Creating an environment where young people can build their confidence and resilience as well as the skills needed to live independently is the key aim of LinkLiving.
Specialists in helping people overcome the negative impacts of ill-health, trauma, inequality and isolation, the organisation has been brought on-board to provide around-the-clock support to care leavers taking up residency in the Council’s supported accommodation.
The eight-one bedroom flats, communal areas and garden have been designed in conjunction with care leavers for care leavers to help young people achieve better outcomes - one of the key aims of the Council of the Future’s Closer to Home strategy.
Derek McKenzie, Service Delivery Manager, Care Leavers Service, LinkLiving, explains the support his team will provide those moving in: “From our experience managing other supported accommodation we know that providing wrap around support 24/7 significantly increases the chances of a young person maintaining a tenancy once they leave the care system.
“On moving in each resident will have their own key worker and a personalised support plan to help them grow their skills, deal with conflict and understand the responsibilities that come with having their own home. They will also be encouraged to attend the LinkLiving Academy in Falkirk as well as enter further education, volunteer and actively seek and maintain employment.
“All residents will sign a tenancy agreement and there will be regular meetings and a forum where staff and young people will establish a service users’ shared agreement and house rules. By actively involving everyone in the decision making process it will help create a sense of community that will minimise feelings of isolation. We will also encourage residents to hang out in the communal areas, cook in the communal kitchen and sit and eat or have a cup of tea with us.”
A number of the LinkLiving team who will be based at the property have themselves experienced care or homelessness giving them a unique insight into the hurdles the young people may have to overcome.
“Our hiring policy is based on values rather than old school qualifications, as you can train people to do a job but you can’t give them the life experience that makes them a positive role model. That’s what LinkLiving is good at, helping people set up support networks, removing barriers and feeling that they are valued and belong in their homes, in the small community at out project, and in the wider community.”