Your personal assistant (PA) will help you find somewhere to live when you turn 18. This could be:
- staying with your foster carers
- supported lodgings (similar to foster care where you stay with a family, in their own home, they help you learn the skills you need to live alone, from cooking and budgeting to helping you apply for jobs)
- supported accommodation (such as foyers, self-contained flats and shared houses hostel type accommodation)
- private rented accommodation (this could be taking on the tenancy at your supported accommodation placement)
- social housing (sometimes called council housing, which is provided by government agencies or non-profit organisations on their behalf).
They will support you to get set up in your new home, and depending on your circumstances could help with bills, benefits or furniture.
Social housing in Staffordshire
If you decide to live in social housing, your personal adviser will help you with this. There are 8 different district or borough housing authorities you can apply to live in:
- East Staffordshire
- South Staffordshire
- Staffordshire Moorlands
You might want to apply to the area you were born in or a place where you have built up links. Each district or borough has a different offer. We are working with them because we want you to get the same support and options wherever in Staffordshire you want to live.
Dependant on area, you could receive support in your tenancy from your new landlord. We are working to allow future care leavers to move into a tenancy before they’re 18.
When you are in your new home your PA will help/support you to get set up, this could be help with bills, benefits, furniture etc. and will depend on your circumstances.
Staffordshire’s Independence Programme will also help provide you with the practical tools needed to live successfully on your own.
Young people who are 18+ and at risk of homelessness
If at any time you are in risk of losing your home, you will be supported by your PA to work with your local district/borough council. The district/borough will:
- assess your needs and create a personalised housing plan, this will consider any support needs you may have. You will follow steps laid out in the personalised housing plan
- you would be expected to attend all appointments and access and actively engage with any support that could be available
- in most cases you will be provided with temporary accommodation, this may not be in an area of your choice
- depending on the reason of your potential homelessness you will be in a priority need up to the age of 21
- once you are 21 or over you may have an assessment from the district/borough to assess if you are in priority need. This could be that you are in care
As a care leaver you will have a local connection to every district and borough in Staffordshire up to the age of 21. If you live outside of Staffordshire you will have local connection to the area you now live in if you have lived there for more than 2 years including sometime before your 16th birthday. You should have a local connection to that area if you established links there, such as working in that area. The housing authority will then support you to find suitable accommodation.
If you do not agree with the decision made regarding your housing situation you can request a review with the housing provider, this will need to be done in writing within 21 days of the initial decision.
Additional information for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC)
If you are unable to claim benefits because you are in an ‘excluded group’ due to your immigration status, help available might differ to those not classed as an excluded group.
If you are unable to claim social housing because you are waiting for your decision from the Home Office and therefore have no recourse to public funds, we will provide you with accommodation until the Home Office decide on your claim.
If you are not a ‘qualifying person’ in order to claim benefits we will support, you to become a ‘qualifying person’ or to seek immigration advice where you need to.