The Good Shepherd Centre

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 is a Secure/Close Support Unit for vulnerable young people.  Young people may be placed with us due to risks to themselves or others and are placed here by the Children’s Hearing System or Criminal Justice System.  

The Centre comprises of 18 Secure beds, a 6 bed Close Support Unit and a 3 bed Semi-Independent Cottage.

The Secure Unit consists of three 6 bed house units, education and recreation facilities and a health and admissions facility.

Whilst utilising the same education, recreation and health facilities, the 6 bed Close Support Unit functions as a transition resource, facilitating those ready to leave the secure unit, but requiring extra support before moving on to a less structured environment.  The Semi-Independent Cottage is an extension of the function of the Close Support Unit, with a specific focus on developing independent living skills.

Our values

The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre


The physical environment is maintained at an extremely high standard and there are very clear and robust systems in place that ensure that young people are safe and live in an environment free from abuse, harm, harassment and discrimination.  We do not hold the view that secure care necessarily equates to safe care and therefore we have in place systems and policy frameworks that evidence our effectiveness at measuring this. 

From the first stage of admission and throughout the young persons’ stay various methods of consultation take place to allow young people to fully participate in their care.  Young people, their families and stakeholders are regularly given the opportunity through our participation strategy to effectively contribute to the development and improvement of the service.  Methods of consultation seek to establish the views of young people on key areas such as bullying, feeling safe and feeling respected.  Young people also have access and are actively encouraged to make use of the external advocacy services.

Senior Management has in place a robust monitoring process.  This process allows for critical analysis of systems and scrutinises key areas of practice all linked to the safe care of young people.

We recognise that pivotal to providing a safe environment is to have a very good quality, trained and motivated staff group across all disciplines which collectively contribute to the young person’s care.  Mandatory training for staff in key subject areas such as trauma, self-harm, therapeutic crisis intervention, child protection and risk assessment/management all aimed at promoting safe care in practice.

The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre


Our approach is to promote the health and wellbeing of all young people and to ensure that all aspects of their healthcare needs are met. The physical aspects of a young person’s are addressed through a formal health assessment process.  This process is co-ordinated through the Nurse and supported by the appropriate external health services.  All information is kept within the individual’s confidential health care plan.  Appropriate information also informs the Health section of the young person’s Care Plan. Any previously undiagnosed conditions will be highlighted and referrals made to the appropriate health professions.

We fully recognised the importance of addressing the psychological wellbeing of our young people and therefore we have developed close partnership working with other specialist services:

  • The Local CAMHS team through monthly meeting and training events. Referrals are made to the team on a needs led basis.
  • The Forensic Network who are presently writing a bespoke training  package for the staff of the Good Shepherd Centre.
  • Young Minds who provide a bespoke Training for Trainer package for Staff in the Good Shepherd Centre, and offer ongoing support.
  • Welltree Trauma Therapy Services who provide Consultancy, Training and Trauma focused interventions with young people.  A Consultant clinical and forensic psychologist who carries out mental health assessments and who also offers CAT on a needs led basis.
  • The Sandyford Clinic who have written a bespoke sexual health programme for the Good Shepherd Centre.

A healthy lifestyle and diet are promoted across care and education through various events, programmes, and training for staff.

The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre


Our aim is to improve attainment and achievement outcomes for all young people by promoting high expectations and raising aspirations. Our approach is to provide learning experiences across care and education which are engaging, enjoyable, motivating and challenging.  We believe that by embracing the the values and principles of both the Curriculum for Excellence and GIRFEC as our practice models, we are able to support our young people to achieve across the 4 capacities.

We consider that by fostering a spirit of partnership amongst young people, staff, stakeholders, parents, other educational establishments, and the local/wider community, we increase the opportunity for improvements in attainment and achievement and enable our young people to experience success. We offer our young people a range of NQs, wider Achievement Awards and learning opportunities across Care and Education.

We help our young people to re-engage in the education process and to achieve their full potential in each aspect of their development - educational, personal, social, emotional, physical and behavioural. We support and encourage young people to have aspirations for the future and ensure that they move on to positive destinations.

At the point of transition we liaise with Local Authorities to ensure that each young person’s educational needs and interests will be met following their move back into the community.

For more information on our Education services, click here

The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre


Our approach is to maintain an environment in which the young person feels accepted, comfortable and safe.  It is by establishing routines and rituals within the daily living situation that we create a therapeutic “Living/Learning” environment that seeks to encourage and support the young person to learn to self-regulate their emotions and consequently their behaviour.  Essential to this approach is the self-assessment completed by the young person who establishes a base line of their understanding of themselves and their behaviour.

The Young Person’s skills development is further encouraged through our application of social learning theory and pro-social modelling.  Our aim is to support the young person to develop healthy attachment styles that can accommodate a range of relationships through the promotion of good levels of self-awareness and good levels of awareness of other people’s feelings.

Our use of intervention work and approach to behaviour management gives us a focus on risk management which further promotes safety through de-escalatory techniques and the promotion of the young person’s self-awareness and self-regulatory skills.

Through partnership working with parents/carers and other appropriate agencies during a young person’s placement we increase the young person’s capacity to identify, consolidate, and expand, their support networks  to maximise positive outcomes on their return to the community.

The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre


Our approach to ensuring young people keep active is threefold.

Firstly, our aim is to encourage the young person to indulge in physical activity so that they become more aware of their bodies and own fitness levels, gain a greater understanding of the positive impact of exercise on their bodies, and learn that physical activity can become a useful tool for managing their mood and building their confidence and self-esteem.

Secondly, our aim is to encourage the young to pursue the interests and hobbies they already know while at the same time presenting them with opportunities and experiences which expand their current interests and hobbies. We believe this approach helps the young person consolidate and expand their protective factors in preparation for their return to the community.

Thirdly, our aim is to encourage the young person to take part in a variety of activities both individually and as a group.  This approach supports them to learn to: take enjoyment from their own company and increase their self-reliance skills; take enjoyment from the company of others and enhance their social skills, their ability to share and their working with other skills.

This approach increases the young person’s understanding of themselves, their bodies and their ability to have fun in positive constructive ways which impacts on their successful re-integration into their community.

The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre

Respected & Responsible

Adopting a consultative/partnership approach in all aspects of our work ensures that the young person remains at the centre of what we do. We fully support the young person in having a voice that is heard in their own care and future planning, giving them an understanding of who and what agencies are available to them for advice and support.

The Young Person is offered support and opportunity through the daily living experience, and structured individual work, to develop their skills and self-awareness in order to be able to express their views and feelings confidentiality and constructively.Through positive role modelling, specific educational/cognitive behavioural programmes/charity fundraising/local and wider community involvement, we foster an ethos of responsibility and a greater understanding of the wider world.

Our approach increases the young person’s ability to take responsibility for their own actions by; increasing their understanding of their own behaviour, and increasing their understanding of the impact of their behaviour on themselves and others.

Within education we promote an ethos of achievement through a modular based curriculum which encourages the young person to recognise their potential and strive to do their best.  Particular attention is paid to arranging in-house and community based taster courses in further education and in a wide variety of work experience placements.  This encourages the young person to have a more positive view of their place in society and allows them to make more informed decisions and choices about their future.

The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre


We place great importance 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 working with the young person to rebuild their place in the family and community.  We encourage contact with family and friends initially within the unit then on a risk assessed basis, within the community.

During a young person’s placement they are fully involved in preparing and planning for their future.  The work they engage in and the opportunities they are presented with are tailored to preparing them for their return to the community.

Transitions are planned well in advance.  The young person is encouraged to identify their own needs and ambitions and they are giving information, advice, and guidance to make sure that they know what opportunities are on offer and how these fit with their own identified needs and ambitions.

This approach essentially requires; joint commitment and partnership working to ensure that the agreed plan is progressed, the right supports in place at the point of transition, and supports on return to the community to monitor and sustain positive progression.

For information on our Wellbeing Support Services, click here

The Good Shepherd Centre
The Good Shepherd Centre


The majority of children in Scotland have decent childhoods, but for some children and young people, a lot of things go wrong, a lot of the time. Unfortunately right now things are going wrong for some young people who require the structures of secure care; however they still require to be given care, love and hope. 

Young people placed in secure care can have a contrasting number of negative indicators that may result in extremely low levels of wellbeing. These can include alcohol and drug misuse, self-harming, offending, trauma, difficulties in their primary attachments and a profound lack of hope.

As an organisation the domain of HOPE was added so that we could measure how young people felt about not only their current situation but also their futures. We believe that 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. Resiliency keeps some children afloat by being flexible, positive and capable of achieving goals.

To build on their hopes it requires care, the therapeutic alliance of positive relationships and promotion of resilience. One of the important aspects of providing this is through the interactions of the everyday and letting young people know that you care and are participants in their lives. We should be able to increase hope by talking about it directly to the young people. We should also be able to increase hope by improving the young person’s self-esteem, family relationships and increasing their motivation to change and confidence to manage their behaviour more positively. It is our aim to address these issues over a period of time, review our approaches and measure outcomes so we improve young people’s levels of hope.


Freedom of Information (FOI)

The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 gives the people of Scotland the right, by law, to access information produced by public authorities.

The aim of the Act is to increase openness and transparency and to make public bodies more accountable. People are now able to see and question how we function and how our decisions are made.

We have a Freedom of Information publication scheme in place. It is available below and gives details of:

  • the information available to you
  • the format it's available in
  • who to contact to get it, and
  • any fees involved.

There are classes of information that we already make available in this way, so it is always worth checking the publication scheme before you make an enquiry. Enquiries concerning this information are not dealt with in terms of the 2002 Act.

Making a request

You must make requests for information in writing, or in another permanent form like email, video or audio tape. Requests must give a return address for correspondence to be sent to in hard copy or electronic form.

When you make a request, please be as specific as you can about the information you want and give us as much information as you can to help us find what you are looking for. If you need the information in a special format such as large print or a language other than English, please let us know in your application.

If you need information that relates to you as an individual, you should make your request under the Data Protection Act. Please use the link below for more information on data protection.

We aim to deal with all requests within 20 working days. We may also ask you for more details to further identify the information you have asked for. There are some occasions when information won’t be supplied to you - and in these cases, we'll tell you why.

If you are not satisfied with the way your request is dealt with, you can ask us for a formal review of our decision. You can appeal the outcome of this review to the Scottish Information Commissioner.

Related documents

Good Shepherd Centre Guide to Information

Data Protection

Environmental Information

Freedom of Information Request Form

Subject Access Request Form

Related links

Scottish Information Commissioner 

Additional information

For our Child Protection Policy, click here

For our Child Sexual Exploitation Policy, click here


Head of Service
Good Shepherd Centre
Greenock Road
Bishopton PA7 5PW

Tel No: 01505 864500

Fax : 01505 864501

Twitter : @GSCBishopton


The Good Shepherd Centre Bishopton is a company limited by guarantee (Company Number SC412325)
Registered Office Waterloo Chambers, 19 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6AH,
Anyone wishing to contact the Board should do so in writing via
Company Secretary at McSparran McCormick, Waterloo Chambers, 19 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 6AH
Charity Number: SCO30019, SCO43857