Supported Lodgings carers give vulnerable young people the opportunity to get into routines and learn independent living skills before they go on to have their own flats. Time spent in Supported Lodgings gives them the chance to find their own way without the immediate influence of other young people living around them.
All young people who need Supported Lodgings have been looked-after by the local authority. They are between 16-21 years old and they may be leaving residential schools, children’s homes or foster care. Many of them find it difficult to move on to living fully independently straight away and some can find themselves homeless.
Fife Council is also responsible for a small number of young unaccompanied asylum seekers. They are young people who also need someone to offer them support and guidance until they find their feet.
The Supported Lodgings scheme is based on a traditional lodging arrangement where individuals or families rent out their spare room. Some young people become part of the family, others like a bit more independence. Placements can be a short stay of only a few weeks or up to two years.
As a Supported Lodgings carer, you will provide a room and a secure base to help a young person who is leaving care to build confidence and develop life-skills.
It is a very flexible way of caring where if you are in employment and you can continue to work if you want to.
You don’t need formal qualifications, but you’ll need:
Some experience of living or working with teenagers is useful so that carers can appreciate the difficulties that the young people encounter and can offer a sympathetic ear when things don’t always go right for them.
The young person will need:
The young person will be a lodger in the home of the carer. The carer does not have parental responsibility for the young person. Each young person is an individual and will need a different level of support. Before the young person comes to stay there will be a preparation period to discuss and share information.
Some of the ways of supporting young people include helping to:
The Supported Lodgings coordinator will provide most of the support and will keep in regular contact with you during a young person’s placement. The frequency of the contact will vary depending on circumstances and is likely to be more at the beginning of the placement or during periods of difficulty.
The placement will be reviewed six weeks after a young person moves in and then every six months. Regular training opportunities will be available to help develop your understanding and insight.
Fife Council has a duty to make sure that carers are assessed and approved. As part of the process you will be asked to share information about yourself and your household and undertake health and police checks.
How long does it take to become a Supported Lodgings carer?
The process of application to become a Supported Lodgings carer should take approximately three months and will involve regular visits to your home. A report will then be completed and shared with you.
The final step is to be referred to the Supported Lodgings Panel where you will be approved and begin offering Supported Lodgings to young people.