I visited Fair Ways, a child services company, to learn more about a new innovative pilot project designed to support young people leaving residential care in our area.
Fair Ways provides Fostering, Residential Care, Education, Post 16 services, Outreach services, a mental health recovery unit and a Residential Family centre – I their hub in Fort Wallington, to meet with staff and discuss the work done across the Fareham area.
In 2017 Fair Ways was chosen as one of 8 organisations to pilot ‘Staying Close’, a government initiative, funded through the Department for Educations’ Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme.
Currently young people leaving residential care go from 24 hour residential support to minimal or no support which can lead them to being unprepared for adult life. For some young people this results in homelessness, unemployment and engaging in criminal activity. ‘Staying Close’ will enable young people leaving residential care to live near to, and retain links with, their children’s homes past the age of 18. Staying Close is designed to prove that by providing support to young people past the age of 18 their chances in life are much improved.
In two years’ time the pilots will be evaluated to test what has worked across the range of pilots, in particular evaluating the outcomes achieved for young people through the projects. Following the evaluation Staying Close will be rolled out nationally, like Staying Put.
It was great to learn more about Fair Ways Staying Close pilot programme and the levels of support they can offer to young people in care. Thank you to the team at Fair Ways for hosting me at their Hub - the work they do is invaluable in supporting young people in our area.