Are you able to help young people develop essential life skills and live a full and independent life?
Bridgend County Borough Council is looking for people who can offer short-term placements to young people aged 16 or over under the supported lodgings scheme.
By welcoming a young person into your home, you can provide emotional support and help them learn the everyday, practical skills they will need for adult life.
All you need is a spare room and a safe, supportive family environment along with the patience to teach them simple life skills such as budgeting, learning to cook and do housework, attending appointments, building confidence and finding a home.
The council will provide a placement worker to match a young person to you, weekly payments to cover the costs of hosting a young person and ongoing training and support for the duration of the placement.
You can be in full-time employment, however, the most important thing is that you can care for a young person and work as part of a team. Some supported lodgings providers are former foster carers who want to return to work or prefer working with teenagers. Others have no previous experience in foster care and simply wish to support a young person to become independent.
Providing supported lodgings appeals to many people as it offers a way to help young people while still giving you flexibility in your lifestyle. You may feel many of the same rewards that fostering offers but can also continue with work and undertake other activities.
Michele, a single parent from Bridgend, has been a supported lodgings provider with the council for two years. She has supported three young people to date, two of which have now moved on to live on their own.
Michele said: “I work with adults with learning difficulties and I was keen to help young people and give something back. I work full-time and I didn’t want to change that, supported lodgings suited my personal circumstances.
“Every young person is different and so is the support they need, but I am here to guide them and give them the confidence to develop their skills for everyday life, from washing clothes and ironing, to budgeting and paying bills.
“Anyone can get involved with the supported lodgings scheme. You don’t need to be a parent. You just need to be a patient and sympathetic person who is happy to spend a little time nurturing a young person.
“It can be very rewarding, especially when you first encounter a young person who is lacking in confidence, to see them develop into a confident young adult.”
The council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, Councillor Phil White said: “We are committed to providing high quality care to our looked after young people as they reach adulthood. The supported lodgings scheme offers a vital stepping-stone for young people to transition from the care system to independent living.
“There are now even more opportunities for local people to make a real difference in these young people’s lives. We are keen to hear from anyone who would like to be involved in this vital and rewarding work.”
If you think you can help a young person get to grips with the adult world, get in touch with Bridgend Foster Care team on 01656 642674, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the support lodgings webpage