Sixteen Plus carrying out ‘root and branch’ investigation after concerns about service for Norfolk teenagers

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

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

A firm under fire for services it was giving to vulnerable teenagers in Norfolk said today it was carrying out a 'root and branch' investigation.

Glen Leverett, who complained to Sixteen Plus about the lack of supervision for teenagers placed in

Glen Leverett, who complained to Sixteen Plus about the lack of supervision for teenagers placed in a house next door to him after leaving care. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Concerns were first revealed in this newspaper about the state of accommodation Sixteen Plus was placing young people in who were leaving the care of Norfolk County Council.

A whistleblower also raised fears about the level of service the former children in care were getting from the company, which was providing supported accommodation for the teenagers aged 16 and over.

And one neighbour told this newspaper that there were late night parties and police were called to one of the houses in Norwich which was meant to be supervised by Sixteen Plus.

After the revelations, Norfolk County Council's children's services department, which gave the company £1.56m last year, said it had suspended all new placements of teenagers with the firm.

It is also bringing in an external investigator to look at the allegations.

A spokesman for the company said today: 'Sixteen Plus Ltd are confident in the service we provide and would like to assure everybody, that we will continue to review all of our services in line with the multiple local authority monitoring visits in respect to all of our provisions and current quality assurance and monitoring procedures, to ensure that the service delivered is that of the highest quality.


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'Sixteen Plus Ltd have welcomed the input of all agencies since certain issues were raised in the media. Norfolk County Council have carried out a significant amount of announced and unannounced visits to our properties since the breaking of this story and their findings overall have been very positive.

'Sixteen Plus Ltd cannot comment any further on any matters until the results of both, a root and branch internal investigation have been published and an external independent review has been carried out and its findings shared with all partner agencies.'

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Cambridgeshire County Council, which also uses Sixteen Plus, confirmed it had also suspended new placements with the company.

'After hearing the allegations made in the media we naturally contacted the provider to talk about the concerns raised and they agreed to a voluntary suspension of new placements as well as discussing improvements they would make,' a council spokesman said, 'We work closely with Sixteen Plus but also took the precaution of carrying out additional visits of all our existing placements with the company to check accommodation was at the required standards.'

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