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Project start date: November 2019

We (Portsmouth City Council) were awarded £649k to develop accommodation adjacent to an existing residential unit and a separate five bed house to accommodate care leavers. This will involve a key worker structure supporting transition from residential to independent living, offering continuity of care, practical and emotional support and sustained relationships.

Project Summary


Within Portsmouth, a proportion of young people leaving in-house care do not make successful transitions in to independent living. A number of factors contribute to this including accommodation uncertainty and inconsistent support. These young people are highly vulnerable, with complex issue, and in many cases have poor education and employment outcomes. This makes them more likely to struggle with the challenges of independent living.

Our innovation will focus on two cohorts of young people: unaccompanied asylum seeking young people who are traumatised with significant issues of loss and no local connection; and young people who have come into care late and therefore have had limited opportunities to address significant and complex behaviour.

We will test out different approaches for these distinctly different groups of young people and reinforce that “one shoe does not fit all young people”. This includes developing one independence living tool with young people for use by young people and professionals across all the agencies.
Our project will develop new and improved accommodation pathways to provide stability and certainty. Alongside this, we will implement range of appropriate education and training opportunities as pathways to more formal education, training or work.

Furthermore, a new multi-disciplinary assessment process, used at the point of entering residential care, with strengthen the young person’s pathway plan. Finally, the use of Family Group Conferences will be used to improve and sustain relationships with the child’s family through a restorative approach.

Project contact details

Sarah Read
Project Manager
Portsmouth Local Authority


Project evaluators

Project partners

Roberts Centre Charity, Solent NHS Trust – CAMHS, Children in Care Council, Educational Psychology,
First Wessex Housing Provider.

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