13th September, 2021 1:01 pm
Balnacraig School has been operating in the city since 1843 and has cared for close to 2000 young people from across Scotland
A charity that has provided vital care for vulnerable children and young people in Perth for nearly 180 years is set to close for good later this year.
Balnacraig School has been operating in the city since 1843 and has cared for close to 2000 young people from across Scotland.
It moved to is current site at Fairmount Terrace in 1950 and had opened five new services in Perth and Kinross since 2014.
But a lack of referrals has led to the decision to shut the service in December.
Chair of the board of directors at Balnacraig David Law said: “It is with great regret that we have made the decision to stop providing care for young people at Balnacraig School from December.
“Given our long history and the fact that the young people we care for have already experienced a lot of disruption and difficulties in their lives, the decision to stop providing care has not been an easy one for us to make, however, a great deal has changed in the way young people are cared for when they are unable to live with their families.
“The key factor that has determined the decision we have taken to stop providing care has been a lack of referrals which suggests to us that there is no longer a need for the sort of service we provide. We hope this is because young people are now able to be better cared for closer to home.
“Clearly we need referrals and we need to be confident that we have the correct number of staff to provide safe care for those young people. We felt that we couldn’t guarantee this beyond December so we have decided we should stop providing care from that date.”
Balnacraig began looking after girls away from their homes in 1843, and until 1971 cared for up to 50 girls at the school.
At that point, Balnacraig became a list ‘D’ school for girls until it became an independent school in 1986.
Boys were then allowed to attend in 1989, and ever since it has been caring for children who are unable to attend mainstream education and need a more therapeutic environment.
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