People who can make room in their homes to support teenagers with the challenges of moving into independent living are being encouraged to join a Wiltshire Council scheme.
Supported lodgings is a way of providing young people aged 16 to 21 with a form of independent living within a safe, secure, family environment. Many of the young people will have previously been in foster care and need support to help them prepare for living on their own.
The scheme is looking for people who have a spare room and enjoy working with teenagers. Part of the process is to provide a young person with some practical and emotional support and care and understanding.
The scheme is for people from all walks of life and background and can help young people learn about budgeting, cooking, household tasks and education and employment. Those providing supported lodgings don’t need to own their own home and they can also be in full time employment.
Karina White who lives in the Trowbridge area, has been part of the supported lodgings scheme for 20 years and enjoys helping making a positive difference to young people’s lives.
She said: “I find working with young people can be very inspiring. You can be providing the lodgings from one weekend to two years, but mostly it’s for six to nine months. I like to think I’m having a positive influence on the young people. I still keep in touch with many of them and some still come round for coffee. I’ve been asked to be a birthing partner three times which shows how people value what you do.
“I would say to anyone considering this to keep an open mind and you don’t know how it will be until you try it. It’s a great feeling when you know you’ve done a good job and you’ve helped these young people.”
Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services said: “These are young people with diverse needs and backgrounds who need that helping hand to learn how to live independently. Some of these young people will have been in care or in situations where they can no longer live with their own family but they all need a safe place to live which offers the right balance between support and freedom, so they can develop the skills for independent living.”
Providers are given a generous allowance each week in return for the accommodation and support and there is regular supervision and contact with an allocated social worker. Training is provided and the young person will also have a personal adviser to support them throughout their time in supported lodgings. The supported lodgings team also carry out a number of interviews and reference checks on those looking to be part of the scheme.
To find out more people should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call placement services on 01225 716510.