Supported lodgings providers offer young people aged 16 to 24 a safe family environment to call home whilst developing their independent skills.  

Most young people on the scheme are:

  • currently being looked after by children’s services
  • leaving the care system
  • children or young people needing somewhere to stay during a family breakdown, whilst we work with the family.

In a supported lodgings home, the young person will get family-based support and advice to:

  • get education, employment or training
  • develop the confidence and skills to live independently. 

As a supported lodgings provider, you are not a foster carer.

Instead, the young person will be a lodger in your home.

This means that you can maintain full time employment as you will not have a parenting role to fulfil.

Who can be a supported lodgings provider

Supported lodgings providers can be:

  • in full time employment
  • single
  • a couple
  • a family.

You can be a supported lodgings provider for young people and still do other work.

You must consider the support and supervision the young person needs.

Supported lodgings providers should:

  • like being with young people
  • show an understanding of the issues facing young people who have experienced trauma or disruption in their lives
  • have realistic expectations of the young people living with them
  • have patience and a sense of humour
  • be flexible and willing to adapt to new situations
  • be able to work as part of a team
  • be able to recognise and review their own strengths and weaknesses.

Those applying to be providers will be assessed to make sure they are suitable.

You cannot be a supported lodgings provider if:

  • you or any member of your family has had a serious criminal conviction or a conviction against a child
  • the accommodation is not permanent (for example, short let or seasonal)
  • you have a child of your own being looked after by Medway Council or another local authority.

Housing requirements

The accommodation offered should be a furnished bedroom in a domestic house.

The young person must be able to access facilities including:

  • bathroom including bath or shower
  • cooking
  • laundry.

There should also be reasonable access to public transport.

Roles and responsibilities of the provider

While the young person is living in your home, they will be seen as a lodger and will have their own social worker (if under 18 years old) or personal advisor (if 18 and older).

You will not have parental responsibility and you will not be a foster carer.

Your role is to advise, assist and befriend.

You must also have a genuine interest in the young person and their wellbeing. 

Once the young person moves in

When a young person moves in, an agreement will be drawn up between you (the provider), the young person and the Supported Lodgings Social Worker.

The agreement will make clear the roles, responsibilities, tasks and expectations.

Length of stay

How long the young person will stay will depend on their needs.

The maximum age is 24.

If there are any difficulties, the provider must try to address this before professionals are involved.

When possible, it is best for the young person to move on in a planned way and arrangements will be made for this as the living arrangement progresses. 

If the arrangement breaks down, the provider will need to give 28 days notice.

Help and support

You’ll offer accommodation, support and a family setting to young people who cannot live at home but are not ready to live independently.

Your role is to help the young person develop their life skills.

These young people will have gone through a range of experiences, and some may need your support in making positive choices in their lives.

You’ll help them develop the practical skills and emotional maturity they need to move on to independent living.

The young people we seek placements for come from a wide range of diverse backgrounds.

We welcome people from different cultures and ethnicities.

The most important thing is that you like and respect young people and understand some of the issues they may face and how their experiences may impact them.

You’ll need the time and flexibility to offer advice in a safe and supportive environment.

Everybody is different, but they may need help with:

  • budgeting and managing their money
  • learning to cook and maintain a clean and safe living space
  • maintaining a high level of personal hygiene and presentation
  • developing a daily routine including cleaning, laundry and cooking
  • education, employment and training
  • support from agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau and Benefits Agency. 

An assessment to become a supported lodgings provider can be completed within 2 to 4 months.

Summary of scheme

To summarise, this scheme means:

  • accommodating young people aged between 16 and 24 who are not ready for independent living
  • offering time and flexibility in a safe and supportive environment.
  • offering them a room in your home
  • giving them advice and guidance whilst they prepare to enter independence
  • helping the young person in your care to develop life skills, such as cooking, laundry, cleaning and money management
  • you will not have parental responsibility and you will not be a foster carer
  • your role is to advise, assist and befriend
  • you must have a genuine interest in the young person and their wellbeing.