Cabinet Secretary praises ‘Move-in’ service for vulnerable young people

by solas

Carl Sargeant, Cabinet Secretary of Communities and Children, this week visited our ‘Move-in’ housing and support service in Newport to hear first-hand about the positive impact the service is having on the lives of its vulnerable young residents.

‘Move-in’ is our housing and support service offering dedicated and specialist support to help highly vulnerable young adults, through the transition from care to independent living, with all the skills, confidence and resilience they need to thrive.

All of the young people supported by Move-in typically have a range of complex physical and mental health needs, having experienced multiple Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Often they have spent their childhood and adolescence in local authority care, experiencing many changes of home environment, as well as experiencing multiple placement breakdowns or need more intensive high support than is available in other supported housing settings.

Charlotte Waite, head of young people, children and families said: “The young people we support can be taking drugs, legal highs, exploiting themselves sexually and being verbally and physically abusive, because these are the ways they’ve learned to survive. They often resist building positive relationships because they are more comfortable with rejection and confrontation. Our challenge is to offer support that is trauma informed and looks beyond these ‘challenging’ behaviours.

We can only do this successfully when we work with other professions, such as social workers, mental health practitioners and the police. We are hugely encouraged that Carl Sargeant’s investment in ACEs will transform the way young people experience support so as to change their life trajectories, as we are working to do here at the Move-in project”.

The Cabinet Member met with some of the young residents, and the staff working at the Move-in project and said: “I have been very impressed with the Move in project and all the people I have met today, both staff and residents.

I am committed to ensuring young people have the same life chances and are equipped for success as they move to adulthood.

The young people who are being helped by the move-in service have sadly already experienced several Adverse Childhood Experiences, which we know affect their chances later in life”, added the cabinet secretary.

They are lucky to have the support of Solas Cymru to overcome these experiences and it is heartening to hear of their plans to move into their own homes, undertake training and plan for their future careers, I wish them the very best for their futures”.

On top of the challenges of adolescence which all young people go through, young people who may have had traumatic and abusive childhoods may also exhibit emotional and behavioural problems, which can lead to homelessness.

Evidence shows that with the right care and support, people affected by Adverse Childhood Experiences, can and do recover. A fantastic example of a young person who has successfully turned her life around is 17 year old Lily.

Lily came to Solas, after she had exceeded her stay at a residential children’s home. One of ten siblings, she had been in care since the age of four. Lily told us: “I am currently planning a career in social care and am looking forward to undertaking a short course in Health & Social care and am really happy to have just signed a tenancy for a one bedroom flat with Charter Housing.”

The service has been developed by working in partnership and listening to the young people, Children’s Services, Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Youth Offending Teams and Supporting People.

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