Young people leaving care are often on their own before they are 18; frequently, when they are 16.
As a result, many of them will experience difficulties living independently. These young people may not have had the life experiences which would give them the knowledge and skills necessary to cope on their own. A Supported Lodging placement aims to provide a stepping-stone for them, from dependence to full independence.
As a supported lodgings carer, you will provide the young person a place to live, with their own room in your home. In addition to providing accommodation, you will provide practical and emotional support but you don’t have parental responsibility for the young person.
A Supported Lodgings placement offers a period of stability during which these young people can be helped to acquire the necessary skills, build up support networks in their community and experiment safely with their increasing freedom and changing status while still having involvement with, and support from, an interested adult.
Why do the young people need your help?
Most young people make the transition to adulthood with practical and emotional support from their family. This transition includes various changes, for example, from school to work or further education, from the family home to independent accommodation, from financial dependence to personal financial responsibility.
Many young people who are in care, are disadvantaged by trying to live independently much sooner than their contemporaries and because there is insufficient suitable and affordable accommodation available for this age group.
Supported Lodgings will offer a period of stability during which these young people can be helped to acquire the necessary skills, build up support networks in their community and experiment safely with their increasing freedom and changing status while still having involvement with, and support from, an interested adult.
What will the young person be like?
Like all groups of people, young people in this scheme will all be different. What they have in common is the need for a safe place to live, offering the right balance between support and freedom to enable them to develop skills for independent living.
The young people will have been in care, either in foster care or children’s home. Others will be in a situation, where they can no longer live with their own family, possibly due to parental ill health, relationship breakdown or abuse.
Most of the young people choosing Supported Lodgings will be in work, education or training or be committed and motivated to become so.
When making a supported lodging placement, we will try to match the needs of the young person with your skills, experience and strengths.
How long will the young person stay with me?
The length of time that a young person stays with you, as a Supported Lodging carer, will be dependent on the needs and abilities of each young person and on an assessment of their readiness to move on to independent accommodation. For some this may be a few months, while others will need your support for a lot longer.
Your role as a Supported Lodgings Carer
As well as providing the young person with a bedroom you will offer practical and emotional support depending on their needs. For instance, you might be asked to help a young person learn how to cook or improve their budgeting skills.
Before the young person moves in, the length of their stay and a moving on plan will be discussed. These plans can be reviewed and altered as necessary, via negotiation and discussion.
You will also be required to work closely with support workers and social workers, to support the young person and reporting any concerns that you may have.
Who can be a supported lodgings carer?
We are looking for people with a calm, relaxed and friendly attitude; an understanding and respect for young people and an ability to interact with young people fairly, honestly, openly and objectively.
We are looking for people from all backgrounds, faiths and ethnicities. Your age, sexuality, marital status and whether you own a home do not determine your suitability as a supported lodgings carer and as such will not affect your application – as long as you have a spare bedroom and the right approach and attitude towards helping young people we would like to hear from you.
We do require carers to be fit and healthy, to ensure that are able to manage the demands of the role which can be physically and emotionally demanding at times, as well as being highly rewarding.
Fees and allowances
As a Supported Lodging carer you will receive a weekly fee of £218.85, when you have a young person in placement. Fees are paid on a fortnightly basis, in arrears (for example on a Friday you will receive payment for the two previous weeks).
The allowance is designed to cover, rent, bills (excluding use of telephone) and food, as well as a payment in recognition of the support you will offer the young person.
The young person will also receive a £30 direct allowance for their personal expenditure.
Support for supported lodgings carers
As a Supported Lodgings Carer you will have the support of a Permanency Service Social Worker and young people will have their own allocated Social Worker or Personal Advisor who will visit them every six weeks.
Supported Lodgings Carers can develop their knowledge and skills through our carer learning and development programme which is available online or through training provided locally.
You will be able to attend social events open to all carers
Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from the TACT Peterborough Permanency Service.