Boost Help for Young People
Boost in a unique service that ‘Boosts’ life chances and living skills for Portsmouth looked after children and young care leavers. We work with young people from the age of 16 up to the age of 25. Referrals come from the Portsmouth social care services ‘Through care’ team. We are currently supporting around 78 young people, with 36 being seen on a weekly/fortnightly basis. Alongside receiving support on issues like housing, peer pressures, benefits and employment or college, Boost young people complete a work book to independence.
Boost works with young people from the age of 16 – 25 that are soon to or have left the care of the Local Authority. We are currently supporting over 50 Young People. The service supports them to ‘boost’ their independence and life skills. Referrals for the service come from Portsmouth City Council.
Each young person is allocated a dedicated keyworker who completes an assessment of their needs and then together they will create a support plan. Alongside this, Boost use a Workbook to Independence which has 5 areas: Money, Living Skills, Health and Wellbeing, Housing and Community and Employment and Training. Each young person will then be supported to complete all relevant areas of the workbook. The Boost Service has now had their workbook accredited through Highbury College so that the young people can now gain a City & Guilds award, in recognition of their hard work.
An important part of the Boost work is about making sure the young people feel they have someone they can turn to in times of needs, who will not judge them for any mistakes, but simply support them on making different choices and be there for them. Boost supports young people in all areas of their lives with the hope that with a bit of guidance they will realise their potential. We all need someone and for these young people, Boost is their ‘someone’ and helps them become confident adults that are able to maintain their home and have a sense of self-worth.
“I am really grateful for the support Boost gives me – my keyworker supports me to get the stuff done that I need to do”
“My Boost Keyworker gets things done”
TEMPORARY ACCOMMODATION SERVICE FOR LOOKED AFTER YOUNG PEOPLE (TASLYP)
The TASLYP are our self-contained PCC training flats where “Looked after Young People” have the opportunity to really taste what is means to live independently. The young people stay in the flat for 6 weeks, with the support from their Boost keyworker. The young person has at least 3 visits per week to work on life skills and the Workbook to Independence.
The young people are expected to pay a small service charge, gas, electric and they also need to budget for their weekly food. This is an excellent way for young people to learn responsibilities and what it means by being a good tenant.
The benefits of the TASLYP flats is it enables the young person to gain new skills, confidence and to have a better idea about the challenges of living on your own and being a tenant. The TASLYP flats also demonstrate areas where the young person still needs support in order to be better prepared for when they are expected to leave care. There have been 14 young people that took advantage of this opportunity over the last year.
So often young people who haven’t got the necessary skills or experience are placed in situations that, through no real fault of their own, find that they then struggle to manage.
The Boost Plus Service is a supported housing scheme using Portsmouth City Council sublets and is designed to meet the needs of young people leaving care. The young person has intensive support from their keyworker that will slowly start to reduce, once the young person, and all the professionals involved, agree that the young person has the necessary skills they need to manage without such intensive support. The tenancy agreement between the young person and The Roberts Centre will then be signed over to the young person and Portsmouth City Council, so that they young person is then living independently of supported housing scheme.
This service is extremely vital for young people to succeed in managing their own tenancy and the security for their future housing. The service embeds skills that young people will be able to carry all the way through their adult life and reduce the risks of some of the most vulnerable people becoming street homeless. With a safe and secure home, young people have a better chance at meeting their potential and build on their aspirations.
Read a case study at: Roberts Centre case studies
Contact the Boost team on Boost@robertscentre.org.uk