Supported lodgings

Supported lodgings is a stepping stone to provide young people, age 16+ years who are leaving care or homeless, with safe accommodation and support while they develop the skills to live independently.

We are looking for people with the right attributes to take on the rewarding challenge of inspiring young people and helping them learn the life skills to move forward positively. You will help them with:

  • Accessing further education, training, apprenticeships or employment
  • Practical skills such as food planning, cooking, cleaning and laundry
  • Financial management and budgeting
  • Accessing housing and benefits
  • Confidence building, citizenship and interpersonal skills
  • Health management

As well as practical skills, supported lodgings providers offer emotional support around relationships, self-esteem, family dynamics and advocate on behalf of the young person.

What you will need

To be a supported lodgings provider you will need:

  • A spare room or annexe at your home (but you don't need to own your home)
  • A genuine commitment to making a difference to a young person's life
  • The ability to engage with young people
  • An understanding of the issues and challenges young people face
  • The willingness to work as part of a wider support team
  • Confidence, patience, tolerance, flexibility, positivity and a good sense of humour
  • To be a good role model and mentor
  • The ability to help a young person learn practical and emotional skills
  • To be over 21 (there is no upper age limit)

Experience as a parent or working with young people would be useful but is not essential. You can continue to work while providing supported lodgings and, as with fostering, we welcome applications from the whole community. Your sexuality, marital status or culture will not affect your application.

What we offer

Inspiring young people and helping them become independent is a highly rewarding challenge but it's not one we would expect you to do alone or for free.

We offer:

  • Weekly payments to cover rent, food and utilities
  • Support from a dedicated supported lodgings provider social worker
  • An excellent programme of local training to extend your skills
  • Opportunities to meet with experienced supported lodgings providers
  • Membership to the Fostering Network

 

How to apply and the fostering process

 

Supported lodgings case study: Julie

Julie was initially a foster carer but has been a supported lodgings provider for the last 14 years.

What is supported lodgings and what is unique about the role?

Supported lodgings is about helping young people make that great leap into independence. For many of us from stable families, we had parents in the background for support. The teenagers we support don't generally have that and this is their opportunity to get things right in a safe environment - from cooking and budgeting, to managing their own front door and not letting themselves be taken advantage of.

What do you enjoy about being a supported lodgings provider?

What I enjoy is seeing young people progressing and making the most of opportunities that present themselves. They don't always get it right and need that person who they can come to when there's something they need help with. It's so rewarding when they achieve personal goals, whether in education, work or successful relationships.

What is your greatest achievement with a young person?

This is a difficult one but I guess it would have to be a young lady placed with me at the age of 14 in a foster placement. She had average school grades at best, minimal family support, was angry and, in truth, alone in the world at that point. After sixth form, we continued to support via supported lodgings and saw her attain a first class honours degree. She has recently been headhunted by a major international company to a senior marketing position. I guess this is the dream outcome, however, we are just as delighted for another guy who tried university twice and failed, but has finally found his vocation in life as a chef.

What would you say to someone new who is thinking of offering supported lodgings?

Supported lodgings can be all things and, invariably, with each placement will come times of real frustration and euphoria. This is about letting teenagers find their feet in a safe environment - you need to be supportive but not controlling, and understand the challenges that young people face. Without doubt you will need patience, the ability to keep calm in any situation and above all a sense of humour. It is so rewarding and you get a great sense of personal achievement.

You can also read Virginia's story.