Home Children, Young People & Families Minister for Children and Young People Explores Innovative Mental Health Services for Scotland’s Youth

Minister for Children and Young People Explores Innovative Mental Health Services for Scotland’s Youth

by Kirsty Kirsty

Kibble, a national charity and care provider for children and young people, has welcomed Clare Haughey MSP, Minister for Children and Young People, to its Paisley campus to visit its innovative services for young people with complex mental health. The visit is part of a wider exploration of Scottish care providers that offer an alternative to secure care, or step-down provision, for young people who require close care and support due to complex mental health and self-harm behaviours.

As part of the visit, the Minister was shown around ‘Bute’, Kibble’s newest children’s house that provides a high level of support for up to four young people between the ages of 12 – 18. Ms Haughey met with young people who stay at the house, along with the staff team who provide round-the-clock care.

Bute has been designed to create an environment which offers the opportunity for a gradual and supportive transition for young people moving on from more secure settings such as a Safe Centre and acts as an alternative to community mental health provisions. It provides high levels of support and therapeutic care for young people with complex mental health needs, which are diagnosed, emerging or suspected, and those with significant risk to themself through suicidal and self-harming behaviours.

At Bute, a specialist staff team work alongside young people to provide safety, stability and support to help young people manage complex emotions and behaviours, gradually increasing their independence over time. Young people are also supported in their education, with Kibble providing primary and secondary schools, alongside a Skills Academy,

During the visit, Ms Haughey met with senior leaders, including Jim Gillespie, Chief Executive who accompanied the Minister to see the children’s houses. Bute, which opened in March last year, has been sensitively designed for young people with experience of trauma. The house offers a safe and supportive space, which is therapeutic in design, yet youthful to reflect the tastes of young people that live there. Everything from the colours of the rooms to the soft furnishings and general everyday rhythms and routines have been carefully considered to promote safety, structure and routine – key elements of trauma-informed care planning.

The staff at Bute are highly experienced and skilled individuals with knowledge and training in neuro-developmental disorders and work in partnership with an integrated health and specialist intervention services teams, which includes Forensic Psychologists and Specialist Looked After Children’s Nurses, as well as qualified therapists across a range of disciplines including cognitive behavioural therapy, art and play therapy, counselling and family therapy.

The Minister for Children and Young people was also shown nearby house Mossway which is designed using the same trauma-informed principles as Bute. The house offers a therapeutic and highly supportive environment to help young people manage complex emotions and behaviours, often as a result of trauma. As with all houses at Kibble, Mossway offers young people a wide range of specialist support, education and dedicated care to help them move forward.

Kibble is a specialist child and youth care charity and leading social enterprise that supports at risk children and young people (aged 5-26) across the UK. Many of the young people it cares for have experienced significant challenges in their lives, often due to trauma, adversity or disrupted family circumstances. Across its residential homes and school within the main Paisley campus, its community housing, foster care, and its Forest View School and residential home for children under 12 in Lochwinnoch, the charity provides care and education for 140 young people between the ages of 5-26 from across the country.  

Jim Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer said: “Each of the young people that we provide care for have individual needs and our care provision needs to mirror that. It is imperative that we continue to evolve our services to ensure that we have the care setting required for each of our young people so that we are able to support them within a setting which is safe and therapeutic.

“It was a pleasure to give the Minister for Children and Young People a tour around both Bute and Mossway, demonstrating the careful planning and execution involved in delivering both houses and caring for the young people who reside in each.”

Children’s Minister, Clare Haughey said: “It is vital that children and young people with complex needs get the support they need. I’d like to thank the staff at Kibble that have worked so hard throughout the pandemic in challenging conditions to maintain the support for children and young people in their care.

“We’re determined and committed to fulfilling The Promise by 2030, and this includes exploring new approaches to secure care in Scotland.”

Image depicts Clare Haughey and Jim Gillespie in Kibble’s innovative services

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