Where I can live
When you complete your first Pathway Plan with your Social Worker, you will begin to discuss where you would like to live at 18.
This will depend on your future plans with work and education, how ready you are to live independently, and what is available in the area you would like to live. Below Wakefield Council explain a little about the different options.
You can stay with your carers until you're 18, in your CIC reviews and Pathway Planning you will talk about your plans at 18 and if Staying Put is something that you would like to consider and if it is possible.
Staying put is what is what it says on the tin, you stay living with your foster carers but as you are 18, they are no longer your carers they are there to support you onto independence.
You can stay in staying put until you are 21. If you decide to stay longer this becomes a private arrangement between you and your foster carer.
You can stay in the residential home until you're 18, if everyone agrees it's the best option for you.
"The most vital thing was a great and quiet environment I had to live in while doing my A levels which allowed me to keep myself organised and just enjoy sitting and doing my work in front of the window.” R
“The house is nice and I like all the staff” -MH
What is move on accommodation??
Temporary accommodation for single young people leaving care located in the community with support to maintain a tenancy and help to get ready for the next step of full independent living.
Types of accommodation
In all Next Steps temporary accommodation all the essential fixtures and fittings are provided. They are clean and decorated with furniture, bedding and all your necessary kitchen equipment.
The independent flats are all self-contained so you will have your own kitchen, bathroom and living space. Some of the independent accommodation are bedsits which is where the bedroom living space and kitchen are combined. The majority of the independence flats are in blocks which mean that you will be living with other young people, but only sharing communal areas such as stairs and corridors.
Next Steps have a number of shared houses throughout the district. You have your own bedroom which is your private space. Other areas of the house such as the kitchen, bathroom and lounge are shared with other young people. All of the shared houses have 3 to 4 bedrooms. Most young people who live in a shared house enjoy living with others and it can be a good way to make some great friends.
Next Steps 16+ have shared houses and independent flats at different locations throughout Wakefield, all with excellent transport links to various locations.
What can Next Steps 16+ accommodation offer?
Whether you are living in a shared house or in one of the flats you will have access and be supported by a member of the accommodation team who offer flexible and person centred support, the main focus being tenancy sustainment. They will help you to become ready and able to move into your permanent accommodation, ensuring that you develop the life skills you need to live independently. Some of the accommodation has support staff on site and they can support you in the evenings and weekends too.
Some young people who live in the accommodation have very good independence skills, other young people just need a little bit more support to learn new skills that will help them in the future. Whatever your situation, independent living will probably take some adjusting to, so whether you feel nervous and anxious, or you are looking forward to moving in and starting your pathway to independence, they will help you to get settled in and offer you support that you need.
What will they support you with?
Tenancy Management – being a good neighbour, understanding tenancy agreements, managing bills, basic home maintenance.
Budgeting – Prioritizing payments, managing bills, budgeting.
Cooking – cooking healthily and cost effectively.
Signposting you to other agencies who can help you look after your emotional, sexual and mental wellbeing as well as ensuring you have access to services to look after your physical health.
Support you to access and develop positive community connections.
Support and signpost you to search and apply for training, education, and employment.
If you live in Next Steps 16+ accommodation when you are 16 or 17, Wakefield Council will pay your rent. At 18+, you will be responsible for paying the rent.
Long Term Housing Options
There is a link in the ‘who will help me’ from the Housing Needs Service in Wakefield which advises of the housing options for you as a care leaver in the Wakefield District. This provides the information you need about what is available.
When you're 16, you will complete a Homesearch application so you are on the social housing register in the district or borough where you lived before you came into care. If you'd prefer to register where you lived while you were in care, you need to prove you have local connections to the area.
Housing authorities (district and borough councils) operate a ‘choice based lettings’ system. This means you have to bid for available housing that meets your needs - your worker will help you.
Wakefield Council has a Memorandum of understanding Wakefield District Housing, and your Personal Advisor will need to write a report about your independence skills to enable you to gain priority housing.
Private accommodation is property you rent from a private landlord. You can find it through letting agents, newspaper adverts or word of mouth. Wakefield Council have a responsible landlords list, ask your PA where you can find this.
You'll normally have a 6 month tenancy which may be renewed, as long as you keep to your tenancy agreement.
You'll pay the ongoing rent, which is usually more expensive than social housing. We may be able to help with the deposit - this would be paid back to us at the end of the tenancy.