‘Stepping Stones’ Supported Lodgings
Could you offer a spare bedroom and guidance to a young person?
Many young people are not ready to live on their own. They want independence but also need the safety net of a room to go back to and someone to offer advice..The scheme help people over 16 to develop the practical skills and emotional stability they need to live independently and reach their potential.
How does it work?
You can rent a room in your home to a young person and give them support, encouragement and guidance. They become part of the household and share the facilities.
Some need help with practical tasks like cooking or budgeting, while others will need more emotional support.
It will be easier for them to start work or training or continue in education without the added pressure of moving on their own and do everything themselves.
With your help, they gradually take on more responsibility for looking after themselves until they feel confident enough to cope on their own.
it’s about making young people feel welcome, comfortable and secure, and enjoying their company. It may be that you have the skills to help young people with the challenges they face through raising your own children, or because you have worked with young people.
Video series: getting to know our teenagers and Stepping Stones Providers
Charlotte in Glastonbury
Charlotte had a tough childhood and has shared how the dedication of her Stepping Stones carer Jo changed her life:
Ryan is a member of the Leaving Care Council – a support group for young people who have grown up in care.
He tells us why Stepping Stones is so important.
Annabel and Linda
Annabel 17 and Linda live together in Bridgwater in a Stepping Stones placement. Linda has been a stepping stone carer for many years now, partly with her husband and then as a single carer when he passed away.
Linda shares how great it feels to help Annabel and all the other vulnerable young people she has housed and mentored:
“I really enjoy it. The Stepping stones team are so good at matching the right young people with the right carer and they’re very supportive. Some placements have worked so well for us we’ve had them with us well into their twenties. We still get Christmas cards and photos of the families they went on to have.’”
Partnerships that prevent homelessness and loneliness
Sue in Frome is a Stepping Stones carer and she explained why it works for her: “After my divorce and my kids had gone off to university, the house felt a bit lonely really. I enjoy having the company and a young person around again, plus I love knowing that I’m making someone else’s life better!”
We are so grateful for the hard work and dedication of our Stepping Stones carers. We need to recruit 17 more of them to meet the needs of young people leaving care in the county.
Stepping Stones placements are relatively short; anything from a few months to a couple of years. Stepping Stones carers receive an allowance and the same tax exemptions and relief as foster carers, but also can continue to work alongside their caring role.
Aimee was in foster care herself and now works for Somerset County Council in the ‘Leaving Care’ team. She explains here why Stepping Stones helps…
- To be over 21
- Have a spare room
- To ideally live in or near a Somerset Town to allow young people easier access to study and/or work.
- Enjoy a challenge
Do I get paid?
Carers on the Stepping Stones (supported lodgings) scheme for 16+ young people are paid depending on the level of support needed, which starts from £185 per week plus £27.50 for food, utilities etc., paid by the young person from their allowance.