Wednesday 13 April 2022
The Family Placement Service is calling on individuals and families in the Bailiwick of Guernsey to become Supported Lodgings Mentors as they are looking to recruit to their new Supported Lodgings scheme.
Supported lodgings is a service which has been shown to improve long term outcomes by ensuring continued support for young people as they move into adulthood. It is specifically designed to offer an additional provision for young people leaving care who may not be ready to live alone.
As a mentor you will offer accommodation as well as guidance and assistance to young people, aged 18-21 years old. This will enable them to develop practical life skills, alongside further developing their emotional maturity to move on and to be better equipped to living independently, although this will not incur the same responsibility as a foster carer.
Nicky Hubert, Supervising Social Worker to the Support Lodging Mentors said:
"Mentors will provide a safe, warm, loving and comfortable home to a young person who needs that extra support before going on to live independently. The extra nurturing and practical support can make all the difference to a young person's life to help guide them in the right direction and empower them to make the right decisions for them, help them thrive and help boost their confidence and belief in themselves that they can succeed.
We have a young person within the scheme at the moment who is thriving, the student has grabbed every opportunity, formed a strong bond with the mentor and with that support is achieving and growing in confidence. The progress this young person has made in such a short time is amazing, none of this would have been possible without people like this mentor coming forward to offer their support, understanding and kindness."
Placements are expected to last anywhere from a number of months to three years, however the length of placement will be flexible and dependent on the individual needs of the young people and the mentor.
There is no such thing as the perfect mentor. What is important is the support you can give young people to develop into confident adults ready to live independently when the time comes. You can be any ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation but do need to be over 24 years of age to apply.
One of our Supported Lodgings Mentors advises that
"Supported Lodgings is about taking somebody into your home and your heart. It's giving a young person love and acceptance and allowing them to discover themselves and find out how capable they are. It's not a job, its more than a job. It can be extremely tiring at times but also extremely rewarding. I feel immensely proud to watch someone become more motivated and have vision. I feel immensely proud to be part of that process."
From the point of view of the young person they support
"I never saw the value of education before until I came to live with my mentor. I dread to think where I would be now without my mentor. I feel like I have purpose and momentum now, I'm on a roll."
Karen Reade, Team Manager of the Family Placement Service said
"The development of the Supported Lodgings Scheme in Guernsey is a very exciting opportunity for young people, particularly those leaving residential care, to have ongoing support to enable them to go on to live independently. If you want to be part of this life changing role and think you could offer the support, stability and care to help change a young person's future, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 223182. Our team of social workers are ready to answer any questions you have about supported lodgings and we look forward to speaking to you."
The Family Placement Service would like to hear from any individual or families who are able to provide accommodation and support for young people aged 18-21 years old.