Our publications bring together best practice and learning from across our projects. They are designed to a high quality to be useful and informative to all our stakeholders and practitioners. Please read through the list of our publications below and click to download full versions.

Our publications

Strategic Vision Image

Our Seven Year Strategic Vision

Our new strategic vision sets out the thinking that will guide the Foyer Federation as we move into the next part of our journey. It’s a journey we hope you will share with us.

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“Over the past 21 years, the Foyer Federation has been developing new ways of working with young people struggling to make the transition to adulthood, particularly those who cannot, for all sorts of good reasons, live at home.


In developing this vision, in our 21st birthday year, we have taken stock of where we have come from and tried to capture what we have learned along the way. That learning has helped us begin to map out our journey for the next seven years.”


Download our Strategic Vision here.

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Open Talent Strategic Plan for 2011 to 2014

Our vision is that all services for young people should be transformational. We believe Foyers are much more than supported housing schemes and have the potential to be rich community learning and living environments, that enable young people to become resilient and self reliant, able to explore who they are and become what they want to be. To do this, they need access to people who can broker and deliver the skills, resources and opportunities that will enable them to shape their own route to independent adulthood. Open Talent is the approach we are using to achieve this ambition.

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“The Foyer Federation was founded eighteen years ago in the midst of a recession at a time when young people who were both in housing need and unemployed were getting a raw deal.

A collaboration between the campaigning organisation Shelter and Grand Metropolitan (now Diageo) galvanized the efforts of the corporate, public sector and voluntary sectors to find a new solution. The Foyer concept was radical, challenging and inspirational. We are proud to follow in their footsteps.”

James Kelly Chair of Trustees

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Impacts 1112

Impacts 2011 – 2012

Read how we made an impact on the services and young people who are part of our network in 2011 – 12.

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Last year, we launched our Open Talent strategy, a challenge to services within and beyond our sector to work with young people in a more positive way, to create a new language and new thinking to replace deficit-based approaches to working with young people, and counter assumptions of dependency. In the strategy we set out a number of ways we would measure success:

As this report shows, the Foyer Federation has made a significant impact on the lives of young people. But our work isn’t done, and that’s where you can make a difference.

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MyNav Destination Independence

Inspired by the concepts of satellite navigation and future mapping, MyNav helps young people to navigate their journey to independent adulthood through the power of informal learning and new media technology. MyNav provides a practical and digital framework to help young people map out their lives and shape the best possible route towards a thriving future.

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MyNav encourages young people to try new things, set themselves new goals and take up new challenges all of which can improve confidence levels and emotional well-being, as well as developing important skills for future training and employment opportunities.

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Working Assets Evaluation 2011

This report summarises how Foyers have embedded the principles of Working Assets since the end of the Foyer Federation seed funding. “Working Assets” was developed as an enquiry into the capacity of housing associations to engage in the worklessness agenda.

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Working Assets develops a more sustainable approach to worklessness by opening talent in young people, engaging young people in their communities and developing advantaged thinking in services.

The policy and funding contexts Foyers operate in have shifted since the first round of Working Assets projects, but this model’s relevance to the current climate means that it can support young people and services thrive in challenging times.

The rationale for “Working Assets” stems from the Foyer Federation’s analysis of how too many services for young people are ‘deficit-based’; they are too focused on need and risk, and on enabling service users to cope with and survive their current circumstances, rather than develop thriving and sustainable livelihoods. At the heart of the Foyer approach is the notion of the “contract”, the deal between the young person and the service where the young person ‘exchanges’ developments in their personal and social capital, resilience and employability for a tailor-made, personalised package of services and support. The “Working Assets” approach is an attempt to introduce an asset-based, progressive element to this contract in order to develop the capacity of services, and the capability of young people, to open up employment opportunities.

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Young Offenders Academy (YOA) a Secure Foundation

In this report we present the case for the establishment of a Young Offenders Academy as a pilot project. Given an early and favorable decision, Government support and a fair wind, the pilot project could be operational by 2012.

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In the late 1990’s the management and staff of East Potential became increasingly concerned about what they began to identify as the interruption to the lives of young residents of the foyers when they became involved with the youth justice system.

East Potential is the largest developer and manager of foyers in Britain and now provides an integrated package of accommodation, training and employment to facilitate the transition to adulthood of some 600 vulnerable young people at any time. Many of these young people have been looked after victims of abuse or neglect and have low educational attainment. Any positive developments in their lives, through the foyer experience, would be interrupted if they became involved with the youth justice system, especially if this included remands in custody or sentences spent far from the local community. The next contact with the foyer staff would be when the young person was discharged and arrived on the doorstep. Homeless and ready to begin the journey again.

You can also read part two and the appendix

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Image of the report's front cover

Young Offenders Academy (YOA) Towards a Pathfinder

The purpose of this, our final publication, is to present all the information necessary for Ministers and local authority leaders to take the bold decision of launching pilot Young Offenders Academies.

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A Young Offenders Academy represents progressive change. It would reduce the child custody population and substantially cut the present levels of reoffending.

Such a change would be an effective way to take forward the encouraging proposals outlined in the new Ministry of Justice Green Paper, Breaking the Cycle. The Ministerial foreword acknowledges very serious defects and states that “it is also not acceptable that 75% of offenders sentenced to youth custody reoffend within a year. If we do not prevent and tackle reoffending by young people, then the young offenders of today will become the prolific career criminals of tomorrow”.

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Resettlement & rehabilitation Strategy

This paper is the outcome of consultations on how the Foyer Federation can develop a national strategy to describe how Foyers can help to reduce the number of young people involved in criminal behaviour and help them make the transition to an independent, crime-free adulthood.

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The Federation seeks to respond to the challenge of youth crime by creating and promoting a sustainable national approach to deliver a transformational change in the services provided for young people who have offending backgrounds; who are serving custodial or community sentences; or who are at risk of offending.

An approach designed both to reduce the current unacceptable levels of reoffending and to break the generational cycle of offending that prevents so many young offenders sustain the transition to independent, crime-free adulthood.

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Foyer Health Toolkit

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This toolkit is all about how you can promote health and well-being in your work with young people. But what is health? As well as meaning ‘the absence of illness’, health can also be said to relate to the ways in which we treat our bodies and minds to create and sustain a state of physical and emotional well-being. The Foyer Federation Healthy Transitions strategy and the Foyer Health Programme are public health and health promotion programmes, rather than clinical programmes which attempt to cure ill health. When we are talking about health in this toolkit, we are talking about the promotion of healthy choices and lifestyles. In particular, the Foyer Health Programme focuses on three aspects of health and well-being: healthy eating physical activity emotional and mental well-being

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Teenage Parents in Supported Housing

For this ground breaking project and accompanying research the Foyer Federation was commissioned by the Department for Education to identify and support good practice in enhanced housing support for teenage parents across four areas of provision.

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It is envisaged that the good practice identified by the Foyer Federation through the pilots will inform the future development of services for teenage mothers, children and partners.

The Teenage Parent Supported Housing Pilots have demonstrated that enhanced housing support for teenage parents delivers outcomes that cut across different areas of priority for national and local Government. It is essential that the leaders of projects that deliver housing support for teenage parents are aware of what these priorities are and can articulate them to appropriate audiences.

One of the reports key findings

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Supporting resilience in young people in Foyers in England (“Feeling Good” report)

Summaries the findings of a research project on resilience, in particular the factors that build resilience in young people. The findings are of interest to all agencies which provide services for young people.

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Based on research in conducted in five Foyers across England; the focus was to find out from Foyer residents what they believe would contribute to helping them develop and maintain resilience in the face of adversity and to make recommendations so that Foyers can reference their practice against the evidence base from academic literature and the views and perceptions of residents.

The report includes a summary of recommendations which will help Foyers and the Foyer Federation reference their service provision and practice to the literature and young people’s assessments of important resilience-encouraging components.

Supported by the the Big Lottery through the Foyer Health Programme.
November 2010

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Foyer access all areas

In today’s labour market, soft skills, or ‘character capabilities’, are a critical component of a young person’s employability and life chances. A look at Foyer’s role their resident’s transition to adulthood, how they develop these skills and capabilities and how they can continue to do so.

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The ability to answer a phone politely, communicate ideas, empathise with colleagues and demonstrate ‘gumption’ and self-confidence, are critically important in an economy increasingly dominated by the service sector.

By Julia Margo and Eugene Grant with Dominique Longford and Miranda Lewis, with the support of the Big Lottery, Demos and Foyer Health. July 2010

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Front cover of the 18 years 18 stories publication

Coming of age. 18 years, 18 stories

This publication was produced to mark our 18th Birthday this year. It celebrates our history, the young people’s lives that we have positively influenced so far and the exciting journey that lies ahead of us with our upcoming campaign Open Talent. Most importantly, Coming of Age. 18 Years, 18 Stories contains the transformational and inspiring stories of 18 young people who are living or who have lived in a Foyer.

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We work mainly through a network of over 100 accredited, integrated learning and accommodation providers known as Foyers, who help around 10,000 young people a year aged 16 – 25 to re-connect with personal development, education, training and employment opportunities.

The Foyer Federation was established in 1992, alongside the first five Foyers. Since then, the Foyer network has grown rapidly and now operates in over 130 urban and rural communities across the UK. The Foyer Federation has achieved so much in the intervening period that to list everything would require a lot more space than we have available in this publication. Instead, here are some of the highlights.

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Impact Report 2010

How we had a positive impact in 2009-10 as the Foyer Federation came of age and how we’ll sustain and build on this impact in the years ahead.

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2010 is our 18th birthday year. An appropriate time to reflect on our journey so far and an opportunity to anticipate what the future may hold.

Chris Hopson
Chair, Foyer Federation


  • Involving young people
  • Building quality
  • Employability
  • Healthy futures
  • Learning in Foyers
  • Workforce development
  • Resettlement and rehabilitation of young offenders
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Front cover of the Youth Labour's Lost report by Demos

Youth Labour’s Lost

In this report, Demos presented new research into the issue of youth unemployment in the UK. Rather than potential macroeconomic and global causes, we are concerned with the way the education system and labour market have been shaped by policy so as to produce what we describe as a young person’s penalty.

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The disadvantage of being young in today’s labour market can only be overcome through a new educational offer…

This report was produced with help from research facilitated by the Foyer Federation and interviews with young people in Foyers.

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Foyer Health Programme

Overview of our hugely successful Foyer Health Program funded by the Big Lottery which reached 15,642 wider beneficiaries.

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Overview of our hugely successful Foyer Health Program funded by the Big Lottery which reached 15,642 wider beneficiaries.

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Demos- An Anatomy of Youth

Not one of ours but a very influential publication from Demos, read it on their website

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Not one of ours but a very influential publication from Demos, read it on their website

“To tackle the challenges of tomorrow, young people need political capital today…”

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