Support Services for Children & Young People
Hafan Cymru is proactive in providing support that addresses the needs of children and young people and has been successful in developing projects to address the needs of young women and young men leaving care and those who are vulnerable, in particular 16 and 17 year olds. Hafan Cymru also uses the specialist skills of their Project Co-ordinators to address the specific needs of children and young people in their cluster and floating support projects.
- More About Our Services for Children & Young People
Hafan Cymru believes that support to children and young people is an integral part of our service. We feel that we cannot address the needs of adult family members, especially where the presenting issue is domestic abuse, without considering the best interest of the child/ren. This is key where abuse is involved when young people’s needs can be obscured by the initial need to find safety for the family and where the issues for the children of having to leave their home, friends, extended family and support networks, are often more important than their concern for their mother’s or their own safety. Even where support is provided in their own home, and the young people have not been forced to leave and seek temporary accommodation, young people’s behaviour – underachieving in school, truancy or school exclusion, behavioural issues, self-harm or eating disorders – can mask the damage caused by living with and witnessing abuse.
As part of Hafan Cymru’s holistic approach to support, the needs of all children living in the family, or of those intended or expected to return to the family, are assessed before support begins and a Family Support Plan is drawn up to ensure that these needs are met. Support for children and young people involves practical as well as emotional support, and support with parenting to improve their family situation. However, Tai Hafan feels that it is especially important for children and young people to be heard, so we take time to take account of their views and ensure that the support offered to them mirrors what they want and what they tell us they want. Hafan Cymru has therefore established a Youth Forum to give young people a voice, as well as enabling them to become involved in both local community youth participation initiatives and national ones like Funky Dragon.
Our young women’s and young person’s projects (described above) provide specialist support for vulnerable young people where the support package is designed around their individual needs. These provide intensive support for young people aged 16 to 21 and assist in ensuring that they can move on into longer term independence within the community. All young people whom we support over the age of 16 can access our in-house learning and work programme Moving On, thus enabling them to build up skills, return to full-time education or other learning and where appropriate find voluntary or paid employment. This is part of Hafan Cymru’s long-term aim of ensuring that we enable all those whom we support to become fully independent and active citizens.
Back in 2005, Tai Hafan was fortunate to secure funding from Children in Need to run a one year Health and Wellbeing Project for young people in Rhondda Cynon Taff. A Children’s Services Co-ordinator was appointed to co-ordinate the project. Activities were arranged for Tenants & Service Users across the county, these sessions included running young women’s groups, young people’s focus groups, healthy eating groups and cooking sessions. Following the success of this post, the association secured funding for a Children’s Services post to co-ordinate a similar project in Cardiff.