North Yorkshire County Council is looking for families who can play a vital part in supporting some of the young people it cares for through its No Wrong Door (NWD) programme.
No Wrong Door is a new way of providing support to young people who are within the care system, replacing traditional council-run homes with hubs which combine residential care with fostering. North Yorkshire has created two hubs, one in Scarborough to serve the east of the county while one in Harrogate serves the west.
The aim is to break a destructive cycle for young people in care whose difficult early life experiences frequently lead to a history of broken fostering placements. Central to NWD are community families who work closely with the hubs.
These community family foster carers take young people from the hubs on short term placements, working with them to help them develop the confidence and skills needed to return to living in a family environment. The community family has a unique opportunity to build a relationship with the young person and is always there for them when they need some extra support.Living with a community family can be seen as a stepping stone towards independent living and host families do not necessarily have to be near the two hubs.
Each hub has a dedicated team trained to focus on solutions rather than problems with a life coach, who is a clinical psychologist, a supportive police role and a speech and communications therapist. It also includes residential care home beds; emergency residential beds; community foster family placements; supported lodgings and outreach support.
“Our community family carers also work shifts in the hubs, giving them the opportunity to develop a bond with the young person before you look after them said County Councillor Janet Sanderson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children’s Services.
“For example, one of our young people had a very problematic history but got to know a carer working in the hub. He then felt able to go and live as a foster child with that carer. When he’s ready and able to move to independence, the same care worker will support him throughout.
“This sort of success is great for our young people and our NWD programme overall, but it does mean that our community families move on with the young person into our mainstream fostering service, Fostering North Yorkshire -–so we need to replace them.”
The County Council is asking anyone with experience, understanding, skills, resilience and commitment to young people who need extra support to get in touch. In return, carers in hub community families benefit from full training to equip them to act as specialist foster carers. They also have the opportunity to develop their caring skills as they work as part of a dedicated professional team.
The carers have to register as self-employed so they can receive a generous financial allowance equivalent to an annual salary of £35,000 plus the opportunity to do shifts in the residential hub, paid at £10.60 per hour.
If you think that working with the No Wrong Door team and making a real difference to a young person’s life might be for you, please contact Janice Nicholson, Residential and Edge of Care Service Manager, on 01609 535695 for an informal chat or contact the NWD team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.