Setting up a Home for Children and Young People in the UK

I am involved in a project to set up and open a home for children and young people in North Kent. This will provide exceptional facilities and opportunities for those who are selected to come and make their home with us. The people who have commissioned me and other professionals to complete this task wish for the best outcome for each child and young person who is invited to join our community. Each month I will write a progress report.

The house already exists as a care home for adults with learning and health needs. It will require some adjustment, not least because it is so well appointed in that each suite of rooms has a well equipped kitchen as well as bathroom and large bedroom. We had an unofficial inspection to let us know what would need to be altered. There will be some slight physical alterations necessary, but despite the inspector’s assumption that these children and young people do not need their own bathroom or privacy, we have planned to offer everyone a bedroom, study and bathroom which they will learn to keep clean and reasonably tidy.

There will be a communal dining room where everyone will sit and eat at least in the evening. Food will be prepared by those living in the house and we plan to invite local chefs to come in to help train and guide the youngsters. Cleaning will also be carried out by those whose house it is and everyone WILL do their share. Whilst we wish for this to have the feel of a permanent home, we are very aware that the majority of these kids are already vulnerable either through their borderline criminal activities, inability to conform, quick violent tempers or experience of abuse and rejection. We do not underestimate the task we set ourselves. In light of this, everyone living in the house will have a busy timetable every day and especially at weekends.

Most children’s homes anticipate that a percentage of their residents will run away. Our intention is to use preventative methods to disable that behaviour. It may be the norm for adolescents to ‘chill’ all weekend in their beds and then go out with friends at night; our children cannot do that. They will already have come to the attention of the police and some may have been in protective custody. This is not a normal situation for most of them. We will be introducing a different lifestyle and different attitudes. Some of these youngsters will be unable to adapt, but our wish is that a majority will break through the barrier of no hope and face a better, more optimistic future.

Where possible, we will be encouraging our children to attend their designated educational facilities. Eventually, our plan is to offer learning opportunities in a way that promotes learning and motives a thirst for knowledge. This may not be in a formal educational setting. I fail to understand why, after what may be a seven-year history of refusal to attend school, lack of interest and unwillingness to learn, the state system insists that everyone must be brought in line. It fails so many children. We want our children to be so hooked on learning that they demand more. Whatever we have to do to get this – provided it is legal and safe- we want to do. Not everyone who can’t read is dyslexic. Some have just been badly taught.

Entry and acceptance as a member of our new family will be guided by specific criteria. There are some young people whom we will not accept from the outset because their behaviour is already too violent or disruptive or they have been identified as sexual predators even at this stage in their lives or they have a diagnosed mental health condition which makes them dangerous to others.

We have still to work our way through the barriers we may have to enforce. We will consider each one on an individual basis, but this is a group setting and they will have to develop social skills and empathy under the skilful and vigilant guidance of specially selected workers.

I am looking forward to the challenge and invite you to check out the group discussions on or contact me direct at I look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions. If you are interested in working on such a project again, please contact me.

45 thoughts on “Setting up a Home for Children and Young People in the UK”

  1. Hi I currently run a small ESBD school in Newcastle, I am very interested in starting a residential home similar to what you have described, any support or advice would be greatly appriciated


  2. Hello, My wife and I have been foster cares for just over 3 years, and have been in discussions with other cares about setting up our own children’s home.
    Is there any advise that you could give us.
    Look forward to hearing from you.

  3. Hi I was wondering if you could give me a bit more information into starting a young peoples care home as I am currently inerested in starting a care home for vulnerable young people within the North West. I currently mentor and teach young individuals. I am looking at linking it to a Sport with role models to inspire these young people. Any information to starting up would be much appreciated.

    Look forward to hearing back from you.


  4. Hi, I’ve worked with disadvantaged young people in south London for over 10 years. I would love to set up a small children’s home in my community in the next 3-4 years. I’ve worked in the private and public sector and starting a Counselling diploma in September. Could I correspond with you about what i need to be thinking about to fulfil this dream. Regards luke

  5. I am Presently a registered manager and through reading your out look for this home, I would be interested to find out if you managed to open it and how you are getting on. i support children and young people whom at times can display quite challenging behaviour. I looked in to opening my own home as I feel that there is so much more that can be offered to support a lot of these young people but again it comes down to the costings being agreed with different local authorities. I also struggle to see how alot of organizations stuggle around keeping young people safe around them absconding and being exploited and not using their duty of care to extend their support to keep them safe.
    look forward to hearing how you are doing.

  6. Hi,

    My partner and I would like to set up a care home – my partner currently works in a home like yours and is keen on setting a home up of his own. Any advice would be greatly appriciated!

    Best wishes

    M Nelson

  7. HI
    I think this is a great idea, and was hoping to start my own one day.. I was wondering if you have any hints or tips about how to start one, I just don’t know where to start. I’m thinking of doing it in the Midlands.

    Thanks so much


  8. Dear Sir/Madam

    I am only 22 years old so I neither have a home or the capital to start a project like this at present but it is something that appeals to me greatly. If I could start one up myself tomorrow, I would. I would be very interested in gaining some more insight from yourself, perhaps working voluntarily with you hands on if possible, or merely through written advise as to how I can go about this. I am passionate about children. I’ve just finished university with a Law Degree, although I currently work as a paralegal, I hope to one day be able to work with children and own a childrens home to better the lives of those in need. I respect your project and I am glad there are people like yourselves out there willing to go out of your way to help those in need. I look forward to your response.


    Michael O

  9. Hi,

    Myself and a fellow coleague are very interested in setting up a childrens home in East Sussex. I saw your comments on the website setting up a children’s home in the UK for children and young people. I just wanted some advice for how to go about this, what are the requirements, where to access funding etc. I have undertaken some basic research about setting up childrens home etc. Myself and my colleague currently work in an inclusion unit in a local secondary school working with very challening young people and/or special needs. We are also both part time youth workers, my colleague has a Youth Work BA Hons Degree and I am about to start a Social Work BSC HONS degree.

    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Many Thanks

    Kerry Fry

  10. Hi i was wounding if you can contact me on 07950044211 I hav 13 bed house which I have turned into care home so if you can call me I can discus further with you

  11. hi i was at rosehill market harborough,leics.ken scott was in charge.recently has flash backs dont know why i am 43 now.anyway i went there when i was nine.till12 years old.i have my files which are huge maybe some one could help me write a the hope i can offload.thanks

  12. Hello

    My husband and I would like to open a childrens home in the Hampshire area.

    Any advice you can offer would be grately appreciated. Thank you

  13. Hi, we are thinking about opening a young people’s home on the south coast. We have no idea where to start. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

  14. hiya,

    my partner and I are foster carers and are seriously considering setting up our own 3-4 bed home…. any advice would be greatly appriciated at this stage….
    many thanks

  15. I think all the people who post on here have the best intentions but may benefit from a little internet research. It takes a lot of initial time and a great deal of money to set up an independent children’s home. You need to be ofsted registered and qualified as a children’s social care provider. You need appropriate training and experience and to really assess need in you r area and whether the local council will co operate and send you client.
    Suggest working in a childrens home and see if you can hack it, it can be harrowing and soul challenging as well as beautiful and rewarding
    Good Luck

  16. Hello

    My wife and I both have decades of experience in teaching children. We are currently foster parents. We are looking to setting up a children’s care home. Any advice would be appreciated.

    kind regards


  17. I have successfully set up four children’s homes and am in the process of setting up another one now. Have also successfully set up four residential special schools. Could help

    • Hi James

      I noticed your post and like most others on this forumn, i am looking to setting up my own residential home for children and young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties or mental health conditions. I have over 15 years working in this environment both as a clinician and managing NHS and independent sector services working closely with local authorities.
      Any support, advice guidance that you could give would be greatly appreciated.


    • Hi James

      It would be great, if I can speak to yourself regarding Children Homes; especially with your experience. Myself and my husband are interested in opening a Children Home, but don’t know where to start from.

      Many thanks

  18. HI i would agree its not a walk in the park to run a facility of such . I have over 8 years experience in a residential setting working with vulnerable young people with challenging behaviour and also recently qualified social worker.Most of the young pple i have come across have gone through a lot in life and all they want is love and stability but that comes with a price to you as a carer . Its emotionally rewarding but very hard work .I recomend a lot of reading especially theories such as attachment ,child centred they will give you an insight of what you are to expect and how to handle such . In future i would love to manage a care setting and maybe open my own as well . All the best and any advice is most appreciated .

  19. Hi All,

    Anyone interested in setting up a childrens home can contact us, we offer a consultancy and Project Management Service to help indivuduals set up childrens home. Our team of consultants include Ex Ofsted Inspectors/Ex local authority commissioners.

    Contact number 0845 045 1170

    Many thanks

  20. I would love some information about setting up a young persons home. My work background is local authority social services and support work.

  21. Hi All
    I am in the very initial phase of obtaining information to set up a small care home for young people. It is pretty time consuming. I have made several contacts here and there but still have not got the right advice/information in this respect. I am a senior social work practitioner with 30 years experience in child protection, safe guarding, looked after children, children in need, education social work and recruiting, assessing and supervising foster carers for a local authority.
    I would like to speak to someone who has already gone through the experience of setting up a care home. A person like James could be certainly helpful. can James please contact me by leaving a comment.

    Best Regards

  22. Hi All

    I seriously want to start business looking after children and young people in supported housing. I own a second house that I can start this business in. My educational background is law degree and masters in social work, I hv worked as support worker for a number of years. I have fostered for almost 4 years and I’m a aware of challenges involved. my husband is mental health nurse with 7 years experience.

    please help


  23. James,

    I have also worked with various populations in the social services department, and also done outreach with children and youth for almost 20 years. I am seriously interested in opening the first children and youth home in my community. Will you please send information via email.


  24. I am look at opening up a care home for teen/pregnant mums with their babies. Don’t know where to start. How would l find out about start up costs and do l need a licence. I am in Australia. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

  25. Hi James,
    you advise woul be invaluable. My background is social work, child protection and like most people on this site, l am looking to set up a children’s home. I have a property already but need advise on the practicalities. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  26. Hi James
    Reading through messages,I saw your post and service offered to help set up children’s car home.
    I would be grateful if you could reply to me via email as to charges and what would be best route
    Thank you

  27. Hello All,
    I am looking for a consultancy company or a mentor to help me achieve the start up of a children care home for 16+, this will be to facilitate the transition of children in care to become independent. If there is someone experienced in this sector or can help it will be highly appreciated if you can contact me.


  28. Hi James
    I would really like some support in setting up a semi independent house for adolescents. I have a 3 bedroom house available already.

  29. Hi

    Not sure if this service is still available, I would love to start up my own foster care home for young children, Please can you advise me the best route, I have worked as a youth worker and teaching assistant other than this I have no other experience but passion. Really inspirational reading your account – and would great fully welcome all the advice you can offer as I have no idea how to begin.

    Thank you

    Kind Regards


  30. Like every other post on this forum, I am interested in setting up post 16+ home too. My background is BA (Hons) youth and community work and MA Social work. I have working experience in housing- homelessness, youth offending. Please any advice will do.

    Thank you


  31. I am looking at a home for children with behavioural difficulties in the nottingham / nottinghamshire area.

    I have an HR and psychology background.

    I would love to be able to talk to someone about setting this up.


  32. Would be grateful for some assistance as i’m quite keen on setting up a childrens home 16+ in the Hereford area. If anyone can kindly direct and/or offer some guidance, i’d be much obliged.


  33. Hi
    I have 15 years experience within Residential Services and 6 as a Registered Manager working with e.b.d.I worked for a L.A for 14 years and have now ventured into the private industry.I am now looking at setting up my own home so if anybody can offer any advice regarding the process it would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks

  34. Hi, I am currently fostering two children but I would love to start up my own foster care home for young children, Please can you advise me the best route, what are the requirements, where to access funding etc.

    many thanks,

  35. Would like similar advice although we are almost half way. Or people interested in the same thing to share ideas and for moral support its not easy.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Hope that you’re well.

      Was just wondering how your getting on with setting up a home

      Warmest Regards,


  36. Hi,
    I’m looking at setting up a care home in Manchester and possibly Melton Mowbray. I am quite open about the care but am thinking mainly about young adults with aspergers/autism. I own numerous blocks of apartments around Manchester and also a large 4 bedroom house in Melton Mowbray. I am looking for assistance from a consultant.

  37. Hi Arihant this side.
    I got your number from web.
    I am looking to convert few of my HMO properties into Child home. All properties are based in Birmingham. Can you please advise your scope of services? I am looking for consultant to help me with start up and to register with CQC and Ofsted. Please recommend some one who can help me I will really appreciate your help




Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.