Help a care leaver make the step from dependence to independence
Date Added: 16/01/2017
Leaving home and having to face the world on your own can be a pretty daunting experience for any young person.
According to national statistics*, people are moving out of home at an increasingly later age, with a quarter of 20-34 year olds still living with their parents last year.
In contrast, young people leaving care are often on their own well before they reach 18 – frequently when they are 16.
As a result, many of them will experience long-lasting disadvantages and are more likely to become homeless.
That’s why Central Bedfordshire Council has launched a new Supported Lodgings Scheme, to help 16 and 17 year olds leaving care to make the step from dependence to independence.
It is similar to fostering but a much less formal arrangement, so open to more people. For example, foster carers need to be able to drive whereas those interested in this scheme do not.
Carers need to provide a bedroom for the young person they are helping, and they will also share their facilities and provide practical and emotional support, depending on the young person’s needs, such as teaching them how to cook or improve their budgeting skills.
In return, support and training are available from the council’s fostering team and you will receive an allowance of up to £192 per week.
Councillor Carole Hegley, Executive Member for Social Care and Housing, said: “No 16 and 17 year olds should have to face the world on their own, but unfortunately thousands face that prospect nationally.
“That’s why we are appealing for people to come forward and help young care leavers by providing a safe place to stay and the practical and emotional support which they will need to learn how to live on their own.
“You could be the stable adult figure they need to help make a success of their life rather than facing future uncertainly and possible homelessness.”
To find out more about the scheme, visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/supported-lodgings, call the fostering team on 0300 300 8181 or email [email protected]
The scheme is the second one launched by the fostering team this month, following a push to find foster carers who can provide intensive support and care to vulnerable children and teenagers with challenging behaviour.
That is open to people of all ages and backgrounds who have the time, patience and drive to support children and teenagers through a difficult time in their lives and help them to build a brighter future.
Everyone taking part in the scheme will receive regular and extensive support and advice, comprehensive training as well as a fee for yourself and allowance for the child totalling an amount of £796 a week. There is also a need for respite carers to support the scheme, who will receive a competitive support and allowance package.
• Either be at home or available on a full-time basis to offer support when needed
• Have experience of working with or parenting children and/or teenagers who may have presented challenging behaviour
• Be prepared to commit to caring for a child or teenager regardless of their behaviour
• Be positive, resilient, patient, caring and emotionally strong
• Live in or around Central Bedfordshire
• Have a spare room
For more information visit www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/fostering, or contact the fostering team by emailing [email protected] or call 0300 300 8181.