End of placements sometimes can be the most difficult transition for any young person in a residential setting. The local authorities can provide funding to accommodate aftercare services, but sometimes this is not always the case and it dramatically affects the young people in our care. After all some of them are leaving the only stable environment, they have ever lived in not to mention the care, support, and love from their new family.
Recently one of our boys flew the nest, (not by choice though), it was coming up to his 18th birthday, and unfortunately that meant it was time to say goodbye. This young person was very lucky though, he was in the process of being moved to adult social care. Collectively we all worked together to help him choose whether to stay locally or to return to his original hometown. After lots of discussions, college open days in both areas and weighing up pros and cons he decided local was the place to be.
The weeks leading up to his departure were hard going to say the least, he had completely shut down. He spent most days verbally assaulting his keyworker and the other staff in the home, then as soon as he realised what he was doing, he would quickly apologise and regret his behaviour. This was a never-ending cycle leading up to the day he left.
For his last day, we arranged a BBQ at the home, and everyone attended to say goodbye, the staff team tried to put on brave faces but, everyone was struggling. Kites was his home, his only real home he had ever known. He made a huge impact on the other boys too and as much as he annoyed them sometimes, they will miss seeing him every day.
He had been with us for five years in total, when he first joined, he struggled with basic tasks like running a bath and tying his shoelaces. He left a young man; he can cook and clean now, well when he wants too, after all he is a typical teenager. He moved not too far away so still visits and phones regularly and we wouldn’t have it any other way! His keyworker takes him out monthly for a coffee and a catch up too and reports he is doing well in college and forming positive friendships in the local community.
To all our young people past, present and future, thank you for allowing us the opportunity to be a part of your lives, to help you heal, grow and become young men, to share the good and the bad times, and create memories that will hopefully last forever.