About us

We help children and young people to understand and manage their feelings more effectively.

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 is approved by the Department for Education to restrict young people’s liberty.

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 children’s home can accommodate up to 12 young people who are aged between 10 and 17 years and accommodated under section 25 of the Children Act 1989. Admission of any young person under 13 years of age requires the approval of the Secretary of State.

Our home provides a positive atmosphere which develops young people’s confidence and nurtures self-esteem. All staff are trained in the use of restorative approaches to help young people see the harm their words and actions can have on others and to help them to take responsibility and make amends.

When young people come to live with us we set out to care for and respect them. We help them to recognise their needs and learn better ways to have those needs met. We support them to learn more about caring for and respecting themselves in all aspects of their lives. We help young people to see they deserve a place in society where they can, in turn, care for and respect others.

What type of secure children’s home is Atkinson?

Atkinson is purely a welfare-only home for temporary stays – this could be 72 hours or a few months. Atkinson is not a prison for young offenders.

There are 15 secure children’s homes in England and Wales. Seven secure children’s home 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 10 out of the 15 secure children’s homes are for criminal placements via the Youth Justice Board; Atkinson ceased being one of these secure units in 2006.