Moving towards living independently can be scary for young people, especially those leaving care.

We aim to make this process as smooth as possible with support from your social worker and Personal Advisor. We aim to help you find a home where you feel comfortable, safe and secure and help you to get all your necessary identity documents sorted.

We will discuss what housing is most appropriate for you with you, such as a gradual move at your own pace. This is important so we can find accommodation that will best support your move into your own home.

These plans will be included in your Pathway Plan.

Possible housing arrangements

If you’re living with a foster family, it might be possible to agree on an arrangement where you can stay with them after you turn 18.

You and your foster carer will need to agree to this and you can discuss this with your social worker or Personal Advisor.

Find out more about the ‘staying put’ arrangement on GOV.UK

If you can’t stay in your current home when you turn 18 but you need continued support to prepare for living independently you could live in supported accommodation.

In Medway, we have many different types of supported accommodation which your Leaving Care Personal Advisor can talk to you about and take you to see.

There is a supported lodgings scheme in Medway where you can live with a family in their home.

The family will be able to support you with learning to live independently.

The Shared Lives Scheme can help young people with a disability who want to continue living in the care of a friendly and mature carer. You will also need to meet the adult services criteria for Shared Lives.

You can also register for social housing in Medway from the age of 17. This expresses your interest in housing and will add you to the housing register.

Your personal advisor will discuss what living arrangements would be appropriate for you and support you when you’re ready to take the next steps into your own tenancy.

Help paying for your first tenancy

You’re entitled to up to £2000 to help set up your home with the essentials when you move into your own flat.

Your personal adviser will help manage your budget, they’ll come shopping with you or help order online.

If you’re at risk of losing your accommodation

It’s important that you contact your Leaving Care Team if you’re worried your accommodation is at risk. The sooner we know, the earlier we can offer the advice and support you need.

You can get housing advice at Kingsley House in Gillingham and get temporary accommodation if you need emergency accommodation.

Your Personal Advisor can give you advice on how to stay safe in your home and who to contact for any maintenance issues or issues with neighbours.

Get more advice about leaving home