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Schools Part of Esland Group


Life in our dual homes - Steven’s story

Finding his feet 

When we first met Steven*, he was placed in one of our group homes. However, he found this environment challenging as he struggled to socialise in larger groups.   

To support Steven, we worked with his social worker to create a planned move into a smaller setting to help develop his socialisation gradually, at a rate he was more comfortable with. 

After careful consideration and an in-depth matching process, we found an opportunity for Steven to move into one of our dual homes where another young person already lived. 

We made sure there was a clear transition plan in place so that both Steven and the other young person could get to know each other and feel at ease with the idea of living together. Once they both felt sure it was the right step, Steven moved into the new setting.   

A smaller setting 

When Steven first moved in, he designed his room with lots of LED lights everywhere. It looked like a fireworks display, and Steven was thrilled with it. Being able to personalise his space helped him to settle in very quickly. 

Within 6 weeks, he went on his first holiday with his peer to Great Yarmouth. It was a fantastic success, and both Steven and the other young person really enjoyed themselves. 

In the past, Steven has struggled to get out into the community, as he felt uncomfortable and vulnerable in busy and crowded places. With our support, he started to overcome his fear of the unknown and now goes on short trips to the local supermarket with his peer. 

We’ve also exposed him to fun activities like biking through the local woods and visits to the trampolining centre, cinema, and bowling alley. 

Steven has also reconnected with his family and, with clear boundaries in place, has enjoyed spending time with them again. 

New school, new skills 

Before we met Steven, he found school very difficult. He struggled to trust people and would often walk out of class, cause damage or not turn up at all.  

We enrolled him at our Esland Bedford School and created a bespoke behavioural plan to give him structure and settle him into a more stable routine.  The teachers would meet him at the door in the morning to provide clear guidance on what he’d be doing that day so that he knew what to expect. 

We gave him a tailor-made education plan, which included a plastering apprenticeship. He did the apprenticeship two days a week and then attended school on the other three.  

This transformed his social skills to the point where he’s now made a network of friends, and it’s helped him to identify the difference between positive and negative relationships. 

Gaining independence  

At Esland, we help our young people develop their independence skills with our bronze, silver, and gold independence plans.  

Steven has recently passed his bronze independence plan. Within the plan, he had to complete key tasks like cooking a meal, ironing clothes, making a bed, washing windows, and vacuuming the carpet.  

Steven will now progress to the other stages on the plan to develop his skills further and prepare him for adulthood.  

Looking ahead, Steven wants to be a plumber like his dad, and he’s determined not to let the past define his future. We’re so proud of the young man he’s become, and the progress he’s made during his time with us is truly incredible. 

*We have changed the name to protect the young person’s identity. 

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