Whilst we offer a safety net for people in crisis via our food projects and drop-in centre Lifeline, we are also working towards stopping homelessness before it even begins. Home for Good Bath, one of our ten projects, supports individuals and families to provide loving homes for children in need, whilst working with the Church community to help them provide extra support for fostering and adoptive families.
Shockingly, 25% of homeless adults in the UK have been in social care at some point in their lives and 20% of young people who leave care will experience homelessness within the first two years. Children living in care are not just susceptible to falling into homelessness, but also crime. A staggering one third of young offenders and almost a third of the adult prison population self-identify as having been in the care system. Not surprising, considering that care-leaving children are around six times more likely to be convicted of a crime or receive a caution than the general population.
Additionally, children who grow up in unstable homes are far more likely to experience feelings of distress and exclusion, often leading to persistent mental health issues and substance misuse. Indeed, the majority of homeless people in the UK (of whom 45% have been diagnosed with a mental health condition and 62% suffer from addiction) report a history of childhood trauma as a leading cause in their situation.
Home for Good provides a vital preventative service, stopping children who are particularly vulnerable from falling of the edge. “There is no doubt that a loving family leads to better outcomes for children. As the statistics show, there is a great need for fostering and adoptive parents and it is very important that we as a nation realise that these young people are our collective responsibility and no child should be left without a supportive home and network around them” – Dave, Home for Good Project Worker.
Through Home for Good we are offering disadvantaged children the chance for a better life. And you can help. If you are interested in finding out more about what’s involved in fostering or adopting, please contact Dave.