Leaving Care Project

What we do


Community houses

There are five community houses, located in South Belfast, West Belfast and Glengormley. Each house has two flats, and the five community houses accommodate ten young adults.

Each young adult is allocated a project worker who will provide sessional support work in the young adult’s home.

The average length of stay in the project is anticipated to be six to eighteen months.

Annadale house

This is a large Victorian semi-detached house situated in South Belfast. Here we have six fully self-contained flats. This part of the project is run in partnership with Triangle Housing Association.

Grove Road, Ballymena

This supported housing unit is operated in partnership with the Northern Health and Social Services Board and Triangle Housing Association. In Grove Road we have five fully self-contained flats. We also have a resident support worker sleeping-in each night.

Outreach service

This service provides intensive support to young adults living in their own accommodation or in their family home.

Fieldwork aftercare service

This service is available to all young adults who have moved on from the project. It provides a range of support, including befriending, advocacy and crisis intervention, as requested by the individual young adults.

Emergency on-call service

teenager on the phone

Barnardo's Leaving Care project offers a pro-active and reactive on-call service to all our young adults. There are two members of project staff on-call at all times to respond to situations in which the young adults need assistance. The on-call service is also used to monitor the agreements the young adults make with the project.

Volunteering and befriending

The project has developed its own volunteering and befriending service. Our volunteers have complemented the work of the project by helping to break some of the social isolation our young adults live with as they move out on their own for the first time. Volunteers have also worked alongside the staff team to facilitate groupwork with the young adults. Why not find out more about volunteering with Barnardo's.


In line with our value base we believe that young adults have rights which the project on its own cannot secure. The Barnardo's Leaving Care project is actively involved in campaigning for the rights of all young adults in areas such as:

  • the right to secure, permanent and decent accommodation
  • the right to good quality vocational training
  • the right to education
  • the right to adequate benefit/income levels.

Ethos of Barnardo's Leaving Care project

The value base of the project incorporates the following beliefs:

  • that all young adults aged 16 years+, who are estranged from their families, or who have no family support, have the right to choose to live independently, with support, in an area of their choice
  • that each young adult should be valued as an individual and that their views, attitudes and opinions should be respected
  • that young adults are experts on themselves, and can identify their own needs and risks. Therefore, they should be actively involved in decision making about their lives
  • that young adults will make mistakes: experience, help and guidance will empower without disabling.

Aims of Barnardo's Leaving Care project

  • to provide good quality accommodation which is safe and secure as part of a co-ordinated, inter-agency response to providing a service to young adults leaving care.
  • to work with the young adults to prepare an individual package of care, which will enable them to develop the skills they will need to move into the adult world.
  • to provide support for young adults leaving care. To help them become more independent as they develop their self-esteem and self-confidence, and so strive to achieve their full potential. Through this there is a reduced risk of breakdown when they live independently.
  • to enable young adults to have a choice from a range of services.
  • to enable young adults to have improved chances of maintaining a tenancy.