Adult & family services
Advice and advocacy
Our specialist advice and advocacy Caseworkers support families in solving their problems and engaging with the mainstream services they need. At start of their journey each family undertakes a needs assessment which enables us to tailor our service to meet their specific needs. The journey is different for each family, but support packages may include:
- A designated Case manager
- Liaison with statutory services on behalf of the family
- Referral to specialist support programmes e.g. language tuition, counselling etc
- Weekly advice and information sessions
- Telephone advice, guidance and support
- Support with attending appointments
- Support with managing or responding to official letters and documents
- Support to access to welfare benefits, health services and educational and employment opportunities.
- Advice on debt and immigration issues
- A free, independent and confidential service
- Access to childcare and playgroup facilities
- Access to a GP and healthcare services
- Access to an interpreter
- Access to English tuition
Outreach advice and advocacy
We provide advice, support and advocacy services on an outreach basis for hard to reach homeless families living in hostels or temporary accommodation. This service plays an important role in reaching out to people who are unaware of the support we provide or unable to attend drop in or advocacy services at our centre. Engagement via Outreach is often the first step in engaging with the support and services they need to build a safer future.
We recognise that for many families, finding out a bit more about what we do in an informal setting is important. Our drop-in sessions are social events where families find out more about what we do, make friends and share experiences whilst their children play and learn to socialise. The kettle is always on and there is an endless supply of biscuits. Children are of course welcome and we have an outside space and a large stock of toys. For those in immediate need we keep a stock of second hand clothes and household goods which are free of charge to those that attend our drop in sessions
Learning and development
We provide workshops on a range of topics to support homeless families to make positive changes around health and well being. This includes workshops relating to women's health, stress reduction, mental health and healthy eating. We also run regular keep fit sessions.
English language courses are a key part of our programme. ESOL (English as a second language) courses are run regularly from our centre.
Volunteering and paid work opportunities
Where possible we provide opportunities for the people we support to gain useful experience by volunteering with us. Our volunteers provide interpreting services, run events and play an important role in supporting other homeless families. Where appropriate we match volunteers with families on the basis of language and culture. We also provide paid work opportunities on a sessional basis for those that have appropriate skills.
We provide regular employment surgeries for people ready to start looking for paid work. Currently only available to Hackney residents, our employment programme provides one to one advice and support, access to training
Cultural and peer events
One of the key issues that homeless families face is cultural and social isolation. We actively bring people together to set up activities, events and social groups. Not only does this bring people together and enable them to use their skills, it also develops confidence and creates real and lasting friendships. Arts and craft sessions, sewing and cooking groups, regular keep fit classes and summer outings and events are all things that are set up ands run by the people that use our services.