Fife Council runs a Supported Lodgings Scheme to provide accommodation and support for young people over 16 years of age who are leaving care. All the young people will have been looked after previously by the local authority and will come from a wide range of backgrounds; some may be leaving residential schools, children's homes or foster care; some may have become homeless for a variety of reasons.
The aim of the Supported Lodgings Scheme is to give young people leaving care the opportunity to live in an environment, where they will receive support and guidance to help them develop responsible behaviour and the skills necessary for more independent living.
Responsibilities of Supported Lodgings carers
The young person will be a lodger in the home of the carer and they will not have parental responsibility for him or her.
The Supported Lodgings' carer provides the young person with a variety of food to encourage them to eat a balanced diet.
The Supported Lodgings' carer supports the young person to:
- Develop independent living skills e.g. budgeting, cooking and cleaning
- Attend appointments such as with a doctor and dentist
Each young person is an individual and will need a different level of support. Before the young person comes to stay there will be a preparation period to discuss and share information.
How will I know if I am suitable?
Special qualifications are not required but you'll need:
Some experience of teenagers is useful because we need Supported Lodgings carers who can appreciate the difficulties that the young people have encountered and can offer a sympathetic ear when things don't always go right for them.
Qualities we are looking for include:
- a genuine interest in helping the young person
- an understanding of the difficulties faced by young people
- be warm and caring
- an understanding of a young person's capabilities and limitations
- flexibility and willingness to adapt to new situations
- an ability to recognise and review your own strengths and weaknesses
- a non-judgemental attitude
- an interest in learning and attending training.
The young person will need:
- their own room
- a clean and comfortable environment
- reasonable access to the communal areas of the house - i.e. kitchen, bathroom, living room
Payments for Supported Lodgings carers
Supported Lodgings carers receive a fee that is paid by Fife Council which is paid directly to the Supported Lodgings carer every two weeks.
What support will I get to be a Supported Lodgings carer?
The Supported Lodgings' coordinator will provide most of the support and will keep in regular contact with you during a young person's placement. The frequency of the contact will vary depending on circumstances and is likely to be more at the beginning of the placement or during periods of difficulty. You can discuss any issues about support for the young person with the coordinator.
In normal circumstances you will be in contact with your social worker at least once a month and in times of crisis they will be available to discuss problems within 24 hours. In extreme emergencies, you can contact the social work Out of Hours team.
The placement will be reviewed six weeks after a young person moves in and then every six months. Regular training opportunities will be available and your attendance at business meetings is expected.
How will I be assessed to become a Supported Lodgings carer?
Fife Council has a duty to make sure that Supported Lodgings carers are assessed and approved. As part of the process to become a Supported Lodgings carer you will be asked to share information about yourself and your household.
The assessment and selection process is designed to help you decide if this job is right for you. We are not looking for people who have had problem free lives, but rather ordinary people who have had to work through life's difficulties. If this could be you, we are interested in how you dealt with problems and what you can offer a young person as a result of your experience.
If you decide to apply, other people in your household will also be affected, so their life experiences will also be taken into consideration. As we will be placing young people who are under 18 years old, and can be vulnerable, we are required to make several checks into your background. If you decide to go ahead with a formal application, you will be asked to give consent for the following:-
- Police check regarding previous criminal record of all adults over 16 in the household. Each situation would be decided on its merits. (Only convictions which are relevant to the carer's task would prevent us accepting an application)
- A check with records held by social work
- A letter from your GP giving information about any medical reasons which would prevent you from doing this job
- Two personal references, providing information about your character and suitability to become a Supported Lodgings carer.
How long does it take to become a Supported Lodgings carer?
The process of application to become a Supported Lodgings carer should take approximately three months and will involve regular visits to your home. Following this an assessment report will be completed and shared with you.
You will then be referred to the Supported Lodgings Panel. The panel is responsible for approving Supported Lodgings carers and if you are approved you will begin offering Supported Lodgings to young people.
If you are interested in finding out more information about the scheme then please contact Ulva or Patrick on the details below:
Ulva Gibson - Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator
Phone Number: 07515289659
Patrick Porteus - Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator
Phone Number: 07850399156