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The Stay Connected team found a way to support all ex-residents during COVID-19.

06 April 2021

Throughcare and Aftercare is an important part of a young person’s care journey, and an important factor in future success. The Staying Connected team at the Good Shepherd Centre are focused on ensuring that all transitions for young people are as robust as they can be. The team support young people as they are preparing to leave, and keep in touch regularly through the Stay Connected Plan when they move on. This plan ensures that ex-residents get phone calls, visits or any other form of support required for a minimum of twelve weeks.

The Stay Connected team had additional responsibilities during COVID-19 however, due to the rate of social isolation amongst our young people. The team decided that there had to be a way to support all ex-residents in a way that was easy, accessible and safe during lockdown. We have seen through the years that young peoples preferred method of contact is social media, therefore, we created a private Facebook group. This group was open to all ex-residents and all staff as a place for communication, support, and reminiscing. Within days we had hundreds of members.

Since its launch, this number has continued to grow, and we have had consistently high and positive engagement. This engagement has highlighted the progress that our young people have made raising their own family, working and generally living their best life. We have been surprised by how fresh their memories are of the centre and the staff. Staff have been on hand to offer support and encourage ex-residents to engage and share updates on how their life has been utilising these positive and trusting relationships. The ex-residents themselves, however, have been the ones who have made the page what it is. We may all be dealing with lockdown but our young people continue to inspire us all with their resilience and willingness to help others, particularly the mums who are having a bad day with their own children.