The following describes the transition process for 18 year olds from the Home.
Answers are provided by Norlin Chisoro – Transitions officer
Is there any follow up & any support of leavers?
Due to increasing economic constraints follow up has recently become minimal. We manage to keep in touch with young adults and we aim to assist with Vocational skills training of their choice such as agriculture, motor mechanics, hotel and catering etc We try to assist them with bus fares, materials for use and monthly food packs for the duration of their training. Of late not many young adults have been sent for skills training due to lack of funds.
Can 18+ young people stay at MRCH until they have home/job to go to?
When they become 18 the young adults are discharged from the Home into foster families or reunified with relatives or parents. They then look for jobs.
What happens if there is no connection with foster/family?
a) Our foster care placement commences as soon as we find out that the child has no traceable relatives. When the time comes to leave the Home, the young adult goes to the foster home. So far there has not been a child leave us without anywhere to go either family or foster family.
b) In the event this does not happen, the home will send the young adult for skills training and help them find a job. They will help with rent and food for 3 months and then will wean them off.
Do the young people stay in touch or visit MRCH?
Most of the leavers have managed to stay in touch but don’t visit often. These past years they often stay in touch between themselves and visit us as a group.
I’m sure you have policies to cover all these points but what is the reality?
We are well prepared for where the young adults go to and what they do, but we have not been able to do transition them as we would like. Ideally, we would like to have 3 follow ups during the first year of discharge, 2 in the 2nd and 1 in the 3rd. This way we would make sure the young people have managed to settle well in the community. However, we have not managed to do this, again due to funding issues. The Transitions office does not have a specific fund for this and therefore we have not managed to send as many young people for skills training as we would like. This obviously affects their employment chances since they do not have qualifications or training.