The Foyer Federation exists to harness the talent and potential of young people and was founded by Shelter and Grand Metropolitan (now Diageo). Inspired by a housing offer for young workers in France in the early 1990s, the Foyer model was developed as a radical response to high levels of youth unemployment and growing youth homelessness.
The Foyer was designed to be an alternative approach to a hostel, using a ‘something-for-something’ deal to integrate housing, education, training, employment and health support with personal development for young people aged 16 – 30 who could not live at home.
The Foyer Federation has helped to lead and promote this service approach over 30 years, pioneering strengths-based solutions to youth disadvantage through our influential Advantaged Thinking focus, and developing a network of quality assured UK Foyers able to work in this way with thousands of young people experiencing disadvantage each year. Advantaging young people through their abilities rather than disadvantaging them as liabilities expresses the original Foyer ethos in a way that has influenced the rise of more positive approaches in the youth sector.
‘The Foyer Federation has inspired fresh approaches to empower young people experiencing disadvantage for 30 years, leading the UK Foyer network as a flagship for innovation’
Foyer Federation Stakeholder
'Advantaged Thinking is embedding a better, inclusive way of working with young people as communities often focus on the disadvantaged elements of a young person’s journey.'
Local Foyer Manager
The Foyer Federation is seen as a youth-sector innovator, inspiring through and beyond its Foyer network to shape Advantaged Thinking approaches that give young people greater power and purpose in their lives. The difference the Foyer Federation makes is to challenge, inspire, support, equip and quality assure services to be the best places possible for young people; and to create more opportunities for that to happen through wider influencing and partnership work. We want young people who have experienced homelessness to thrive – not just survive. The Foyer Federation works to make that vision a reality for thousands of young people each year.
Our track record includes introducing the sector’s first national learning qualifications and quality assurance programme, developing national projects innovating approaches to health and wellbeing, employability and social action, and amplifying positive, person-centred, strength-based models of working through our celebrated Advantaged Thinking framework. Advantaged Thinking’s concrete standards and ‘theory of change’ has helped services move away from responding to problems and towards focusing on identifying and developing the skills, capabilities and resources that young people need to achieve sustainable futures.
Our unique position, closely connected to service delivery yet one step away from frontline pressures, makes the organisation particularly well placed to challenge practitioners and service providers to create high-quality outcomes for young people.
An organisation built with and for people
Over our 30 year history we've worked with a huge number of inspiring young people, staff and organisations seeing Advantaged Thinking and youth empowerment come to life. We have a national and international community of friends and we are indebted to the great leaders and innovators who laid and built the foundations of the charity and network.