What are Supported Lodgings?
The Supported Lodgings Scheme provides homes for young people aged 16 to 21 who may be leaving care, or who may not be able to live with their families. The Scheme helps young people develop practical, independent living skills, so that eventually they’ll be able to move on into their own independent accommodation.
In Blaenau Gwent, the Scheme is run by Llamau on behalf of the Blaenau Gwent Council.
Could I provide Supported Lodgings?
Who are you looking for?
We’re looking for people from a variety of different backgrounds. Our young people come from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds, and it’s important we can offer them appropriate homes.
What qualifications do I need?
You don’t need any particular qualifications to be a lodgings provider – it’s much more important that you can make a young person feel welcome and secure. You may have worked with young people before, or you may have raised your own children, but you’ll be interested in the concerns of young people and enjoy their company.
What about my family circumstances?
You may be single, married, or living as a couple. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a house or a flat, but you must have a spare room, and you must be willing to share your home with the young person who comes to live with you.
How does it work?
What will I have to do?
Some young people who are leaving care or who can’t live with their families are just not ready to live on their own. As a Supported Lodgings provider you will help a young person learn the skills they need to live independently. You may need to offer them practical help with tasks such as cooking, budgeting, or how to sort out bills. You may need to encourage them with college work or give them emotional support. Each young person is different, and it’s up to you and them to decide together what kind of support they need.
Will I be able to meet the young person before they move in?
Yes, although the Scheme does have to deal with emergencies sometimes.
Ideally, you and the young person will meet with staff to see how you get on, and to make sure there isn’t any obvious reason why the arrangement won’t work. If all goes well, the young person will gradually move into your home, staying one night, then several, before eventually moving in full time. You can let us know at any time if you feel you don’t want to carry on with the placement.
Sometimes we do have emergencies when we have to find accommodation very quickly. In this instance, it’s unlikely you’ll have an opportunity to meet the young person beforehand, but you won’t be asked to do anything you’re not happy with, and the young person will only move in if everyone is happy with the arrangements. You’ll never have to take emergencies if you don’t want to.
How long will the young person stay with me?
Each young person will have different needs, but your role is to help get them to the point when they feel confident enough to live on their own. This could be anything from two months to two years. It will very much depend on the young person. Their leaving date will be planned well in advance and in agreement with you, the young person and Llamau staff.
What happens if I want the young person to leave?
If your circumstances change, and you want the young person to leave, you can contact us and we’ll find them alternative accommodation.
If the young person is behaving unreasonably towards you or your household, contact us and Llamau staff will discuss the issues involved and find a resolution.
What support will I get?
What training will I get?
Initially, you’ll receive support from Llamau which will look at your role as a Supported Lodgings provider and the safe-guarding of young people.
Following that, there will be ongoing training opportunities about other issues which may affect the young people placed with you, including training requested by you. We understand that you have other commitments but training courses are run periodically throughout the year.
What if I have questions in between training sessions?
We’ll arrange for a Supported Lodgings Scheme worker to visit you regularly at agreed times just to make sure everything is going well, and to deal with any problems which may occur. You’ll also be able to contact Llamau staff during office hours, Monday to Friday, with any questions you may have, no matter how small they seem!!
What do I do in an emergency?
In a major emergency, contact the emergency services by ringing 999. For any kind of emergency not covered by the police, ambulance or fire services, you can ring the Emergency Duty Team for advice on 08003284432. This service is available outside of normal office hours and is staffed by social workers.
What about money?
Will I get paid?
Yes! You’ll receive an allowance for being a lodgings provider of up to £145 per week. Payments will be made directly into your bank or building society account by Llamau Ltd.
The young person living with you will pay an agreed service charge towards the cost of food, heating, lighting, water etc.
Will these payments affect my benefits?
No. Lodgings providers receive an allowance which shouldn’t affect their benefits. Llamau staff will be able to advise you on your particular entitlements.
Will becoming a lodgings provider affect my insurance?
We suggest you inform your insurance company, as taking lodgers may affect your policy for contents cover.
How do you decide if I’m suitable?
If you’re interested in becoming a Supported Lodgings provider, an extensive assessment will be carried out. This will make sure that any young person coming into your home will be safe, that you understand exactly what will be expected of you, and we can identify any support you may need.
What does the approval process include?
- Interviews with you and with three referees named by you to find out more about you as a person;
- Property check to make sure that the accommodation is safe and suitable;
- Police check to find out about previous convictions (only serious criminal convictions will automatically disqualify you);
- Social services check to ensure that you are an appropriate person to work with young people;
Once we’ve got all the relevant information, a panel made up of staff from Llamau will consider your application.
What do I need to do next?
Contact the Supported Lodgings Worker to discuss further.
Supported Lodgings Scheme
Ty Annog Eureka Place
Tel: 01495 301351/07776841021