Homestays is a home environment for young people aged 16-25 years. The Homestays Providers are not foster carers and do not follow fostering regulations though they maybe previous foster carers. The support they are required to give is 7-10 hours of care in one week. This maybe in showing a young person how to cook, budgeting or in fact anything that constitutes supporting a young person to become practised in independent living skills. Both the Homestays provider and the young person sign up to a Licence agreement that states the household expectations. This is a contract which is used to set out the expectations of the Homestays provider and the young person and is a binding contract.

The young person must be in education training or employment.

Where a Homestays provider is unable to accommodate a young person they may be considered for a support element for a young person who is living independently but requires some skills to maintain their accommodation.

Young people considered for a Homestays placement are 16+ young people who

  • Have been in a Foster placement and wish to move to a more independent placement.

  • Adoption Breakdowns (16-18)

  • Children in Need (16-18)

  • Support a Shared Lives transition

  • Looked After young people who may have struggled in independence.

Homestays providers are offered the opportunity to develop their skills through the Fostering Service training programme and to be involved in support groups.

They are monitored and supervised by the Homestays Advisors.

Staying put is for Foster children wishing to remain with their foster carers after their eighteenth birthday. It is advised that the young person should be in education, training or employment to benefit from the opportunity which can last up to three years. A young person will enter into a Licence agreement and receive a similar support of a Homestays Provider. The placement will be negotiated if the young person goes to university or joins the armed forces.

Telephone call to Homestays Advisor when young person is 16

Homestays Advisor discusses with the young person and Foster Carer the background to Staying Put and the Financial breakdown. Suggests that they refer to the Homestays website for guidance. They will attend reviews to ensure support is in place during transition.

Should the young person require Adult Services - then a Shared Lives Supervisor will support the transition between the ages of 16-18 and attend reviews to support transition.

When the young person is about to turn 18 the Homestays Advisor will support them with their Housing Benefit Claim, the Leaving Care worker will support them with their income support or job seekers claim. The Homestays Advisor will meet with the Foster carers and young people every 6-8 weeks and more frequently should they need support.

Shared Lives is a Staying Put arrangement that is funded by Adult Services and sometimes works in conjunction with the Homestays advisors to support a smooth transition for young people and their Foster carers.

Referral to Homestays Advisor from Leaving Care, Social Worker or Child and Family worker/ Form found on website.

Homestays Advisor meets with young person to see if they can match for an appropriate placement. The Young person should be keen to engage in Education, Training or Employment.  This is an important stage and one where everyone must be honest. If there is a match and a suitable provider is available then introductions will be made and a planned placement will be secured providing everyone is happy to proceed. Each placement is based on the needs of the young person and is reviewed regularly.