Genell Support – making a difference, not a profit.
Statement of Purpose
Every vulnerable young person is just one supportive adult away from thriving.
Who we are?
We are a not-for-profit community interest organisation, providing a range of innovative supported living services for young people aged 16 years and over, who are being supported by their local authorities for a variety of different reasons, including:
Young people transitioning towards independent living.
Young mothers and babies experiencing trauma or difficulty.
Young people at risk of trafficking and/or sexual exploitation.
Young people at risk of gang affiliation and/or criminal exploitation.
Young people with a history of offending behaviour.
Young people with an autistic spectrum condition.
Unaccompanied asylum-seeking young people.
We believe that children’s social services exist to safeguard and protect the most vulnerable young people in society, and to provide support for those who for many different reasons are unable to live at home with their families. It seems wrong to us therefore, that so many profit-making companies run these services, and in doing so prioritise their earnings over the welfare of the young people.
What makes us different?
Because we are a not-for-profit community interest company, we are legally bound to reinvest any profits into the company in order to constantly improve our services, develop our team members, and meet our objectives as a responsible and compassionate social enterprise. Our vision is for Genell Support to set new standards of integrity in the provision of supported living services for young people by putting ethics before profits, and by building a legacy that shapes a new way of delivering social services to young people. We aim to achieve this vision while also a) reducing the cost to our local authority partners through our not-for-profit fee structures, and b) reducing the longer-term cost to society brought about by young people having their therapeutic needs left unmet. We commit to making this difference by:
Providing all our young people with a full psychological assessment and ongoing counselling therapy, provided by a BACP registered counsellor, at no additional cost to the placing authorities.
Ensuring that all our young people have access to full-time education, including those who are unable or unwilling to access mainstream education, by providing home tuition facilitated by fully qualified teachers, at no additional cost to the placing authorities.
Providing all our young people with unlimited transport to meetings and appointments, as happens in most family situations, at no additional cost to the placing authorities.
Providing all our young people with a support network for life through the provision of our 18+ Moving on Programme. This programme gives all our young people ongoing and unlimited access to our support services even after their transition to full independent living, at no additional cost to the placing authorities.
Establishing a network of not-for-profit social service providers who are prepared to make a legal and ethical commitment to reinvest profits towards improving outcomes for vulnerable young people, instead of focussing on the demands of their investors and shareholders.
Offering our young people, where appropriate, the opportunity to become involved with our children’s home in Nakuru, Kenya. This involvement might take the form of befriending through letters or emails, fundraising, or even volunteering at the home – with all the necessary permissions of course.
Employing an experienced Ofsted Reg 44 Inspector to conduct monthly quality assurance monitoring visits at each of our homes, and being duty bound to act on their recommendations in accordance with our articles of association.
At Genell Support we want to make a real difference and believe we can achieve this is by challenging perceptions society has about young people who are being supported by their local authorities. Too often these young people are written off or dismissed as being anti-social and a burden on society. Unsurprisingly we disagree. A significant part of our mission is education, not only of the young people we support, but also that of our wider society. As a community organisation, we aim to change perspectives and raise awareness through a variety of new and different initiatives, and by changing the language used around supporting young people.
We will always involve our young people and team members in the planning and implementation of our initiatives, and look to make a difference for our young people, our team members, and our local communities, in three ways:
Local community initiatives – we embrace our social responsibilities and want to give back to our local communities, but we aim to do it differently, by providing opportunities to form and run youth advisory groups, the chance to take part in associate-led projects with our partner organisations, as well as facilitating volunteer opportunities within the arts, animal shelters, and other caring ventures.
Global initiatives – the cause of disadvantaged children is global. Perhaps we cannot change the world, but we can try and provide life-changing experiences for our young people, and for those young people we support in developing countries. Our children’s home in Nakuru, Kenya provides opportunities for the young people at Genell Support to become involved in humanitarian work in a variety of important ways.
Governance initiatives – the objective of our governance programme is to bring our young people and our team members together, to create a sense of achievement and pride. The aim is to provide young people with decision-making opportunities they may not otherwise have experienced. This could mean playing an active role on our policy review committees, interview panels, quality assurance assessments, provider forums, and other areas that can impact directly on the lives of the young people themselves.
Our Therapeutic Support Framework (CARES)
We provide ongoing therapeutic support to every young person in our service at no additional cost to their local authorities. Our CARES Therapeutic Framework provides an evidence-informed, strengths-based approach to the support we provide. It draws attention to conventional aspects of support and relates that support to achieving optimal outcomes for young people. CARES is trauma informed and exists to supports recovery for young people who have experienced stressful events in their lives. CARES is also a practice framework that supports the delivery of accountable services aiming to optimise positive outcomes for young people.
Central to our CARES Therapeutic Framework is the development of knowledge and understanding of the reasons why young people behave in the way that they do, and competencies that support these reasons being addressed. This is central to addressing one of the main casualties of childhood trauma, namely the experience of not having one’s needs met reliably. Our CARES Therapeutic Framework promotes acknowledging and supporting these needs as a fundamental priority, as opposed to simply addressing behaviours of concern. Our CARES framework aims include:
Implementing CARES across all our services.
Establishing a common knowledge, language, and approach among all our team members.
Developing competencies related to trauma-informed, therapeutic support.
Developing competencies in the implementation of a therapeutic practice framework.
Developing competencies in self-care within young people.
Improving connections between young people and their support networks, with a goal of reducing support breakdowns and maintaining attachment security.
Improving connections between our team members, our local authority partners, and other involved agencies.
The focus is on supporting young people to develop their own understanding of how to implement a therapeutic approach within their own individual circumstances. It is about supporting young people to develop the skills to know what to do, and how to do it – a therapeutic self-care plan.
Our Moving on Programme
Many young people face a cliff edge when moving on to independent living, sometimes with little or no support. They are often forced to move great distances from their social and support networks. Their established professional relationships which are key supports for the young person are often completely severed. Young people frequently are given no clear plan for accommodation, and this can often lead to increased vulnerability, negative experiences, and poor outcomes. Our Moving on Program is designed to assist young people moving on from supported living, thereby massively improving their opportunities and chances in life.
Our Moving on Programme has four key elements, described below, and aims to provide graduated support up to 21 years of age. The programme is financially self-supportive, and in fact provides significant savings to local authorities across a range of expenditure currently required to manage the impact of vulnerability, exploitation, and other negative experiences. We hope our programme will be adopted by other supported living providers as an example of how we can make a difference in transitional support for young people:
Long-term support planning – Genell Support will compile a pathway plan for young people moving on to independent living. We will work with each young person in doing this, and in identifying and assigning key team members to support their transition. These key team members will provide support to the young person throughout the whole process, and for as long as they need support afterwards.
Maintenance of key relationships – several months before the transition from supported living to independent living, our team members will assess the readiness for this transition and assign a transition mentor to each young person moving on to independent living. Following their transition, support will be provided at their independent living accommodation, at no additional cost to their local authorities, and gradually reduced as they gain the life skills and confidence, they need to safely complete their transition to fully independent living, thereby seeking to avoid the cliff edge that too many young people currently face at this crucial stage of their life.
Ongoing consistent support – when young people are transitioning to their independent accommodation, the same key team members they had in our supported living services will provide ongoing outreach support. This outreach support will be gradually reduced only when the young person is able to safely live independently. Throughout every stage of the programme, young people retain access to all our services, providing a consistent environment where young people can socialise, meet with friends, attend our education and training programmes, and receive mentoring/therapeutic support if needed.
Meaningful education, training, and employment – every young person who is not accessing some form of education and or training can continue do so through Genell Support. All young people in our moving on programme will be given the opportunity to gain an accredited peer mentoring qualification, and to become a mentor to other young people who are moving on.
By removing anxiety and uncertainty around accommodation issues, and by facilitating clear pathway planning, we hope to enable young people to focus on their education, and on attaining the necessary skills and qualifications they need in order to enter employment.
Our Supported Living Homes
Our homes are in the Cambridgeshire market town of Wisbech, close to the borders of Lincolnshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk, and have been carefully chosen for their comfort, proximity to local services, transport, and other amenities. They are extremely well appointed and have every item you would expect to find in any family home, including PlayStations and X-Boxes, Netflix and Amazon Prime, computers and printers, and warmth and compassion. We believe that young people being supported by their local authorities should have access to every facility, opportunity, and comfort they might otherwise have missed out on as a result of their experiences, and are committed to providing these without question or qualification. We provide our young people with small but meaningful comforts such as Egyptian cotton bedding, televisions in their bedrooms, and their own individual bathrooms. Our homes are different in that they really are homes, in every sense of the word, and not just a convenient place to accommodate young people.
Our children’s home in Nakuru, Kenya was established in 2012, and exists to support some of the most vulnerable children, many of whom have been orphaned or abandoned. Thanks to the wonderful generosity of our supporters in both Kenya and the UK, we are able to provide the children with personal care, a formal education, and the opportunity to develop and grow within a warm and nurturing home environment. We are supported at Genell Kenya by our fabulous House Mothers Loice, Maria, and Alice, who run the home with a commitment second to none. Maria and her team provide the children with unconditional care, and their kindness and devotion provides inspiration to us all.
We are always looking at ways to create sustainability at the home and have been successful in the implementation of some modest income generating activities. Our House Mothers are setting up a small market provision where they can sell milk to the local community, and the home also has a small shamba (vegetable garden) where they are able to grow fresh vegetables for the children, and to help supplement the running costs of the home.
Our primary goal at Genell Kenya is to support the children through the provision of a warm and nurturing home environment, education, medical care, and validation. We also work with local families in empowering them with the skills they need to improve their incomes in an effort to support and maintain the integrity of their families.