Dorset Council is asking for more people to come forward and support children leaving care.

The Supported Lodgings scheme is designed to help young people who are leaving care homes to experience a safe transition into adult life.

The council say they want to ‘end the cliff edge of care’ which can happen to young people when they turn 18 and try to fend for themselves.

With over 500 care leavers between the ages of 18-25 across the county, the council wants members of the community with space to accommodate them to step forward.

Being in a safe and secure environment allows for young people to learn and develop skills and become more confident in themselves as they enter adulthood.

Katie has been living with a Dorset Council Supported Lodgings carer for the past three years.

She said: “My experience in supported lodgings has been really positive and it has taught me a lot.

“I’ve learnt lots of things that have grown my confidence and made me feel ready for moving on. I’ve made a great connection with my supported lodgings provider, and she has supported me through anything I’ve needed help with.” 

A Supported Lodgings carer is not required to provide full-time care and can be done whilst working or leading a busy lifestyle.

Sharon Cooper, age 56, has provided lodgings for a young person whilst still running her own business, looking after 10 people between the ages of 16-25 for over 10 years.

She said: “I enjoy helping the young people achieve their goals or aims in life no matter how big or small, and watching them grow and develop as people. When you provide Supported Lodgings, you have a fantastic support network around you, including help from Dorset Council’s Fostering service and other Supported Lodgings providers.” 

All Dorset Council Supported Lodgings carers will receive training and support and are paid an allowance to assist with day-to-day living costs.

The scheme is aimed at young people between the ages of 16-25.

Cllr Byron Quayle, Dorset Council portfolio holder for children, education, skills, and early help, added: “We want all our young people to be prepared for adult life and to thrive and have the best outcomes.

"We are looking for people from all walks of life and backgrounds to become Supported Lodgings carers. If you have a spare room and the desire to help a local young person, then Supported Lodgings could be a brilliant option.” 

To find out more visit the and head to the children and family section.

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