Local Offer for Care Leavers: Housing and accommodation

Information about housing and accommodation that is available for Care Leavers.

As you get closer to 18, we will talk to you about the different types of housing and accommodation that are available to best meet your needs. Part of our role is ensuring that you can be financially stable as you will be expected to pay for your accommodation.

If you feel worried about making rent payments or being a good neighbour, you should speak to your Social Worker or Personal Adviser. The sooner we begin supporting you, the easier it will be to get on top of things.

Skills4Life

Skills4Life is a group programme you will need to attend in order for us to nominate you to eventually move into your accommodation. You should ask your Social Worker or Personal Adviser to nominate you onto the programme. Areas covered include: cooking and safety in the home; essential first aid; MyBank (where you learn all about budgeting and finance); managing your tenancy; internet safety; community safety and the Police; health and good hygiene. 

Staying Put

For young people who have been living in a foster placement, there may be the opportunity to continue living with their foster carer beyond their 18th birthday.

If you are continuing to stay with your foster carer it will be because you still need quite a lot of support for a variety of reasons; a semi independent living place has been recommended or identified but is not quite ready for you; or you’re continuing in education. This will no longer be a foster placement but a “Staying Put” arrangement.

If you staying with your carer you will be expected to contribute to the costs of your room in the same way that you would if you were living in a hostel or your own accommodation. Your Social Worker or Personal Adviser will be able to advise you further about this, or you can ask for a copy of the Staying Put Policy.

Semi Independent Accommodation

Semi-independent accommodation is generally provided through hostels, either managed by us or a housing association. To access this, you will have been referred to the Semi Independent Accommodation Review Group (SIARG) by your Social Worker or personal adviser. They will arrange for you to be interviewed by members of SIARG so that a decision can be made about what is the best place for you to move into.

The majority of places offered by SIARG are within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. However, for some young people, remaining in the Borough will not be possible for a variety of reasons, for example, you need more specialist support, or you have to move at short notice to another hostel, or it’s not safe for you to live in the borough. In these circumstances you will be offered another hostel outside of the Borough.

When you live in semi-independent accommodation, we will support you to develop your independence skills, preparing you for independent living. This kind of accommodation is only available to those who are aged 16 and over.

When you live in semi-independent accommodation you will have your own, lockable room but may have to share other facilities such as kitchen and bathroom. There will be key-workers at the accommodation who are there to work with you to achieve your independence goals. Your Social Worker or Personal Adviser will be able to advise you further about this.

Independent Living

When you are ready, we will support you to secure independent accommodation. Usually, this will be a studio or one bedroom flat whereby you have signed a tenancy or license agreement meaning that you are responsible for paying rent, being a good neighbour and keeping the accommodation clean, tidy and in a good condition. 

When this decision is made you can apply to be included on the Borough’s housing register, after which you can bid for properties included on the register.  Care leavers in Kensington and Chelsea are afforded a priority status for social housing and you can expect that you will be able to move into your own home within 12 months of being nominated onto the register.