Independent living may be the goal of many young people, but those who are vulnerable, homeless, leaving care or asylum seekers face more barriers than most.
Building on experience of working with disadvantaged young people, children’s charity the Coram Family is now rolling out pilots of a pioneering new training scheme.
The Life and Social Skills programme, which is funded by the Department for Education and Skills and which has taken three years to develop, is being developed within three organisations in collaboration with Brent social services, mainly in supported housing settings.
It trains young people basic living skills while providing them with an accreditation through a training scheme.
Young people develop skills through one-to-one teaching, workshops, individual and group activities including money management, social skills, practical skills, positive health and wellbeing, personal development and relationships, culture and identitiy, citizenship and community services, home start skills, education and training and employment.
Under the National Assessment and Qualifications Alliance Unit Award scheme, young people can achieve short-term targets geared towards individual need.
The scheme has been running for six months in supported houses run by Coram Family with 50 young people aged 18-21, and two further pilot organisations are taking part across the London boroughs of Brent, Camden, Islington and Tower Hamlets.
Steve Williams, head of housing and support services at Coram Family, says it has helped young people who are not in education gain the first step towards getting qualifications.
“While some young people think it’s like being at school, they soon learn to see the long-term benefits of the scheme and gain confidence,” he says.
Coram Family is also in the process of setting up a service user consultation group to help to develop the scheme.
The Coram family aims to offer a manual and training package on CD from June next year to train support workers to run the programme, and a “taster” training and consultation workshop is planned for March.