Innovative housing solutions that help young people make the move to independent living are the focus of Barnardo’s Positive Destinations service, based in North Lanarkshire. They make all the difference to developing young people’s confidence and living-alone skills, all in a safe, cosy and nurturing environment.
When care leavers are at risk of losing the place in which they’re living, it’s our job to step in and make sure young people don’t become homeless. We invite them to stay in one of our reception flats. While they’re here, I support them with the day-to-day stuff like budgeting, housework, benefits and taking them to appointments.
I just want to be normal and being in the flat is giving me a chance to be that.Candice*, care leaver
Away from that, I also help bring together all the agencies involved in supporting the young person, like social services, local authority housing departments and drug addiction services.
Together, we work on creating a plan that supports them into living independently.
Everyone’s goal is for the young person to be placed in the most appropriate accommodation – whether their own tenancy or returning to their care placement. It’s really incredible to see them heading off, feeling surer of themselves and ready to take on the next step – living independently in their own home.
I liked the support I got from my worker. It helped me settle into the flat although he did come first thing in the morning!Taz, care leaver
We also have the ‘Gaff’ – the name the young people give our training flats!
These are to give any care experienced young person living in a secure care placement the chance to learn the skills to live independently. The experience of being here will help them then to decide whether they’re ready to live on their own yet.
I’ve put together a study programme for them to follow, which includes cooking, shopping, budgeting and dealing with emergencies.
The next step is building up the time they spend alone in the flat, working gradually all the way from one night to three weeks.
What I absolutely love about this job is seeing the young people grow in confidence. When one invites you into their home for a cup of tea, it’s a big thing for them because they’ve never experienced it before. It’s a big thing for me too because I just feel so proud of what they’ve accomplished.
I feel that I can live on my own after staying in this flat.Sean, care leaver
Find out how you can help
With the support of people like you, we can build stronger families, and happier childhoods. Nearly half of all money fundraised for Barnardo’s comes from gift in Wills – without these gifts, so much of our work with vulnerable children would not be possible. What better way to remember the cause whose values you share by leaving a Gift in your Will.
A gift in your Will is a special way to mark the experiences that shape you – and pass on the gift of childhood to future generations.
For more stories like Shining a spotlight on the Positive Destinations service, see our Gifts in Wills hub.
*Name has been changed in order to protect the privacy of the children we help.
This content is sponsored by Barnardo's
This content is sponsored byLast modified: August 31, 2022