Care leavers: independent living skills

Practical support is available to make sure you can build life skills including self-care, cooking, shopping, laundry and budgeting.

We want you to be as prepared as possible as you move into adulthood, which is why we will start to assess your skills early, usually shortly after you turn 16, during your first pathway plan. We will discuss all aspects of skills that help in adult life, such as cooking, shopping, laundry and your ability to pay bills and manage a budget, self-care, and personal hygiene. We will then work with you and your residential or foster carers to help you to build your skills in the key areas we feel you need help with. We understand that you won’t always get things right first time, so we will also ensure you have a safety net during transitional periods to ensure you have a safe environment to learn and build your skills in. This may be by facilitating a ‘staying put’ arrangement with your foster carers or putting you forward for supported accommodation where you will have support provided within your tenancy to help you build all the skills you need.

There are also other forms of practical support available which we can refer you for at any time, even if you have already moved on from staying put or supported accommodation. We call this floating support and your leaving care worker will discuss this with you if they feel you would benefit from this.

We want you to have the things you need to live in your own home, so we will talk to you about these and will help you buy you the right things at the right time. You will be able to get items you need from your setting up home allowance to buy essential items for your home, things like a washing machine, TV, bed, carpets or cutlery. We will also consider things such as pictures and soft furnishings to make your home feel more like home, as long as you don’t need this money for other things. 

Getting ready for adult life is a resource which includes worksheets and information to help you build on your own life skills. This is something we or your carers may use together to help you build skills in key areas that you need some help with.