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Where will I live?

When you are 16 or over, chances are you will be preparing to leave care and thinking about where you might live.  It’s really important for you to think about what kind of support you might need.  Some young people will keep living with their foster carer until they are 18.  Some young people move sometime from when they are 16 to 18 to a place where they have more responsibilities.  This is called semi-independent living.  Sometimes it can sound great to think of living on your own or with other young people – but remember that with this freedom come loads of responsibilities like cooking, limited money, cleaning, paying bills… We need to make sure you are ready to live on your own.  There are lots of options for this! 

Semi-independent living

One way for you to get ready for living on your own is for you to move into what is called semi-independent living.  This is a chance for you to move somewhere where you don’t have a ‘foster carer’, but where there is still some adult support – maybe a key worker or owner of the house.  Rremember, a move to semi-independent accommodation will only happen with a lot of discussion between you, your social worker and your independent reviewing officer.  We need to make sure you will be able to cope with the increased responsibility for your self (because you might be studying and will need to pay bills and cook for yourself).  We need to make sure you will be safe!

There are different types of semi-independent accommodation:

  1. Supported Lodgings - This is when you will live somewhere similar to a foster carer’s house; where you are have a higher level of adult support.  Sometimes this can be the foster carer’s house that you might be living in already, but you will have more independence and expected to do more for yourself  (like cooking, managing your money etc).
  2. Supported Accommodation- We have a range of supported accommodation options for young people.
    1. A Unit - this can include living in a Unit that is just for young people who are looked after.  There are staff on site 24 hours a day to help support the young people living there, and you would all have a key worker who would meet with you regularly.  Some young people might see their key worker more often than others depending on their needs.
    2. Share-house accommodation -  this is when you live with other young people who are looked after but you will have your own bedroom and share kitchens and bathrooms.  Usually there is no adult living there, although sometimes a key worker will visit the house to make sure the young people are okay.

If you are living in this accommodation we will support you with a basic level of financial support.  Just ask your Social Worker if you want to know how much this is.

Can I return to live with my family?

When you turn 18 you can move back to live with your parents or other family members if you want to, and if they agree to this.  It is important that you think about this very carefully to make sure that you are ready to do this and that you will be safe.  Sometimes it helps to talk to your Social Worker or a trusted friend or adult about this – as it is a big decision.

If things don’t go well for some reason if you do move back to your family, you will be entitled to some support from our Leaving Care Service – you just need to let us know.