Plans for children’s home in Islington signed off

Islington Town Hall. Picture: Sam Gelder

Islington Town Hall. Picture: Sam Gelder - Credit: Archant

Plans have been approved for a new children’s home in Islington to be run by a King’s Cross charity.

Councillors gave the project the green light at a planning meeting earlier this month.

It is among the first to be signed off since the notorious child abuse scandal of the 1990s saw the council shut all of its homes down.

The facility will be run by the Single Homeless Project, which has leased the two residential buildings for the last 30 years, rather than the town hall. The buildings have been empty for five years.

The home will mean eight children aged 10 to 16 can remain closer to their families and not be sent up to 20 miles away.

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Staff will be present 24 hours a day to provide “emotional, domestic and educational” support.

Islington closed all its kids’ homes in the aftermath of the 1995 White Report, an independent probe into widespread abuse at the borough’s care homes.

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Survivors have alleged they were raped, tortured and neglected at the homes between the 1970s and 1990s in what Islington leader Cllr Richard Watts refers to as the “darkest chapter in the council’s history”.

The White Report found that the state of some of the children’s homes was “very poor” and there had been a lack of investment.

Officers say the new home will be Ofsted regulated, with unannounced visits throughout the year. Each child will have their own social worker and the town hall’s commissioning manager of safeguarding and family support will also make annual visits to monitor the running of the home.

Neighbours had raised concerns about noise and safety, but officers said the level of care and provision meant it should not be an issue.

The signing off of the project follows the approval of a supported living development in Windsor Street that will allow the council to offer people with learning disabilities homes closer to their families.

Conditions were attached ordering the charity to register with Ofsted within three months and ensure the home is staffed 24 hours a day.

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