Useful Tools For Your Backpack
Services from Foyer Federation and InspireChilli
As with all great journeys, reaching the end is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements; to look back and reflect on how far we’ve come, what we’ve experienced and what we’ve learned along the way. In this final chapter of our Adventures in Advantaged Thinking series we have an opportunity not only to reflect, but look ahead to the future too as we explore the useful tools available to you for your own ‘Adventure in Advantaged Thinking’ – the current services available from The Foyer Federation and InspireChilli.
Where to start?
This article explores the useful tools that are available to you to expand your own Advantaged Thinking practice. Where will your Advantaged Thinking journey take you next?
- Advantaged Thinking is our asset-based philosophy and it guides everything we do, encouraging young people to aim high, dream big and fulfil their ambitions.
- Advantaged Thinking focuses on young people’s strengths and talents and asks them to view their futures through that lens rather than using deficit-based labels and perceptions.
- The 7 Tests of Advantaged Thinking makes the concept into tangible reality – it translates it into clear questions to ask of yourself, your service, and in your own life!
- There are many tools available to you to support you on your own Advantaged Thinking journey moving forwards, including Foyer Federation membership, accreditation, Advantaged Thinking Action Packs, training, consultancy, programmes and opportunities to co-create with us.
What are we doing?
Key Products and Services from The Foyer Federation
The Foyer Federation is a membership organisation working with a network of Foyers around the UK. This next section explores the services available to our members such as accreditation, training and peer support.
Every member of the Foyer Federation is deeply committed to working with young people in an Advantaged Thinking way that enables them to thrive. Our network is a community of like minded organisations who are driven to ensure young people can realise their power and purpose. By sharing best practice and learning together, each member is supported to grow their impact. There are four tiers of membership: Connect, Community, Partner and Investor. Download the membership pack to find out more about our offer and join our movement of Advantaged Thinkers!
Our nationally recognised accreditation programme is a quality development framework that encourages services to aspire to excellence. We guide services on their journey towards endorsement and certification. The process of accreditation helps the service to demonstrate how they invest in young people's assets and potential, and how this sets them apart from other services that might take a more deficit-based response. The process of gaining accreditation acts as a development tool, helping services to both measure and strengthen their Advantaged Thinking practice, and to show their impact and value to stakeholders.
Advantaged Thinking Action Pack
A set of 51 cards designed to put the 7 Tests of Advantaged Thinking into action and help embed Advantaged Thinking practices throughout a service. The pack is a creative and engaging way for staff to embed Advantaged Thinking in their work on a day-to-day basis. Each of the cards feature a skill that embodies one of the 7 Tests, an explanation of what that may look like in practice, a related challenge, and an action or reflection to bring the test to life. You can order these by emailing [email protected].
We’ve developed a series of engaging workshops and resources to bring the methodologies, ideas and practice of Advantaged Thinking to life for services. Our training enables individuals and staff teams to experience Advantaged Thinking through a range of lenses. Through a series of engaging practical exercises, discussions of relevant theory and structured reflection sessions, participants are supported to develop an Advantaged Thinking mindset and to spot opportunities for growth.
The Foyer Federation offers a consultancy option for when an external eye is helpful to solve a challenge or innovate a new solution. We can provide consultancy support across a range of areas, including business and operational planning, help with appraisals, external evaluation and impact reporting, support with tenders, contract bidding and fundraising.
Our member-exclusive programmes and events are developed to address the real needs of the youth supported housing sector, while identifying ways to encourage young people's aspirations and supporting them to reach their potential. Our programmes are designed to build on people's talents, strengths and skills, with the end goal of creating experiences, environments and opportunities that empower young people to thrive.
Through our projects and initiatives, we explore ways to involve young people in shaping the services that are delivered to them. The learnings from every programme are embedded within our own practices and shared throughout our member network to continually improve the offer for young people.
The voices and experiences of young people and Foyer staff are at the centre of everything we do. We co-create and deliver programmes, events, resources, training and accreditation alongside young people, youth services and our community of Foyers. We want young people to have the opportunity to express themselves, experience leadership and influence change in their own lives – our youth influence and involvement strategy, Power Up Youth, outlines how we do this. We also work alongside Young Consultants, each of whom has lived experience of homelessness or other challenging circumstances, to deliver our services.
Inspiration from around the sector
InspireChilli is an innovation organisation that applies an asset-based approach and Advantaged Thinking expertise drawn from Director Colin Falconer’s international experience. Colin offers a range of services to support organisations, including programme learning or service evaluations through an asset-based lens, mentoring of young people and leaders of organisations, and developing practical strategies for meaningful youth involvement. He is also an excellent inspirational speaker for events – from conferences to award ceremonies.
InspireChilli’s services are charged on an affordable scale based on the nature and length of the work and the budget of the organisation. All fees include an investment back into young people through InspireChilli’s Team Young People and Inspireside Initiative that seeks to invest in bringing inspiration to life for people and communities. For further information, contact [email protected].
Q1. How will you move ahead with your own personal Advantaged Thinking journey?
Q2. Which are the useful tools that you’ll put in your Advantaged Thinking backpack?
Q3. What action steps will you take to implement or strengthen Advantaged Thinking practices in your service?
Q4. How will you share Advantaged Thinking with others?