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Housing

There are different kinds of housing with support and you will have a large say on where you wish to live once you have left care. Your social worker and personal adviser will visit you and where you choose to live will be agreed in your pathway plan.

If you are at university and require help with the cost of accommodation during holiday time, we will support you with this.

Staying on with foster carers is referred to as staying put and you can stay with your foster carer until the age of 21, if agreed. This will not affect your ability to obtain permanent tenancy and we have a range of different kinds of supported housing options that are available depending on your need.

Click on the sections below to find out about different housing options once you are 18 and are being supported by the Care Leavers 18+ Service.  If you are under 18 and would like to find out more about foster care, please click here.

Independent Housing

It is important to know that you will need to be in education, training or employment before you will be considered for independent housing. You will also need to show us that you can budget, cook and keep your home tidy.

If you are living out of county we will inform you about your housing options.

When you are in independent accommodation, you are responsible for yourself and for paying your bills, including Council Tax. You will need to work with your personal adviser who can help you keep on top of bills and paying your rent, as well as how to abide by your tenancy agreement. If you do not keep to your tenancy agreement or pay your rent, you may be at risk of eviction and homelessness.

We will support you with applying so you can access registered social landlords, also known as housing associations. If your application is successful, you will get a tenancy of your own.

We will help you with a setting up home allowance of £2000.

We have a rent deposit and rent guarantee scheme that can be accessed by care leavers, enabling them to seek housing in the private rented sector. Speak to your personal adviser about the scheme.

Do not be in a rush to get your own property as independent living is hard, so make sure you make the right choice for you.

Read our Accommodation booklet to find out more about renting privately.

Staying Put

Staying Put is where a young person who is in care continues to live with their foster carer(s) after their 18th birthday. Staying Put is available to a young person who is ‘eligible’ – someone who has spent 13 weeks or more in care and is still in care when they turn 18. Many young people have already been Staying Put in the past, but the law changed in May 2014 so that Kent County Council must support such arrangements if it is in the young person’s interest and the carers want it to happen. This means you can continue to live with people you know and who have supported you as you have grown up, if you and they want, and it’s in your best interests. It means that you do not have to leave your former foster carers until you are ready or you are 21-years-old. It can help you to get into, or continue, in education and training or give you time to sort out the issues you face as you move into adulthood. You will be a lodger in your foster carer’s home. You will be renting a room and will be expected to pay a contribution for your keep. Arrangements for Staying Put should be discussed when your Pathway Plan is created and then at each review to ensure that it is still meeting your needs.

Click here to read more about Staying Put in Kent.

Keywork Sessions

For a period, you will have a key worker when you get your permanent home whose job will be to help you settle in.

We will undertake a pathway plan review when you have been in your new home for 28 days and at least once every 6 months after that.

We will provide you with a personal adviser who will visit within a week of you moving into your new home, and then at least every 2 months after that. They will assist and guide you with housing issues. We can arrange for a maintenance person to offer you advice and guidance about your property and help you with DIY.

Supported and Semi-Independent Accommodation

This is a supportive accommodation package for care leavers who are ready for independent living but require or would like extra help and support. In Kent, there is a range of housing with support. For example, some accommodation might be in shared houses or in single flats. There is also the possibility of living within a family type environment. Adults will be available to support and guide you all or part of the day. These people will be able to help you access local services and connect with your local community. They will help you if you have any problems settling in. You will be expected to abide by the house rules.

Many 16 and 17 year olds will remain in foster care. However, some may live in supported lodgings or semi-independent accommodation. This is something that will depend on individual circumstances.

University Accommodation in Holiday Periods

You will receive a student loan to cover the cost of your university rent during term time. However, whilst you are at university, we can pay your holiday accommodation rent if there is a need. The amount paid will be agreed by the head of the Care Leavers 18+ Service.

Moving placement and school/college

We will aim to keep you safe in one place and if you do move we will try to make this planned.

If you must change school/college, we will make sure you are well supported with this transition and we will seek to adhere to the principles of staying close.

Ongoing housing support

Your personal adviser will assist and guide you with housing issues and if you live in supported housing you will have a support worker who will work with you to help you build your independence skills.

Your personal adviser may refer you to a floating support worker if you live in your own flat who will help with your personal life and practical life skills, such as; budgeting.

We have a rent deposit and rent guarantee scheme that can be accessed by care leavers, enabling them to seek housing in the private rented sector.