Giving young people support to change their lives01 October 2021
The service, run by A2Dominion’s Care & Support team, provides a safe and supportive home for care leavers and young people aged 16-24 who would otherwise be homeless.
Often the young people’s relationships with their families have broken down completely and many have recently become parents themselves. In all cases the young people are in need of specialist support to help them to develop the skills they need to successfully live independently.
An environment to support residents’ needsIn 2020 the Care & Support department decided to pilot the use of ‘Psychologically Informed Environments’ or PIE for short, in order to better meet the needs of clients. Bramlings was one of the schemes to trial PIE and the team has found the approach extremely successful in helping to, create a place where young people feel truly at home. As part of the initiative residents were given responsibility to redesign the communal areas, this included creating a giant tree mural in the living room, with each leaf representing the hand of one of the residents.
Understanding residentsAs part of the new PIE approach the team focused on gaining a deeper understanding of each of the young residents and adopting a more collaborative approach. This included asking young people how they would like to be supported when they are having a hard time, or how staff can work with them if they are behaving unacceptably.
When dealing with antisocial behaviour, the team encourages all the partners, such as the NHS, social services, police and the leaving care team, to work together to develop behaviour contracts. But more importantly the young people themselves are now right at the heart of the process and lead the actions and goals that are identified.
Giving residents a voiceDuring the last year the team has also introduced new resident champions, who act as a voice for all of the young people at Bramlings. They are working closely with the team to help ensure that the views of young people are taken into account when decisions are being made about the service.
Taking this listening approach has helped to win the trust of the young people. Through securing buy-in from residents and ensuring staff understand their needs, the team is helping make Bramlings a thriving community for young people, rather than just a roof over their heads.