After leaving foster care, young people find themselves in a very different reality. More often than not, it is not a gentle flying out of the nest. It is rather a drastic leap. Gone are the educators who have always been close. Gone, too, are the friends from your room with whom you could talk on any occasion. What remains is silence, loneliness in an empty apartment, and a mass of questions about how to cope with new situations.
That is why it is important for us that the kids can count on the support of independence assistants during individual meetings. They have a person in the world who is always there for them with advice, help, and REALITY. During the pandemic, when many of our charges feel alienated, this is especially important.
We know that the biggest changes and magic happen in seemingly ordinary moments. An assistant creates a safe space for their mentee, where finding answers to nagging questions and solving problems is simply easier.
Such moments certainly include the time that Patryk spends with his assistant- Magda.
They cook together a lot. Patryk learns how to create his diet, where to look for recipes, how to plan his shopping. He will use this simple recipe for healthy, breakfast shakshuka many times, because he likes it much better than cereal with milk 🙂
They also come up with recipes together, such as oatmeal-banana cookies, a dessert that is both delicious and healthy.
However, this is only the first “layer” of these meetings. When they do something together, trust emerges, it’s easier to relax and open up. You don’t have to break down, you can just ask. During one of the culinary meetings, Patrick said that he would like to learn more about planning expenses. Together with Magda they came up with the best tool to organize it all.
At the next meeting, the work on the budget is in full swing. The table fills up with numbers and Patryk can see with his own eyes where to look for savings, which expenses are necessary and which are not. Now he just has to stick to his budget assumptions 🙂
The methodical work of the assistants with their charges and building deep relationships allows, step by step, to come to important conclusions and acquire new skills. At the same time young people feel safe and can count on support, which is probably the most important at the beginning of the road to full independence.
Project co-financed by the City of Warsaw.