CFS Care maintains a focus upon listening and responding to the views and feelings of individual services. We have a wealth of procedures in place to record and respond proactively to the requirements of individuals, which is aligned to the best interests of all involved. CFS Care maintain a focus upon developing positive and meaningful, safe relationships with young people. Staff seek to establish trust through patience and respect.
Clear boundaries of conduct are established from the onset and each young person is empowered to make positive choices about how we can help them to succeed and develop with targeted support and guidance. This is a two-way process in which staff work with young people to achieve their goals and aspirations, rather than simply expecting them to engage with generic practice models that may not reflect their individual needs and circumstances.
Our carefully managed support is delivered through designated keyworkers and overseen by a highly-experienced Team Manager. Young people are provided with day-to-day guidance that has been developed with consistently applied regard for continued safety, welfare and wellbeing.
Importantly, feedback from Care Leavers, as detailed in Keep on Caring (DfE, 2016), has been a primary factor in developing our services.
Care Leavers have said that:
Where they had developed a good relationship with an adult, they wanted support to maintain those relationships once they left care, on an informal basis
CFS Care are committed to encouraging positive relationships, particularly with those with people who are important to young people. We are proactive in supporting this process and seek to maintain positive licks with relevant providers.
They wanted the professionals who support them to have high aspirations for them; and to encourage and support them to achieve their goals
Our Pathway to Independence Framework provides a formal means to measure progress and support achievement. Reasonable challenge is applied on a person-centred basis that is in keeping with the individual needs of the young person.
They reported that leaving care still felt like a ‘cliff-edge’, where they were suddenly responsible for managing budgets, running a home; and maintaining their participation in education or work on their own – with insufficient preparation for these challenges
The Pathway to Independence Framework encompasses numerous opportunities for young people to enhance their understanding of practical and financial life skills. Whether, managing budgets, including banking, rent, shopping, savings, etc. or being supported and encouraged to attend education, employment or training. Our Transitional Support Advisors offer support, advice and guidance around the clock.
They said that there were times when their emotional health and well-being was not positive, but when that was the case they found it difficult to access the support they needed. In particular, they found it difficult to access adult mental health services once they turned 18
CFS Care believe that the safety, welfare and wellbeing is paramount. It is the cornerstone of our service and we are committed to maintaining the highest possible standards of support. Our systems and processes are symbiotic with those used by regulated children’s services provisions and staff are subject to the same accountabilities.
Care leavers said that they wanted more choice about where they lived and who supported them; and more information about the support that was available to them locally; and what they were entitled to from universal services such as Jobcentre Plus
Juventas want young people to have the freedom to make choices and experience options that have value and meaning. Our Transitional Support Advisors provided continuous, 24-hour support and they will help young people to access universal services and further support options.
A minority of care leavers reported that they felt scared – in particular when they did not feel that the place they were accommodated in was safe, either because of its location or because of the other people who lived there – or that they were vulnerable to a range of safeguarding risks, such as involvement in gangs, crime, or sexual exploitation
The safety, welfare and wellbeing of young people is paramount. We offer 24-hour (in accommodation) support from informed professionals who demonstrate a solid commitment to helping young people to make positive choices and stay safe from harm or potential harm. Reasonable measures are taken to provide a sense of security, such as advanced external CCTV and links with the Police. Area and Location Risk Assessments (ALRA) take account of factors that could impact upon young people who access our accommodation. We have clearly defined, fair and consistently applied boundaries of conduct and interaction that are agreed with young people from the onset. For further information, please refer to our range of safeguarding policies or speak to a member of staff
But overwhelmingly, the biggest issue raised by care leavers was one of isolation and loneliness; and the difficulty of navigating their way through their late teens and early twenties without a strong and stable social network to support them.
Every supported accommodation service within the CFS Care portfolio is staffed on a 24-hour basis. Transitional Support Advisers are in place throughout the day and sleep-in staff are present during the night, with waking night options available. Positive relationships are actively encouraged and we want young people to share their concerns and anxieties in a safe environment. In addition, we are committed to community engagement and aim to guide young people to opportunities to become part of the community within which they live. Positive opportunities for participation and engagement are actively sought on a regular basis.