At Sportfit we inherit some very difficult situations and behaviours, there is very little that we haven’t experienced.
Over the past 7 years we have steadily formulated a progressive pathway plan to independence. Experience has enabled us to put tentative timescales on each phase of the plan, subject to need and behaviours.
On arrival, we offer a period of stability, a safe haven from the crisis the young person may have found themselves in. Staff are adept at forming almost immediate bonds with young people, are aspirational in all they do and are seen as excellent role models/mentors for those who arrive with us. We pride ourselves on using only Sportfit staff, trained thoroughly, who are interviewed and vetted rigorously to ensure they possess the all-important emotional intelligence for the position of support worker. We never use agency staff.
Experienced managers design a bespoke support plan for each placement, involving carefully planned success based activities, raising self-esteem and confidence, providing the healthiest of environments which together sees a steady change of mindset.
This initial period takes on average around 6-8 months to work fully. During this period we also offer bespoke educational packages as Sporfit are now a Gateway accredited Educational provider. We have a wide range of packages to suit every young person who comes to us, some practical, some academic. College and work based placements are encouraged and often taken.
When young people first arrive, we tend to house them in single occupancy homes initially, staffing 24/7, 1:1 or 2:1 dependent on risk, with full Project Management and on-call support.
“Homes” are what we provide, places where the young people feel very fortunate to live.
Following this period, providing the Young person has progressed as we and they would of wished, we offer a step down, semi independent, multi occupancy home, normally with 4 to a house. In this phase, young people begin to take responsibility for keys (to their own rooms), their own travel, finances, diet and day to day skills that will help them in later life. This model involves reduced staffing numbers and as a result a reduced cost. Education/encouragement to gain employment is ongoing and encouraged. This period is between 5-7 months depending on progress.
Finally, we move on to our independence plan. Flats /En-suite rooms are provided for the young people, again normally 4/5 to a building. Each young person is provided with up to 10 hours of support during key times of the week and/or when necessary. We maintain a staff presence through the night. There is a further reduction in costs on this model, which can continue until authorities deem it unnecessary.
The above pathway plan is progressive and has seen many young people leave Sportfit successfully, gaining employment, maintaining correct behaviours, making better decisions and generally be able to contribute positively to society. It also gives each placing authority an idea of timescales, and a controlled reduction in cost.