Includem has been participating in a conference hosted by SENSE Scotland and the Scottish Transitions Forum looking at how we support young people in that critical time in their lives.
Stickability – a word coined by Includem – epitomises our work – that persistent and stubborn ability to forge caring relationships with the most reluctant, vulnerable and excluded young people in society. To reliably be there, for any problem, day or night, not to judge, but to care, advise, direct, cajole and motivate to better cope, to make better choices, towards a better life.
Of course it made sense to continue supporting these young people, providing that sought after continuity, through the tumultuous transition into adulthood so in 2005 we launched Includem’s Transitional Support service.
It was originally called Relapse Prevention reflecting research evidence, confirmed by young people’s lived experiences, that when a person manages to turnaround a pattern of negative behaviour through a period of intensive support, if that support is withdrawn too quickly, leaving them to cope with the realities of social isolation and poverty, there is a very high risk of relapsing and returning to the damaging lifestyle, the risky behaviours that they had so successfully left behind.
So Includem responded to the calls for help from these young people and set up a service to help them navigate the difficult journey into adulthood, and move on from the intensive support which they had come to rely upon in the absence of any other supports in their life.
Funded by the Big Lottery Fund in Scotland, Transitional Support is voluntary for young people aged 14-24 who have received intensive support through statutory measures as part of the Children’s Hearing System, who have now left that system but have continuing vulnerabilities due to past histories of abuse, neglect, trauma, offending and deprivation and ongoing deficits in family and social supports at a critical time in their adolescent development, when entitlement to state funded support is at an end, or they are not engaging with any other available supports.
At Includem we believe in constantly reviewing what we do and working to make our services even better. We knew that Transitional Support was going to be a key feature of our work going forward so this summer with the help of a service design agency, Snook, we asked young people about their experience of transition and how to make it better.
Going forward they are helping to shape some fantastic ideas that are feeding into our improvement plans and making sure we are doing everything we can to best help young people through this difficult transitional period in their life.
Our resident ‘Snookster’, Keira has created a film with young people, project workers and their families which explains what is important to them – you can view this here: