Leaving care and becoming independent
If you are a young person leaving care and becoming independent there are a number of ways you can get support until you are 26 years old.
Some of the areas you can get support in are:
- Financial Support
- Looking after your health
- Learning and work
You are entitled to support if you have been:
- Looked after
- Accommodated away from home for 13 weeks after your 14th birthday
- Discharged from the looked after and/or hearing system after 16 years of age
How do I get support?
Your Children and Families social worker will put you in touch with a social worker from the Young People’s Team who will help you plan how you will leave care and begin living independently.
Planning your future
Your worker in the Young People’s Team will be working with you well before you leave care. Together you will look at what you will need and talk about your future. From your discussions, a plan will be created. This will include setting up times to review your plan to make sure you are getting all the support you need. The first review will happen 6 weeks after you leave care then every six months following this.
- Continuing Care is where you stay in your current placement even after you have stopped being ‘looked after and accommodated’.
- Supported Lodgings is a stepping stone from leaving care and to independent living. You will have your own room in the carer’s home and the carer will help you learn the skills you will need to live on your own such as cooking and budgeting.
- Supported Accommodation Projects/Temporary Accommodation is offered by number of organisations across Fife. Some of these projects have buildings where lots of people live and where there are always staff on duty to help out. Some projects have shared flats and single person flats. Fife Council can provide limited emergency accommodation in hostels if there are no spaces available.
- Tenancies When the Housing Officer receives information from those supporting you that you are ready to manage a home of your own, you will be considered for a tenancy. Once you are offered a tenancy, this will then become your permanent home. We can support you through the housing application process so you can understand what is expected of you.
When you become a Care Leaver we will discuss your financial support. You might be entitled to some of the following allowances:
- If aged 16,17 a weekly maintenance allowance
- Accommodation costs
- Financial support towards education
- Help with other costs e.g. clothing, travel and glasses etc
- Other emergency payments
- Furnishing and decorating a tenancy
Looking after your health
Your worker in the Young People's Team will help and support you to look after your health. They will help you to register with a doctor, dentist and optician. It is also important that you should feel you can talk about your emotional well-being and mental health, and know where you can get help. Your worker can also help you access local leisure facilities because your physical health and fitness is also important.
Learning and Work
Being in work, education or training is something that we strive to achieve for all young people. We will work with your teachers, careers advisers, youth services and college lecturers to support you. There are also team members who can help you get training and employment opportunities. Your allocated social worker will discuss this area with you and refer you for further supports if required.
For further information and resources go to:
- Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum (STAF)
- Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) - Benefits e.g. Job Seekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance etc.
- Skills Development Scotland (SDS), Employability and Training
- On Your Doorstep Fife - find out what is available in your community in regard to drug and alcohol support, counselling and recreational activities
Useful Telephone Numbers
- NHS 24 - 111
- Police Scotland - 101 or 999
- Emergency Housing - 0800 028 6231
- Welfare Fund - 0300 555 0265
- Who Cares? - 07712872096
- Children’s Rights - 01592 265294
To look at the legal obligations and responsibility that Fife Council has towards children and young people who have been in care go to:
- The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and the more recent Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (part 10).
We are very keen that you let us know what parts of the service work have worked for you and where improvement could be made. If you are not happy with the service please speak to a member of the team and if you are still unhappy, you can speak to the team manager. If you need further support you might wish to contact the:
- "Who Cares" worker (if accommodated in one of Fife’s Residential Homes)
- Children's Rights Information Officer (if accommodated in any other Care Resource)
If you believe that your complaint has not been resolved, you can ask for your complaint to be heard through our complaints' procedure.