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Helping care leavers prepare for independent living

Solihull Council is looking for residents to give a home to young people leaving care and help them prepare for life on their own.

The Supported Lodgings scheme is one of the accommodation options the Council wants to offer care leavers, aged 16-25, who are not quite ready to live on their own.

People who sign-up to the Supported Lodgings scheme let a room in their home to a young person, provide them with meals and help them develop skills such as cooking, cleaning and budgeting. Hosts get payments that reflect the cost of accommodating and supporting a young person, currently £215 per week.

Training and support is provided to help hosts support young people and deal with the issues facing them. Young people also have their own support worker to help with claiming benefits, employment, training and education.

There are no restrictions based on age and hosts can be single, married or living as a couple. All hosts need is a spare room, patience, compassion and understanding of young people and their needs.

Sophia Nasreisfahany is a Supported Lodgings host and has had three young people placed with her.  Sophia explained: “As a host it is really fantastic to build positive relationships with young people.  It involves working with the young person face to face to develop their skills and help them to be better equipped for adult life.  Seeing the difference it makes to young people is wonderful.

“I have had a lot of support from the Council from the very beginning particularly about the process and how it works.”

Solihull Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Skills, Councillor Ken Meeson said: “Supporting a young person in this way is an exciting and rewarding experience.  As a host you will be the bridge between care and independent living, helping the young person develops the life skills necessary to prosper in the world.”

Hosts are subject to health and criminal background checks and must be able to provide references.

For more information on being a Supported Lodgings host email: atchousingofficer@solihull.gov.uk or call: 0121 717 1473 (9-5pm Monday to Friday).

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