Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: -0°C

Search

Asylum seeking children in Suffolk will be housed by a firm under investigation in Norfolk over state of accommodation

PUBLISHED: 13:26 28 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:43 28 March 2017

Photos previously taken at properties rented by Sixteen Plus and paid for by Norfolk County Council. Photo: Supplied

Photos previously taken at properties rented by Sixteen Plus and paid for by Norfolk County Council. Photo: Supplied

Supplied

A firm under investigation in Norfolk for the “shocking” state of accommodation it housed teenagers in has been awarded a £3.5m contract by Suffolk County Council to look after asylum seeking children.

Photos taken at properties rented by Sixteen Plus and paid for by Norfolk County Council. Photo: SuppliedPhotos taken at properties rented by Sixteen Plus and paid for by Norfolk County Council. Photo: Supplied

The council gave the contract to Peterborough-based Sixteen Plus in February, two weeks before photos were published in this newspaper showing filthy conditions of the state of some homes Sixteen Plus had placed vulnerable teenagers in on behalf of Norfolk County Council.

The pictures prompted an investigation by Norfolk County Council and Sixteen Plus which said it was “confident” in the service it provides.

An external investigator is being brought in by Norfolk.

Cambridgeshire County Council, meanwhile, suspended all new placements with the firm.

Photos show the inside of homes where Sixteen Plus was paid to place teenagers leaving the care of Norfolk County Council's children's services department. Photo: SubmittedPhotos show the inside of homes where Sixteen Plus was paid to place teenagers leaving the care of Norfolk County Council's children's services department. Photo: Submitted

But Sue Cook, director for children and young people in Suffolk, said the council remained “fully satisfied” with the company, which is advertising for staff to look after the children at £7.50 an hour.

The £3.5m contract to provide supported accommodation for the 16 to 18 year olds until 2020 will mean Sixteen Plus looks after 40 unaccompanied asylum seeking children in Suffolk, who local authorities across England have been asked to take.

The YMCA was also awarded an identical contract by Suffolk to look after another 40 children.

Ms Cook said: “We will continue to carry out regular monitoring visits with both providers to ensure the quality of the service provided remains high.”

Photos previously taken at properties rented by Sixteen Plus and paid for by Norfolk County Council. Photo: SuppliedPhotos previously taken at properties rented by Sixteen Plus and paid for by Norfolk County Council. Photo: Supplied

There are currently 68 unaccompanied asylum seeking children in the care of Suffolk County Council, with more arriving each year.

The children are helped with their application for asylum and given a placement with a foster carer or in supported accommodation.

Norfolk County Council is also expected to take more unaccompanied children.

According to a council report last year, Norfolk looks after just 15 unaccompanied asylum seeking children, but that could rise to 117.

A spokesman for the council said “safeguarding issues” meant they could not say how many unaccompanied asylum seeking children the council was going to care for, how many it was looking after at the moment, how it would house those children or whether its suspension of new placements with Sixteen Plus had affected its plans.

Related articles

Comments have been disabled on this article.

A school is set to create a new teaching block to help it meet a growing demand for pupil places.

Detectives investigating reports of an attack outside an Ipswich restaurant have arrested two people.

The prime minister might have won a confidence vote but, asks political editor RICHARD PORRITT, what now for her leadership, Brexit and the country?

Theresa May has won the confidence vote on her leadership of the Conservatives – but has promised MPs she will not lead the party into the next General Election.

A powerhouse supermum from Melton has been crowned the World’s Strongest Woman – having only taken up the sport three-and-a-half years ago.

The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich is set for a radical makeover after planning permission was approved for the development of the old borough council site and spiral carpark.

The step-sister of Ipswich teenager Tavis Spencer-Aitkens held his hand as he struggled to breathe following a knife attack near his father’s home, a court heard.

Police calling on the public for help locating a 51-year-old man from Ipswich.

Forecasters are warning Suffolk and north Essex could see a sprinkling of sleet over the next few days – as overnight temperatures look set to plummet.

Five young Ipswich Town stars visited West Suffolk Hospital to spread some Christmas cheer and hand out presents to children.

Most read

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24