When you leave care
Most young people will leave our care at the age of 18.
You must be 16 years-old or over to start using our leaving care services.
Finding somewhere to live
We will tell you about different types of accommodation in which you can live when leaving care.
Deciding where to live and feeling safe in your home is really important. Our Aftercare team will give you support from leaving care, through to enjoying independent life as an adult.
You may be ready to leave your foster home or the supported accommodation where you live, but you might not feel ready to live on your own. If so, we can help you move to family home where you can live with an adult who will help you to develop your skills and live independently, with the support that comes from being part of a family.
If you want to stay with your foster carer after your 18th birthday, our 'Staying Put' arrangement with your carer can help you make a more gradual change from care to adult independence.
Another option for accommodation is St Mungo's hostel in Clarence Road, Grays. Here you will be supported to develop your living skills before you move to your own accommodation.
Our 'Head Start' housing scheme offers a range of accommodation for young people. You may be able to stay in one of these properties and develop your living skills before you take up a tenancy of your own. This will help you to understand what it's like to live independently as an adult.
If you are over 18 years-old and feel ready to live on your own, we will help you find suitable accommodation based on your housing needs. You can get grants to help you furnish and decorate your flat, and your personal adviser will talk with you about these. We can also help you apply for council housing – you will be given a higher priority on the housing register, which means you will have a better chance when you look for accommodation.
We will continue supporting you when you leave care. You'll get:
- regular contact from your personal adviser
- support with your education, health matters, and the costs of education and training
- a review of your Pathway Plan every 6 months, covering your needs and the support you get
- help to manage your money, make savings and be financially independent
Our guide for young adults leaving our care – our 'local offer for care leavers' – offers more support and advice on independent living.
Big Wide World (BWW) guide to independence