Who provides housing for young people, and why? What do they get out of it?
Here are some stories from people like you who decided to have a young person age 16 to 18 come and live with them.
Jemma and Stuart
"The rewards are that you gain these extra people in your family."
The process of getting approved involved regular visits from a social worker. They came to our home and spoke to us about our lives from childhood and about our family and life experiences. If you go ahead with the process, after several months you go before a panel to be approved. In our experience, it wasn’t as daunting as it sounds.
The rewards are that you gain these extra people in your family. You build a relationship with the young person and see them through difficult times.
I have raised my own children while doing this. The impact on them has varied depending on the young person. My eldest daughter has made a life-long friend. Some of the young people keep in touch after they have moved out. Being involved in supported lodgings has made my own children appreciate our family even more.
"This makes me feel it’s all worthwhile - the young person has found a goal in life."
Having a young person move into your household after your own children have left gives you a lift and keeps you on your toes. It can be a challenge with some of their problems, but trying to sort them out gives you satisfaction, especially when you see good outcomes.
Teaching and helping them cook, clean, and doing their laundry can be amusing - some of them have no idea how because they have never had to do these things before.
Sharing my skills and hobbies has helped. My interest in classic motorcycles was a huge success with one young person - he learnt to ride and maintain his bike and went on to restore his own classic car.
He tells me everything he has done and wants to show me his progress. This makes me feel it’s all worthwhile - the young person has found a goal in life.
There are some down sides, where drugs or alcohol are involved and it is a challenge to point them in the right direction. Overall it gives me great satisfaction that I have helped out a vulnerable young person. Hopefully they will go on to succeed in life.
"I love being part of the young people's lives."
During my 15 years providing supported lodgings I’ve had a lot of highs and a few lows.
The big issue our young people face today: drugs and alcohol. These leave them open to abuse. I don’t feel that pregnancy is the end of the world, but best avoided if possible, so I will support the young person in getting birth control if this is what they want.
There can be some very late nights when they “forget” to come home and you have to follow the process for missing young people. At times you may get some verbal abuse for “interfering” in their lives.
Despite the lows, I love being part of the young people's lives.
The highs have been watching a very frightened young person blossom into a confident young woman. Six years later I met her with her husband and baby daughter and she told me about the nice home they were buying.
Also, seeing a girl fall apart and cry at night, but get up and take on the world every morning until she finally found her self-confidence, because of your support.