Bid lodged for suburban Stockton home conversion to ‘boost confidence’ of youngsters in care

Efforts to create a new home for two vulnerable youngsters have been lodged with planners.

Hexagon Care Services Ltd want to use a home in Fairfield for two youngsters in care with no outside alterations planned for the four-bedroom home. If approved, the Fairville Road home would see two carers working on a rota basis sleeping overnight.

The firm wants to have six carers operating on a shift pattern of 48 hours on and 60 hours off – with no more than three carers at the house at any one time. A planning document added: “The purpose of the home would be to support the children to build their confidence, help them in developing life skills and prepare them for life when they leave the home to fend for themselves.

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“This type of support has been found to be most effective in helping these children to have normal lives and not experience problems in later life.” Number of youngsters in care across Stockton have held steady since 2019 – hovering around the 550 mark.

However, a report to last week’s Stockton corporate parenting board shows demand for residential placements continues to be high – with a lack of provision to meet demand often meaning youngsters have to be placed externally. The report on behalf of Hexagon Care said it would be expected the children would attend a mainstream school.

In some cases, they may receive some home schooling “but only while they settle in”. The design statement added: “The applicant has confirmed that the proposed use is to provide a stable home environment for the occupants as their main and sole residence and that the length of stay is generally more than temporary or passing.

“It would not be a ‘halfway’ house or provide overnight emergency lodgings for example.” Impacts were compared as similar to those of a family house where children and parents worked from home.

The applicant also believes the “comings and goings” would not be considerably different from a family home – with a home manager arriving each weekday morning and leaving each evening. In conclusion, the report added: “It is maintained that the nature of the use is not materially different from the current use as a family dwelling.

“Comings and goings would be no greater than occur at present, hence there would be no undue disturbance to any neighbours.”

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