If you could offer a home to a young person aged 16 and above, Dorset Council would like to hear from you.
The authority is looking for people to become Supported Lodgings providers.
Many carers join the scheme to help young people on the road to independence, while still having flexibility in their own lifestyle.
People do not need to own their own house and they can be in full time employment and still provide Supported Lodgings.
Some young people go on to be part of the family; others prefer a bit more independence.
Mel who lives in Wimborne has given shelter to many young people over the last decade.
As well as working part-time and bringing up her own two children, she wanted to make a difference to young people leaving care.
She said: “Being a supported lodgings provider can be challenging but also very satisfying. Seeing someone grow in confidence and nurturing them on the road to independence is a big reward and makes it all worthwhile.
“Of course there are ups and downs along the way, but that is life. I have gained many happy memories, and I love to see how the people in my care have matured into responsible adults with their own families.
“My last lodger was a 16-year-old girl, Lisa, who had a difficult time growing up and she stayed with me for several years. There were tears along the way as she struggled to complete college but is now a fine young lady with plans to study at university next year as well as caring for her own young child and is doing well. After a couple of years in my family, she was able to move to her own accommodation.
“We stay in touch and meet up once a week for coffee, shopping and just catching up, and it’s lovely to see her flourishing into a young independent woman.
“I appreciate all the little gestures from the people I have housed over the years. Many of them stay in touch.
“I am also grateful to the team at Dorset Council who are always on hand if any problems occur. They are very supportive, and really take care to match the family with a suitable young person.”
Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset Council portfolio holder for Children, Education and Early Help, said: “Becoming a Supported Lodgings provider is an opportunity to transform a young person’s life. Some of them will need help with practical tasks such as cooking, budgeting or shopping economically. Others will need emotional support.”
You will receive a fixed rent, a contribution to the household costs and a fee from the Supported Lodgings service as well as support from a dedicated team and invited to training events.
If you can provide a young person leaving care with a home, please contact the Supported Lodgings Team Tel: 01305 225 815 / or 07881 860 791.
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