Have you got the time and space to support a young person as they get ready for adulthood?
Supported lodgings are for young people aged 16-25 years old who are unable to live with their families. These young people will still need the same support that any young person preparing for living on their own would need. Often this means having someone that will listen and help them to make decisions. Sometimes, the young person needs to learn how to cook and look after themselves on a budget.
This type of help is needed to enable young people to get ready for adulthood. Some of the young people who access supported lodgings are leaving care and have lived with foster carers or in other settings. They have chosen to access supported lodgings to prepare themselves for the future and are looking for a step towards this goal.
We ask hosts to provide the support for up to two years, or sooner if you and the young person feel ready to move on.
How can I offer support?
Supported lodgings aims to offer young people stability and a chance to gain essential independent living skills to become a responsible adult and enjoy rewarding lives.
You would need to be able to offer the young person a room of their own, provide emotional support and a chance to learn life skills.
We have a scheme coordinator who would work with you to help you get the best match for your home and lifestyle, and to offer you support.
What is the difference between a foster carer and a supported lodgings host?
The difference between a foster carer and a supported lodgings host is that the supported lodgings host is empowering a young person to live independently. You would not be responsible for the young person in the same way and the level of support you offer is not the same.
To find out more call 01942 487200 and ask to speak to the supported lodgings co-ordinator or email supported lodgings.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What financial support is there?
Providers currently receive £150 per week per placement. This is currently being reviewed and may change.
What if my home is rented or mortgaged?
- Council or registered housing association tenant - In some cases, you can still house a young person without any problems. If unsure, ask your housing provider
- Private tenant - Check the terms of your tenancy. If unsure, ask your housing provider or Citizen’s Advice Bureau
- If you have a mortgage - Check with your lender to see if you need their permission. Make it clear you will be living there and sharing the home with a young person rather than offering them a tenancy
- Home owner - If you're a freeholder, you can have whoever you like living with you. If you own leasehold, check the terms of the lease in case you need permission.
Do I pay tax on the money from Wigan Council?
The ‘Rent a Room Scheme’ lets you earn up to £7,500 (from 2016) per year tax-free from letting out furnished accommodation in your home. If you earn more than the threshold, you have to complete a tax return.
Will I have to increase my insurance?
You'll need to inform your insurance company in writing that you intend to provide supported lodgings to young people. They will inform you if this affects your insurance.
What if I have criminal convictions?
This does not necessarily stop you from becoming a supported lodgings provider. The type of offence and whether it would be relevant to safeguarding a young person placed in your home will be assessed. Anyone living in your home who is over the age of 18 would also need an enhanced DBS check.
How will I know if the young person is a ‘match’ for living in my home?
The supported lodgings coordinator will know a lot of information about the young person and about you. The assessment process helps us to fully understand your lifestyle and what would be realistic. The young person will be introduced to you and the arrangement will only go ahead if both you, the young person, and supported lodgings coordinator are comfortable.
What if I need help or have concerns once a young person is placed?
You will get regular visits from your supported lodgings coordinator who will also be available by phone during office hours to offer support. Wigan Borough’s fostering team also offers a ‘duty service’ during working hours, which means that if the coordinator is not available, a social worker or support worker will be able to help you. Alternatively, you can contact the out of hours service on 01942 487200.
Are there any meetings or reviews of the placement?
Any meetings we have will be arranged around your commitments and will help to make sure the placement is working and that all the support you and the young person needs is in place.
Will there be training?
We are developing a specific package of training for supported lodgings providers to ensure that you have the skills you need. In Wigan, we offer a rolling programme of training courses each year for foster carers, staying put hosts and supported lodgings providers. There is a varied timetable of opportunity and what you need to complete will be identified with your supported lodgings coordinator.