Us at Stockport Homes Group, as part of the Greater Manchester Housing Providers group, have signed up to a Care Leavers pledge which outlines a commitment to offer accessible and appropriate services to young people who have experienced care.
The pledge focusses on three key areas:
• Access to a safe and secure home
• Life skills and mentoring
• Support with accessing education, training and employment
We already have a well-established offer to young people who have experienced care including a protocol with Social Care for the allocation of accommodation to ensure appropriate and planned moves, provision of specialist accommodation through the recently developed Shaw Heath scheme with a further development due to commence on site in early 2021, support and mentoring including advice on managing money, learning the skills to maintain a safe home and avoid the risk of homelessness. Additionally, volunteering, employment and skills training will be offered to all care leavers, alongside a peer mentor to help young people start a career, with all care leavers offered a guaranteed interview for jobs they apply within Stockport Homes Group.
Care Leaver Emma Galvin who was successful in securing employment with the help from Stockport Homes’ employment team, said:
“I am a care leaver and would recommend the service to anyone who's been in care – I know it can be scary and you might feel like you are alone, but don’t be afraid to ask them anything because the different teams are there to support you. Without the support from Stockport Homes, I don’t know where I would be today.”
As part of the pledge, we have appointed a Care Leaver Champion, Housing Options Officer Louise Finney, whose main role is to raise awareness within the organisation about the needs of young people:
“My role is to try to ease the transition from being in care to becoming a care leaver. I work with different teams from the Money Advice to Employment Team, and with the Council’s Leaving Care Team to assist young people to move successfully into adult life and to be happy.”
During the next months, a social media campaign goes live highlighting the needs of young people and promoting positive stories from customers and different teams across Stockport Homes, and recruitment programmes aimed at Care Leavers.
Jenny Osbourne, Chair of Stockport Homes Group’s Board, said:
“We are proud to make our pledge to Care Leavers and share the good practice with other members of GMHP with an aim to learn from each other and to work collaboratively to deliver the best possible services to young people.”
If you are a Care Leaver, or know a care leaver and need support, please contact us on 0161 217 6016, or talk to your Housing Officer or Social Worker. You can also find information on our website of different support we offer.