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Atkinson Secure Children’s Home

About us

We believe that all children and young people who have experienced abuse should be supported by professionals who fully understand the impact of trauma emotionally, socially and physically. We are committed to delivering therapeutic holistic interventions through trauma informed practice.

We have been specialising in the welfare needs of young people for over 30 years and young people are placed with us due to either having a history of absconding or are likely to abscond, likely to suffer significant harm or likely to injure themselves or others.

Our home provides a nurturing and caring atmosphere which develops young people’s confidence and self-esteem. All staff are trained in attachment, trauma and restorative approaches enabling us to effectively manage behaviour and repair relationships.

What type of secure children’s home is Atkinson?

We are a national purpose-built secure children’s home managed by Devon County Council providing full residential care, healthcare and education on site in dedicated facilities. Our home can accommodate up to 8 young people who are aged between 10 and 17 years and accommodated under section 25 of the Children Act 1989.

There are 14 secure children’s homes in England and Wales. Seven of them are welfare-only (where children and young people are placed in security for their own welfare by their local council and the court).The remaining secure children’s homes are for sentenced young people via the Youth Custody Service.

Please read the Statement of Purpose for further details.

Helen Bowkett – Registered Manager


We have robust measures in place to minimise the risks of the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 into Atkinson. We have intensified infection control measures and support everyone across the home to take care of themselves, including appropriate social distancing arrangements along with PPE as and when required.  We cannot allow anyone to enter the Atkinson Home who has, or has any symptoms of; or is living in the same household as someone who has; or has any symptoms of COVID-19.

What's new?

Atkinson maintains its unblemished record as a good home

“This is a well-managed home.  Attention to detail and a thorough understanding of each child’s needs means that they all receive high-quality care and nurturing from committed staff.”  That is the verdict from Ofsted inspectors following their visit in February to … Continue reading

Bale, Arthur and Gracie, the Atkinson therapy dogs

Bale and Arthur have been visiting the Atkinson School since early March and the benefits and transformations have been incredible.  Bale and Arthur are therapy dogs, brought in by Bale’s Buddies who supply therapy dogs to schools, residential homes, and … Continue reading

Atkinson artwork at the Koestler exhibition

The Koestler Awards for arts in criminal justice started in 1962. Each year over 3,500 people in custody and in the community share their creative work by taking part. The Trust provides feedback and encouragement to entrants of all abilities … Continue reading