Leaving Care Project

How we can help

woman at a table writing

The project offers a range of practical and emotional support, and accommodation options to young adults leaving care. We offer a step closer to being fully independent. Project accommodation is available in the Greater Belfast area, Glengormley and Ballymena. The project also offers an outreach service – the same level of supports to young adults who have already found a place to live.

If you are a young adult thinking about leaving a children’s home, a foster placement or your own family home, and you feel that you are not yet ready to go it alone, then you should speak with your social worker about the project.

If you are a social worker, working with young adults preparing to leave care, then you can enquire about a placement in the project. We can arrange to meet you and the young adult and explain what’s involved, and answer your questions. Once you have all the information then you can decide if you want to make a referral.

Our referral criteria and procedure

Our criteria:

  • the young adult will usually be at least 16 years of age on admission to project accommodation
  • referrals for outreach services will be considered for young adults aged 14 or over, as long as they are living in their family home or other planned placements, or have secured their own accommodation
  • the young adult can boil a kettle safely
  • the young adult will require a minimum of four hours each week focused sessional work time to achieve their objectives as agreed in their care plan
  • the young adult’s risks can be managed within the context of a placement in the project, i.e. where there is no permanent adult supervision.

Our procedure:

  • informal enquiries may be made at any time
  • the referring agency will forward a recent open access report to the project
  • if the referral criteria are met, and there is a suitable vacancy, a project worker will be identified to undertake an assessment with the young adult
  • the assessment usually takes four weeks, prior to admission to the project
  • the assessment will also involve other interested persons, eg social worker, residential worker, family members (if appropriate).
  • the first part of the assessment will lead to the compilation of a report by the young adult and project worker
  • the first assessment meeting will take place during the fifth week. The purpose of this meeting is to agree the identified needs, to agree the management of the identified risks and to agree the contract
  • the second assessment meeting will take place after a further four-week period of assessment. The purpose of this meeting is to review the needs, risks and contract based on the young adult’s actual experience of living in the project
  • the assessment reports will form the basis of the care plan for the young adult which will be updated to reflect changing circumstances
  • reviews will take place after the first three months, and thereafter every six months.