I was asked to give my thoughts on what it is like to have a young person living with me on the SLEAP programme. As you might imagine, it is not easy to do in a few lines but rather than go on and on, I thought it might be useful to cover the subject via a few of bullet points!
• Sense of satisfaction There is a great deal of joy to be gained from watching a young person develop their social and other skills during the time they live with you. Sometimes it’s a case of two steps forward and one step backwards but, as you look back on the journey it’s so rewarding to see how far they have come with a bit of love, kindness and encouragement.
• Family benefits There is no doubt that other family members gain from having a SLEAP young person living with them. Again, there are times when it can be a strain but there is no doubt that my children have a better understanding of those less fortunate than themselves as a result of the experience. It has also given them a higher level of social skills than they might be expected to have at their age had we not participated in SLEAP.
• Personal benefits There is the obvious one of a bit more money coming into the household. I also enjoy the company and the chance to talk to someone with different life experiences than mine. An extra pair of hands can come in handy too!