Recently, Hackney has seen a rise in adolescent entrants to care. This cohort is most likely to have multiple placement moves which both increases the risk of a range of poor outcomes, and is a drain on resources. This is also the most likely age group to be flagged as at risk of child sexual exploitation, gang involvement and criminal activity. Existing services within the current care economy do not meet these needs; there is a lack of high quality residential placements in Hackney. There are a number of additional barriers to effectively supporting edge of care adolescents in Hackney, including: negative influences, such as criminal networks; statutory processes and timescales which do not provide the space for tailored responses for individual families and insufficient foster care capacity.
The project initially had four components: tailored interventions in a residential ‘home away from home’ for families and children on the edge of care; preventative work with younger children at risk of becoming on the ‘edge of care’; building the capacity of foster carers to meet the needs of adolescents, through training and work with carers to enable them to meet the identified needs of specific children. Due to significant barriers in moving towards full implementation, throughout the evaluation period, FLIP operated as an interim model, based in temporary residential settings.