We’re building a Home for Advantaged Thinking. A space for young people to innovate, collaborate and take action. A place for organisations who believe in young people and want to turn the tide of disadvantage. A doorway for young people to realise their power and purpose.
Read on to find your place in the Home, download the strategy and discover how you can be involved.
ROOM A: LEADERSHIP
Youth-led movements have a unique energy and power, but the voices of young people who have experienced homelessness are often missing. The bar for youth leadership has been set low in supported housing, and young people who have experienced challenges like homelessness aren’t usually given much power to change the way services are run and designed, or to be heard on the issues that are most important to them.
We want to raise the bar for youth leadership and activism in the youth supported housing sector. Listening to young people is a huge source of inspiration, so what’s stopping us from taking action?
We want to give young people and the services they use the skills, knowledge and opportunity to challenge the status quo, develop sustainable youth leadership locally and nationally, and get serious about youth leadership and activism.
We want to work with funders and decision makers who share our ambition and vision for young people to take the lead; those who are willing to challenge the status quo and develop new ways of giving young people greater power.
ROOM B: QUALITY
Every young person has a set of unique strengths, talents and experiences that make up who you are. Most services want to work with young people’s strengths and talents despite pressure from funding cuts and the focus on quick outcomes, but there is a lack of clear criteria and cross-sector standards for working in an asset-based way. Young people have been clear with us about the need for consistency in Advantaged Thinking delivery.
We want to make sure the services young people engage with are consistent in their positive, supportive approach and in helping to develop strengths and skills. We want to enable teams to develop asset-based practices, while helping commissioners understand the benefits and concrete outcomes of investing in this approach.
We want to support youth services to reflect on their culture and asset-based practices, and to partner with like minded organisations to expand the reach of our accreditation and quality development programme.
We want to work with funders who are passionate about ensuring a consistent asset-based delivery model; who want to support a framework that enables us to accredit those youth services that work meaningfully with young people’s skills and strengths.
ROOM C: INFLUENCE
There is a power imbalance within youth supported housing. Young people rarely sit in positions of power and have little opportunity to influence decision-making. Policy is made at a senior level and doesn’t usually involve young people with lived experience of homelessness.
There is a tendency towards individualism in the youth sector, with a protective culture driven by the need to compete for resources. There is a lack of cohesion and understanding around asset-based working.
We want young people with experience of disadvantage to be meaningfully involved in policy decisions and shaping the services that interact with. We want to correct the imbalance of influence and put more power into young people’s hands.
We want to invest directly in the ideas, insights and energy of young people and build a campaign that shows the power of trusting youth. We want to connect and collaborate with youth organisations to design and unite under an asset-based brand to influence positive change.
We want to work with funders and businesses who are passionate about listening to young people and want to back their ideas and insights with investment, and find ways to share their powerful stories far and wide.
ROOM D: COMMUNITY
Our consultations with our network and Friends of Foyer highlighted the value of a common Advantaged Thinking movement and community of practice. The opportunity to learn from each other and share inspiration and good practice develops better quality services and motivates staff, especially in a high-pressure environment like youth work. Membership of a national community of practice can help to build resilience, sustainability and creativity within services.
An increasing number of young people are experiencing loneliness and other mental health challenges, and making strong connections with others helps to build resilience and wellbeing.
We want to connect young people with experience of homelessness and other challenges to build a positive community of people who build up and support each other. We want to link you up with young people who have similar passions and the drive needed to make change in their services, communities and the world.
We want to deepen and grow our national community of practice, including peer learning and support, inspiration and innovation, to grow resilience and sustainability within services.
We want to connect with youth membership bodies that want to effectively co-deliver an asset-based community of practice. We want to welcome local services to our existing network to access our Advantaged Thinking products, tools and services.
We want to create new communities of practice with funders who support cohorts of youth services. We want to hear from organisations who want to commission themed asset-based communities of practice, eg for a particular client group or mission.