Your pathway plan
You should have a pathway plan. This is a document created with your social worker that shows how you will move to independent living. It should state:
- how social services will support you and what other support is available
- what will happen if things don’t go according to the plan.
It should include where you will live, what money you will live on, and a plan for your education, training or employment. Social services must review your plan every six months and update it if your needs change.
Your pathway plan should tell you who will help you after you leave care. This is your ‘personal adviser’. Social services should keep your plan up to date and give you a personal adviser until your 21st birthday, or until your 25th birthday if you ask for this, or until your education or training ends if that is later. If you don’t know who your personal adviser is, contact the social services area who looked after you. Or, ring Coram Voice for advice, on freephone number 0808 800 5792.
If your foster family agree, you could continue to live with them. Social services should provide advice, assistance, and support to ensure this arrangement works.
The P2i service
The P2i service offers support for homeless and vulnerable young people aged between 16 to 25 and can help with:
- Emergency accommodation – if you are in a housing crisis and need accommodation at very short notice
- Time to Talk – mediation to help to rebuild connections with family where that is appropriate
- Supported accommodation – a range of accommodation in Taunton, Minehead, Bridgwater, Frome, Street and Yeovil. Generally, the accommodation will be laid out in such a way that you have your own bedroom but share other facilities with other young people. Some of the accommodation is staffed 24 hours a day whilst some is generally unstaffed but with regular visits from support workers
- Support in finding housing, maintaining accommodation, helping with benefit claims, setting up utilities, managing money and so on
- Tenant Accreditation Scheme – to help give young people the knowledge and skills they will need in order to live independently
- Partnership working – close working relationships with colleagues in Children’s Social Care and other agencies (including services that can provide support with mental health, training and education, drug and alcohol misuse and so on)
Finding private rented accommodation
There is a variety of private rented accommodation available throughout Somerset depending on your needs.
If you are on a low income you may be entitled to help with your housing costs through Universal Credit. How much you receive will depend on your age and circumstances.
If you are a care leaver and under 25 or you have spent 3 months or more in a hostel or refuge, you may be entitled to the one bed Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate as opposed to the Shared Accommodation rate.
As a care leaver, you will receive a gold band priority on Homefinder Somerset if you are living in a short-term, supported housing project within Somerset and are deemed ready to ‘move on’ into independent accommodation.