Secure care - ׽ͼ: Specialist services & support for young people facing adversity


Availability: 1 place available

׽ͼ Safe Centre provides a safe, secure and supportive environment to help young people through a period of crisis.

Our Safe Centre supports young people up to the age of 18 who have faced significant challenges in their lives and are at risk of harm to themselves or others. We provide a highly supportive and therapeutic environment for up to 18 young people offering specialist residential care, education and ongoing support to open opportunities and help young people move forward.

Young People We Support

Young people come to our Safe Centre either via a referral from the Children’s Hearing System or a court order.

Our research shows that many of the young people in the Safe Centre have experienced adverse and potentially traumatic events. As such, we adopt a therapeutic, trauma-informed care approach, ensuring young people have the right supports and interventions, at the right time, to help them manage complex behaviours and emotions. This support is also extended to young people’s families through our Systemic Family Service.

As soon as a young person comes to the Safe Centre, we begin planning how they will successfully move on from secure care through gradual stages until the young person is ready. 

Therapeutic, Nurturing Environment

Young people stay at one of our three care houses, Barra, Jura and Islay, with each accommodating up to six young people. The care houses provide a safe and nurturing environment with a consistent staff team who provide round the clock care and support.

All houses have comfortable living areas, dining kitchens, outdoor courtyards and bedrooms that can be personalised to reflect young people’s choices and identities where safety possible. Our houses reflect the rhythms and routines you would expect of a typical family household to retain important structure for young people.

The Safe Centre has a range of facilities including our school, Mirin Academy, a large outdoor sports pitch, swimming pool, fitness suite and family meeting areas.

Dedicated Care and Support

All Safe Centre staff are highly trained in supporting vulnerable children and young people, including those who self-harm or display suicidal behaviours. We have the largest in-house Specialist Intervention Service (SIS) across all secure care providers in Scotland. Our experienced team of therapeutic practitioners is comprised of psychologists, counsellors, speech and language therapists, family therapists and art therapists. They provide dedicated support to young people and their families to provide ongoing therapeutic support and interventions.

The Safe Centre also has two full-time Looked After and Accommodated Children’s nurses on-site, as well as teachers registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland, classroom support workers, key workers and children’s advocates who provide continuous support to the young people while they are at ׽ͼ. Each young person has a dedicated key worker who will support them from when they first arrive until they are ready to move on.


Depending on age and stage, young people will either attend Mirin Academy or the Skills Academy which are both operated by ׽ͼ. Our school delivers the outcomes of Curriculum for Excellence with a specific focus on entitlement, attainment, personalisation and choice. For young people aged 14+, there is also the option to attend our Skills Academy, a thriving education, employability and training centre with locations in Hillington and Paisley.

The curriculum is designed to promote breadth and depth of learning, engagement and enjoyment and skills for learning, life and work. Throughout the broad general education, we develop the knowledge, skills and experience required to sustain education, training or employment. In the senior phase we offer the chance to combine valuable work experience with studying for academic and vocational qualifications whilst always ensuring pace and challenge.

We foster an ethos of inclusion and high expectation for our young people with a focus on developing capability and resilience through stimulating experiences both in and out of the classroom. All teachers are registered with the General Teaching Council for Scotland and are highly trained in supporting children and young people with complex emotions and/or behaviours. Class sizes are kept small with a maximum of six pupils per class, and classroom support workers are available to provide additional support for learning.

Moving on from the Safe Centre

At the Safe Centre, we support young people to take the next step when they are ready. When a care placement comes to an end, there are several destinations available to young people depending on their circumstances and level of need including:

  • Residential care
  • Supported accommodation
  • Foster Care
  • Adult Justice System
  • Own Tenancy
  • Family home

Video Guide to the Safe Centre

Young people, families and social workers spoke of strong relationships with staff which had made a significant impact on them feeling safe, engaging in their care and support, and having an impact on their progress

Safe Centre Secure Accommodation Service Inspection Report, October 2022

Interested in these services?

Contact us to discuss residential care placements.

Get in touch