We have a responsibility to make sure that you have somewhere 'suitable to live'. This means that it has to be right for you and, above all, safe. It is important that wherever you prefer to live this is in your Pathway Plan. You can decide to return home if this is what you and your family wish.
Leaving care is a challenging time for all young people who are on a care journey. Appropriate accommodation and the relevant support are crucial to achieve a positive transition to adulthood.
Being 16 and over is an essential time to take on more responsibilities and to develop the skills and knowledge you will need to maintain successful independent living.
We have developed a range of post 16 supported accommodation options to meet a variety of needs.
It is important that you begin to consider 'moving on' in your Pathway Plan and be prepared to discuss your hopes and aspirations with your allocated worker. Your regular review meetings are a good place to share the plan with all those who are able to support your aims and accommodation will be a crucial part of the plan.
Your social worker will be aware of the options below and can refer to our team enabling us to explore the best accommodation choices to meet your needs. Some young people will remain within their foster home or residential unit. They can do this until they are 18 years old. If you are in foster care and attending college then we may be able to ask your carers to provide supported lodgings beyond 18. They will receive a fee for this. You could also live in supported housing if you are under 18. This is where you will have your own room in a house, or a flat which is supported by workers who work with you to make positive life choices.
You will all be expected to apply for council housing for your local area before you are 18. This is because the housing departments are the people who have to provide housing over the age of 18. Once over 18 you will be expected to claim housing benefit to pay for your rent. We may help with rent if you are in supported lodgings over 18.
If you go to university then we will pay for your accommodation whether you are in halls or student accommodation. We are always improving the accommodation options available to you so your worker will discuss any other accommodation options we have with you.
Remaining in Foster Care
We also have a separate Supported Lodgings scheme with assessed providers who only work with the 16+ age group. They will concentrate on developing your independence skills and will expect you to take on further personal responsibilities. They can also support your move into independent accommodation.
Independent flats are available for young people approaching 18, where you can experience looking after yourself with long arm support before taking on your own tenancy. You will have a variety of support in making housing applications to appropriate housing authorities. When you have a tenancy you will also have a Leaving Care Grant to furnish your accommodation.
A Supported Hostel can also be a good option where you would have your own room but still be among a shared community while planning your eventual move on.