Who are the young people?
Many of the young people who are placed in our residential homes have experienced multiple placement breakdowns, many have a poor attachment or an attachment disorder. As a result, they have come to believe that the adults of the world cannot be trusted and that they must support and look after themselves in order to survive.
Any attempts made by the staff to care for them are therefore usually met with a degree of hostility, born out of confusion and mistrust. It is our duty to challenge and manage their behaviour until they reach a place where they begin doing so for themselves. Only through the establishment of trusting relationships with the care staff and a safe and secure holding environment can these young people come to explore their experiences and how they came to be where they are today. Staff will then work alongside the young people to identify and adopt new and more appropriate ways of coping with their lives.
Individual care plans and behaviour management strategies are developed for each of the young people with as much input from them as is appropriate and manageable. Participation in all areas of their care is promoted and young people are supported to voice their views and opinions in a helpful and beneficial way. They will also have access to an independent advocate if required.
Our homes have an extensive proven track record of moving young people on to foster care who had previously been assessed as ‘unfosterable’. Fair Ways recruit, train and approve foster carers to be able to work in our children’s homes for this reason. If it is agreed that a foster carer might be suitable for a young person then they can work in the children’s home to being developing a positive relationship, building attachments and making sure that it is an appropriate ‘match’ for the young person and the foster family. Please see our Fair Ways Fostering page for more details.
If you were a foster child who had been through multiple foster placements what would work best for you:
Being told… We have found a family to foster you and would like you to come and meet them next week.
Being asked… I’ve been working with you in this children’s home for the last few months and I think we get on really well…… I would like you to come and live with me and my family.
For young people whom foster may not be an appropriate move on, we use a similar system to move young people on to our Post 16 Transition Service. The keyworker and other staff who have built relationships with the young person will usually continue doing outreach work and maintaining the positive relationship that has been established once they have moved on. This also greatly reduces the impact of any placement moves. Please see our Post 16 Transition Service page for more details.