Warwickshire leads the way to help care leavers into homes of their own

A pioneering new project to help young care leavers into sustainable, long-term housing is rolling out across Warwickshire following a successful pilot in Stoke-on-Trent.

The House Project is a programme of work funded by the Department for Education, with schemes being set up in selected locations across the country, led by Warwickshire as well as Islington, Rotherham, Doncaster and Oxfordshire.

The scheme is currently supporting ten young people who are in the process of leaving foster care. Care leavers are often at a disadvantage when it comes to finding their own home as they may not have the same support network or life skills as people who have never been in care. The House Project aims to change this by not only collaborating with the young people to refurbish and decorate their new home but also developing unique training and support packages for each individual to make sure they are able to stay in control of their housing circumstances.

Councillor Jeff Morgan, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Children and Families, said: “Supporting people to be safe, healthy and independent is really at the core of our ethos as a local authority, so I’m extremely pleased that we are able to give young people in Warwickshire this opportunity to thrive in their own homes. The House Project also recognises that providing a physical house is not all that is required for these young people, and that by giving social support and teaching valuable life skills we can make sure they have the resilience to maintain their wellbeing and independence in the future.”

During August 2018 the young people participating in Warwickshire’s House Project met as a group for the first time for a picnic and to discuss what they want to get out of the scheme and what independent living means to them. Over the next six months young people will be meeting weekly to complete their chosen induction topics. They will work together on Independent Living Skills and the staff team will support them to ensure they are ready to move into their house.