Our Story

The Good Shepherd Centre is a Secure, Close Support & Semi-Independent Living Service for vulnerable young people 12 to 17 years of age. Our campus comprises an 18 bed Secure House, a 6 bed Close Support House and a 3 bed Semi-Independent Cottage. Young People are referred to us under the Criminal Justice System and through the Children’s Hearing System. Each young person accommodated within the centre is in need of intensive and/or secure care.  

Our purpose is to provide a positive, life changing experience for young people  through individual care, education and skills development.
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The Good Shepherd Centre focuses on a continuum of care. The young people accessing the service are likely to have suffered many adverse childhood experiences which have resulted in increasingly pro-criminal mind-sets; acute trauma; psychological distress; mental health problems; self-harm; drug & alcohol misuse and sexual exploitation. As well as this, we also have young people whose learning difficulties and autistic disorders have led to extreme behaviours which prove too complex for their families, carers and communities to cope with.

We view a placement with us as a positive opportunity for young people that offers them space to learn, time to heal, opportunities to thrive and hope to move forward.

Our approach can be defined as eclectic as it is understood that no one theory can adequately respond to the complex feelings, needs and behaviours presented by the young people in our care. It is underpinned by a therapeutic, trauma informed and attachment based perspective. 

Great importance is placed on using a holistic approach that considers all the needs of the young person as an individual, but also as part of a family and community. 

We fully appreciate the importance of this type of work in helping the young person rebuild their place in their family and community, and we do not consider our work complete when the young person leaves. We therefore extend our relationship into the young person’s next placement through focussed transition work. 

Model of Care

The Good Shepherd Centre’s model of care was developed and implemented to address the full range of needs and risks presented by the impact of attachment issues and trauma on young people who display problematic behaviour. We agree with the suggestion that a system of care that prioritises and places emphasis on emotional wellbeing should also take a proactive approach to improving wellbeing, to giving children and young people a voice, and to influencing, supporting and sustaining children’s relationships, as well as supporting care leavers’ emotional needs.

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On admission, young people placed within the Good Shepherd Centre are assessed by the relevant professionals in relation to the ‘Getting It Right for Every Child’ (GIRFEC) wellbeing indicators. As part of our overall assessment process young people are encouraged to take an active part in determining their wellbeing through participation in care, education and health assessments, as well as participation in a subjective online assessment. 

The young person’s online assessment is a programme of self-reporting psychological testing across the GIRFEC wellbeing indicators (including HOPE).  

The online assessment is an integral part of the overall assessment of a young person’s wellbeing, which ensures that the young person’s views and opinions of their own wellbeing are placed at the heart of our intervention plans. 

Our robust assessment process can help young people achieve a range of positive wellbeing outcomes during their stay with us and ensures that their personal achievements extend beyond the end of their placement within the Good Shepherd Centre.


As an organisation we decided to add the domain of ‘Hope’ in measuring young people’s wellbeing to allow us to measure how young people felt about their current situation and their future. We believe all young people should have hope and be hopeful. Recent research suggests that hope is an important factor in determining the resilience of young people. Resilience keeps some children afloat by being flexible, positive and capable of achieving goals.