Innovative venture to improve Somerset young people’s lives

Somerset County Council is leading the way and joining forces with new strategic partner ‘Homes2Inpsire’ in working differently to secure new homes for looked after children and young people.

Following an extremely competitive procurement process, Somerset has secured Homes2Inspire, part of Shaw Trust – one of the UK’s largest charitable social enterprises – as its strategic partner.

Together Somerset County Council and Homes2Inspire will deliver children’s homes, foster homes and therapeutic education for some of our county’s children and young people whose adverse childhood experiences and trauma require more in-depth help and support.

This innovative 10-year partnership marks a new way of working together to change the experiences of children and young people. It will give them opportunities to have brighter futures, enable them to become independent adults, positive members of our community and help them raise their ambitions.  

Young people were actively involved in selecting Homes2Inspire and will be engaged in helping to support the development of new children’s homes.  Developing homes with the children and young people who live in them is fundamental to this new approach.

Members of the Somerset In Care Council and Somerset Leaving Care Council (SICC & SLCC) said: “As young people with a lived experience of In Care services, we value the opportunity to be involved and have a say. We feel it is positive that young people like ourselves have some power and belonging within the decision-making process. We are excited about Homes2Inspire, the home we visited was outstanding and hope that same quality will come to Somerset.”

The partnership will bring employment to the social care sector and the combined workforce will create a great place to work, learn together and share knowledge to create the trusted relationships that these young people need.

Chris Luck, CEO of the Shaw Trust said: “We are excited to be working with Somerset County Council in this new innovative partnership approach to developing integrated services for the children and young people of Somerset. Our mission is to ensure our work will have a positive transformational effect on their lives, building on the charitable values and strategy of ‘child to career’ believing everyone deserves to have a bright future and achieve their aspirations.”

Cllr David Fothergill, Leader of Somerset County Council said: “We’re delighted to announce Homes2Inspire as our new partner. We’re excited to be working together to totally re-think the way we support and improve the lives of our most complex looked after children.”

Cllr Frances Nicholson, Lead Member for Children’s Services said: “This innovative partnership will improve the lives of Somerset young people who have complex mental health, emotional and social issues. Not only will it give them a better, more stable home environment, but it will improve their health, wellbeing, skills and life chances. We’re really looking forward to working with Homes2Inspire in taking this new way of working forward.”

To find out more about becoming a Somerset foster carer, please check out, follow @fostersomerset or contact 0800 587 9900.

For more information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email

Notes to editors

  • A Key Decision was taken on 21st June 2021 to secure a strategic partner(s) to develop homes for Somerset children who are looked after.
  • A competitive process occurred after a high level of interest from potential providers was received. Somerset County Council and partners, including the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Foundation Trust, along with a panel of care-experienced young people was also involved in the dialogue and evaluation process.
  • A key decision was taken on 14th October to award the strategic partner contract to Homes2Inspire.

About Homes2Inspire, Shaw Trust and Shaw Education Trust

Homes2Inspire started in 2007 opening their first home in Long Buckby. Their aim then, as it is now, is to help the most vulnerable children, giving them a safe place to live, and the time and patience to work through any difficulties they have. Homes2Inspire now have 30 Ofsted registered children’s homes across the UK all unique in character, but united in the belief that all children need is a chance, an independent fostering agency FosteringtoInspire and also manage two large leaving care services and accommodation for local authorities.

Homes2Inspire homes offer children non-institutional therapeutic living environments, though Homes2Inspire prefer to say they are homely, warm and welcoming. Their considerable and highly regarded experience offers local authority social care teams a safe and immediate solution when seeking to accommodate children whose personal circumstances or behaviour may make them difficult to place.

The staff team is full of vastly experienced individuals who are qualified , not only to regulatory standards but beyond to meet the individual needs of each child they care for. Colleagues think creatively to find the best way to care for children, and to keep on caring when circumstances are difficult.

Homes2Inspire became a part of the Prospects Group in 2017 and Prospects are part of the wider Shaw Trust Group.

Shaw Trust is the UK’s largest not-for-profit social enterprise providing services and support to enable people to access rewarding employment opportunities. From child to career, Shaw Trust works in service of people with complex needs, breaking down barriers to equal opportunity and providing continuity of support and good help into good work – so that we might all share a more prosperous future. Shaw Trust’s social enterprise exists to generate social value and advance social mobility.  Shaw Trust is an organisation with a ‘commercial brain and a charitable heart’. Where enterprise surplus has a social purpose. Surpluses are reinvested through Shaw Trust Foundation into programmes to level-up prospects for individuals and communities, designed to deliver inclusive growth.

Shaw Education Trust is a growing multi academy trust which places high achievement at the heart of all we do. We are determined that no child attending a Shaw Education Trust Academy should have their opportunities limited by their background, or by their ability. 

We are sponsored by Shaw Trust and focused on harnessing the power of people to affect positive change for youngsters. We work with children, leaders and teachers to create the very best opportunities for all their futures. 

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