We are committed to making sure that once you leave our care, we will help you to find suitable accommodation that meets your needs. We know not all young people will be ready to live in their own tenancy straightaway.
Your social worker and PA will have worked with you to agree plans for when you are no longer in care. This will include plans for your accommodation and will be written into your Pathway Plan.
Check out the different options below:
Before leaving care we hope that you have spent time in our training flats to help you prepare for living on your own. Your social worker or PA can discuss this with you.
Many young people will remain in care until they are 18 years of age. If you leave care before 18 your social worker will need to know you are ready to leave care and agree that it is the best plan for you.
If you are aged 16 or 17 years and have left care, and are not living with family or friends, you are likely to live in supported accommodation. This is a way of ensuring you get the support you need.
Many young people will leave care at 18 years of age. Whenever you leave care, there should be a clear plan, which is part of your Pathway Plan, about where you will live and the support you will need to meet your needs.
Your social worker or PA will explore a number of accommodation options with you. These are likely to include:
We know that if you have been in a settled foster home, the best plan may be for you to remain living there until you have finished education or achieved other goals that will help you to move smoothly to adulthood and independence. This may also include having somewhere familiar for you to return in holiday periods if you are at university.
If you want to remain living with your carers this should be possible if your carers are willing and able to have you continuing to live with them and it is in your interest to stay.
If it is decided that you can remain with your carers, you may be able to stay living there until you are 21 years old. This will be reviewed at least every six months and will depend on the arrangement being part of the 6 monthly reviews of your Pathway Plan.
Housing Benefit will be used to contribute towards some of your ‘rent’ costs. This is needed for you to remain living with your carers. If you are eligible to receive Housing Benefit you must pay all of the Housing Benefit to your carer.
In addition to this, you will have to pay a weekly contribution to your carer from your wages, your Personal Allowance, or Job Seekers Allowance / Income Support, Universal Credit, student grant or loan. We will pay the remaining balance to make up the total 14 payment of your ‘rent’ to the carer.
If you are in higher education, you will be expected to make a greater contribution to the weekly accommodation cost of the ‘staying put’ arrangement from your grants and bursary (in addition to your weekly contribution).
Your foster carers will need to become approved ‘supported lodgings providers’ and their role and your relationship will change. The new arrangements will be discussed with you and recorded in an agreed plan.
If it is not possible for you to stay with your carer, but it is felt that you are not ready to move into your own place, your social worker or PA will discuss what other options are available to you. This may include living in supported lodgings.
Supported lodgings are similar to ‘staying put’ with your carers but it means you move somewhere new to live. You will still be living in a family home and having the additional support that comes with being part of a family. You will need to pay a contribution of £25 (2016 – 17 rate) every week from your Personal Allowance, Job Seekers Allowance, Universal Credit or wages as your contribution towards your ‘rent’ and pay all of your Housing Benefit or a proportion of your student loan or grant to your carer.
If you are working and earning an income, you will be expected to make a contribution towards your ‘staying put’ or supported lodgings arrangement. Your social worker or PA will discuss this with you.
This is where you live with other young people in similar circumstances to yourself. This is usually a shared property in which you will have your own room 15 but might have to share communal areas e.g. kitchen, bathroom. This type of accommodation usually has staff who support young people on site and can provide 24/7 support. Shared housing is funded by Housing Benefit and usually a small contribution by you.
If you want to rent a private property, it is likely your landlord will require a deposit and rent in advance or sometimes a guarantor before they will agree to a tenancy. The team manager will consider lending you the advance for the deposit and rent if:
• There are exceptional circumstances i.e. this is the only option available at the time for you.
• A rental deposit protection scheme is used by the landlord.
• You agree to return the advanced deposit and rent within a year of the payment being made or by your 21st birthday (whichever is latest).
How and when you will pay this back will be agreed, in writing, at the time with your PA before we will agree the deposit / rent advance. The Team Manager will usually only act as a guarantor for university accommodation, if there is no one else available.
When you are ready for your own tenancy you can (with our support) apply to Solihull Community Housing or your local Housing Department if you live outside of Solihull. You will need to register your application and will be given a pin number which will allow you to bid on line for properties which you are deemed eligible for. If successful, you will be invited to view the property. When you visit, please take someone with you to the viewing. It is always helpful to have a second pair of eyes.
If the property is suitable, your PA will help you to move in and sort out furniture etc.
You may feel that ‘staying put’ with your carers, or moving to supported lodgings or your own tenancy will not be right for you at 18. Being involved in reviewing your Pathway Plan will give you the opportunity to talk with your social worker or PA about this. Your Social Worker or PA will talk with you about the options you have, and provide support to you in finding somewhere to live that will meet your needs.
If at any point, below the age of 21, you become homeless we will work with you and the local Housing Team to find you a place to stay.