Outreach Work and Contact with Ex Residents


This is a new draft chapter for March 2011.


  1. Outreach Work
  2. Contact with Former Residents

1. Outreach Work

Working in a community provides a robust framework within which to work safely. Outreach work is likely to be short-term, involve many strands and working with people outside our framework; this will require co-operation and fine tuning to succeed whilst keeping everyone safe.

Initial meetings will set out the goals of the work and objectives within the timeframe agreed, and how this will be reported. It is vital to ensure that all communications are clear and jargon free to  maintain a level of understanding by everyone of the purpose of the outreach work.

It will necessitate good recording of all meetings and sessions, and regular briefings with all agencies involved. This creates a safe environment for the work to take place, and staff will receive regular supervision for this specific piece of work to ensure all are working within professional boundaries.

2. Contact with Former Residents

When young people leave one of our homes, they will have been well prepared and enabled to make this transition as smoothly as possible.

We strive to facilitate appropriate attachments and relationships with both peers and staff, these relationships are important to young people and maintaining them can contribute to their resilience and future wellbeing. However it is crucial that this contact occurs in the context of the work we do and needs to be thought about just as carefully.

For example; who is the contact for, it needs to benefit the young person and be appropriate to whatever setting they have moved onto.

When a young person asks to keep in touch consider:

  • Awareness of whose needs are being met;
  • Ensure contact has been thought about and discussed by the staff group;
  • Don’t make a promise you can’t keep;
  • Don’t interfere;
  • Understand the need for clear boundaries;
  • Ensure others know about your meeting;
  • Still bound by your professional role.

It is necessary that a staff member ensures that the young person’s Social Worker and Local Authority has agreed to any contact with a particular ex-resident. And that this agreement is between the staff member and the Local Authority. The staff member will not be acting on behalf of Childhood First.

Remembering that every contact requires considerable thought, maintaining professional boundaries will ensure that any meeting will be contained and safe for both staff member and young people. The context will be appropriate and meetings ongoing if deemed beneficial.

Contact includes every form of communication, including emails, phone calls, texts and Facebook etc.