of the quality of support.
'We have to be able to know what’s going on for all our clients but especially those very vulnerable ones where safeguarding concerns often arise largely due to the complexity of needs.’
A report to Haringey’s latest cabinet meeting read: ‘Our current supported living offer for young learning disabled and autistic adults is mainly in costly out-of-borough placements, in some cases hundreds of miles away.
‘We know that providing local bespoke, specialist and supported accommodation improves the lives of adults and children with care and support needs.
'Local provision allows people to remain close to family and friends, participate in familiar leisure and social activities, and access health services that meet their needs and preferences.
‘Providing young people with the option to attend local special educational needs provision and remain closer to their family, friends and social workers will improve their quality of life and reduce the safeguarding risks associated with placements in far away or isolated locations.’