In response to a clear need among parents we support that they wanted help earlier, we investigated the current family support services in the borough of Croydon to see whether we could create a service which addressed this need.
The CAYSH Family Support pilot was developed in September 2008, with a dedicated Family Support Officer recruited. The pilot provides a flexible service tailored to individual family needs. It is offered to the young person and their family and will be shaped to best support their needs - whether that's just one or two meetings or a six month programme of intensive support.
The Family Support Officer works with the young person to under-pin these aims:
To enable young people to have a positive family life and enjoy the support of their family through improved family relationships.
To help young people to contribute to their communities by facilitating the development of life skills so that young people can plan their futures.
To increase the ability of the young person and their family to access services.
To develop a young persons capacity, with their family, to plan access to independent accommodation.
Young people aged 14 – 17 years and their parents where the young person is still living in the family home, but is at risk of family breakdown and consequent homelessness.
Young people aged 16-17 years who have already left home but are in circumstances where a return home is possible with further support.
Once the young person and their parent/carer have been engaged, they construct a personal support plan together with the Family Support Officer and work together towards the achievement of targets within it.
Using a model developed from Supported Lodgings provision, the Family Support Officer provides weekly support sessions at the home of the family, where the family has the opportunity to discuss their individual support issues and to review goals and targets.
The pilot was evaulated in June 2009 (please see the evaluation report) and based upon this and the success of the project, it has now become a permanent service of CAYSH.