LCS supports young people to achieve independence – through informal but structured day-to-day personalised support, and a specific Preparation for Independence programme.
Preparation for Independence covers the skills to live independently, eg. money management, housing, rights and responsibilities, health, volunteering, safety, relationships, running a household and employment, education or training.
All our work is informed by a Pathway Plan, with an Action Plan to help achieve it. The Preparation for Independence course is just one of the actions. A Keyworker will follow the plan and keep the young person’s Social Worker informed. All young people will have a say in what’s achieved and how the plan is updated.
Our teams are well-informed about housing options available when young people are ready to leave us. Our Keyworkers will support young people to make a Housing Register application for social or council housing, and help register with Homelink to access different types of social housing. We’ll explain options like private rented or social housing during their Preparation for Independence programme.
We want to give young people a positive experience to carry over into their independent life. We understand that trust can be hard and they may have had to cope with lots of changes, so we offer stable homes and consistent staff. We celebrate ‘small steps’ and help young people to help themselves, and they’ll always have a say. We’ll support them to make and maintain friendships, because a strong support network is vital to anyone living independently, whatever their age.
We don’t give up on young people, even if they make bad choices – we believe everyone has the right to make mistakes, and we all learn best from our own mistakes.
We recently started helping families who’ve adopted young people with difficult backgrounds, including loss, trauma and change. Already, 64% of those young people said we’ve helped them manage difficult feelings better, talk to people and express their feelings.
Mental health support depends on what is needed and whether there is a diagnosed condition. We’ll make sure young people have an up-to-date health assessment and request psychological or psychiatric reports, family histories and social work assessments. We’ll liaise with the designated nurse for looked after children. A Keyworker will work with GPs and mental health services, recognise signs of mental health difficulties, respond to what the young person has to say and intervene early.