'I wasn't allowed to say goodbye': Teenager rails against decision to shut her Northamptonshire children's home

St John's House has been closed temporarily due to issues over staffing.
St John's House has been closed temporarily due to issues over staffing.
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A teenager who has been moved out of her Northamptonshire County Council-run care home because of staffing issues says her life have been torn apart.

The authority is set to temporarily close St John's House, based in Tiffield, near Towcester at the end of the month as it says the standard of care there is "not being met".

The closure of St John's House has meant five young people living there have been sent to foster homes.

The closure of St John's House has meant five young people living there have been sent to foster homes.

But it means the five young people living there have been moved to foster houses, in some cases many miles away, with no knowledge of whether can ever return to the place they had come to know as home.

A 16-year-old who has lived there since she was 12, has even lodged a petition to keep the home open that has so far gathered 50 names.

She told the Chronicle & Echo: "Obviously it is traumatic.

"I wasn't allowed to say goodbye to anyone that had looked after me for the past four years."

Teenagers living in St John's House have their own bedroom and there is an apartment there for the older teenagers to live semi-independently.

But the teenager has been moved to a foster home in Aylesbury, making it the second time she has had to switch homes under care.

"I liked it at St John's House," she said.

"All the staff are very caring. we had a very good structure, I had a good routine in there.

"I just want the county council to think about what they are doing.

"No one has really spoken to us about anything. we were just told that we were going to get moved and they were going to close us down."

The most recent Care Quality Commission report for St John's House in 2013 was also positive.

An excerpt from a watchdog inspector read: "We spoke with five people that used the service and they all told us they were happy living at St John’s Home and they felt safe.

"One person told us 'I like living here and I feel safe'. Another person told us 'They keep their eye on you and they always come to you if you need them'."

A Northamptonshire County Council spokeswoman said: “We are currently carrying out a review of St John’s House children’s home to ensure our expected standards of care are being met.

“As an interim measure, we have taken the decision to move the five young people currently placed at St John’s House into alternative suitable provision within the county and staff are being temporarily relocated.

“Our priority is to ensure a smooth transition for the young people affected and we are keeping their families and carers, as well as Ofsted, fully updated.”

To sign the petition to keep St John's House open click here.