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Staying Close Project

Project start date: October 2017

We (Bristol City Council) were awarded up to £567k to strengthen and develop our core offer to children living in and leaving our children’s homes through a range of different staying close options.

Project Summary

 

Young people within residential care can struggle to transition to independent living and adult services. Many young people express anxiety with the change of services and lack of support that can come with independent living. A number of young people in Bristol have articulated a desire to either live in accommodation close to their existing residential care, live longer within their child home or live with a responsible adult.

Our innovation will enable children who are transitioning out of children’s homes to be offered twice weekly meetings with their existing residential care member, as well as additional drop-in opportunities. Alongside this, a number of staying close options will be developed and offered to young people; firstly, by working in partnership with youth social housing providers, housing will be provided that is secure and in close vicinity to their existing children’s homes. Secondly, existing children’s home will be temporarily relocated while a new home is designed. Furthermore, one children’s home, specifically for young people over 15 years of age, will have an annex refurbished. This area will act as a ‘trainer’ opportunity for young people looking to develop independent living skills prior to leaving the children’s home.

Our project is ambitious as we will be testing out how all our young people who live in children’s homes can ‘stay close’ when they leave regardless of the provider or the location.

Working with other local authorities in the region we will develop inter-authority arrangements and agree protocols to support care leavers who wish to stay close wherever their children’s home is located.

Learning from our regional arrangements we will work with others and DFE to consider the scope for a national agreement.

Project contact details

Ann James

Head of Service

ann.james@bristol.gov.uk

James Beardall

Service Manager

james.beardall@bristol.gov.uk

Project evaluators

Manchester Metropolitan University

Project partners

Bristol City Council’s Housing Team, Regional Local Authorities, ASDAN

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