SWITCH – Community Focused Intervention Programme for Care Leavers
Sent on behalf of Brighton & Hove and East Sussex Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs)
Transitions, and the gap between looked after children leaving care who do not meet the threshold for adult social care services is a national issue and a priority for all Sussex Safeguarding Adults Boards. SWITCH is a community focused intervention programme, funded by the Violence Reduction Unit, that is seen as one of one means of addressing this gap. This programme offers invaluable support to young care leavers, some of the most vulnerable in our community, giving other options other than a life of crime and safeguarding them from harm.
On the SWITCH scheme, independent mentors from Albion in the Community will provide support and advice that offers a range of benefits in aiding the transition from care services to independent living, whilst safeguarding those in the programme from becoming victims and/or diverting them away from criminality. Young care leavers approaching their 18th birthday and up to 24 years old who have been admitted to custody or who have been involved in or are on the verge of entering the criminal justice system can benefit from up to 25 hours of support to address the root causes of behaviour by helping them:
- Identify their strengths, create and achieve personal goals.
- Feel confident about overcoming difficulties and setbacks.
- Understand and manage emotions and behaviour.
- Sort out housing, education, and work.
How to make a referral
There are a number of routes, working alongside partners, through which an individual can be referred into SWITCH:
- Within Custody, referrals can be made via the custody officer, the Officer in the Case (OIC), arresting officer, mental health nurses or solicitors.
- In the community, referrals can be via the local authority, national probation service, NHS, missing person teams, neighbourhood teams, response officers, Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs.
For more information about the scheme please contact DCI Vanessa Britton at Vanessa.Britton@sussex.pnn.police.uk
The BHSAB and ESSAB support this initiative and are keen to raise awareness and understanding in enabling our partners, as well as professionals and agencies from across the system, to consider making referrals in appropriate circumstances. Please share information about this programme within your agencies and encourage referrals to be made for young people who may be eligible for the support it offers.