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How ‘Staying Put’ is helping young people make the transition to adulthood

Turning 18 can be an exciting time for young people. They start to enjoy freedoms they have never experienced before – the most obvious example is that they can legally walk into a bar and buy an alcohol drink.

But with these freedoms come the responsibilities. As soon as you turn 18-years-old you are also expected to make life defining decisions over work, training and education. You are expected to apply for jobs, work alongside other adults, manage your finances, etc.

Most of us have the support of our family during this transitional period. They provide advice and support when ‘grown-up’ problems come along – and they also remind us of our ambitions, and help us stay on track, while we enjoy our new found freedoms.

Without the support of a family, however, turning 18 and facing all those responsibilities alone can be overwhelming. This is why the Government revised The Children Act earlier this year to provide an option for young people to ‘stay put’ in their carer’s home, if both parties agree, until the age of 21.

By remaining in a secure and stable environment, we are giving our young people a better chance to develop the skills they require for independent living. The additional time provided can help in so many aspects of their life, such as:

Emotional Resilience
Young people need time to build up self-esteem and confidence as they integrate into adult environments. Young adults need to learn how to manage on their own and discover where they can go when they need support.

Relationships
Young adults are constantly required to build new relationships with other adults, beyond their existing sphere of influence. It can take time to feel comfortable interacting with the professional people we meet in our daily lives or even the neighbours we happen to live alongside.

Budgeting
The ability to budget for bills and everyday shopping is not something that comes naturally to everyone. It is important though that once young people start managing their own finances and bank accounts that they also understand the implications of borrowing and debt.

Healthy eating
Regularly cooking healthy nutritional meals is something we all struggle with from time to time. This is more acute when we are young but we learn to make better choices as we mature.

Managing a home
Cleaning, washing and ironing all become necessary skills when young people start renting homes and going to work. Developing basic DIY can also help create a greater sense of self-reliance when living independently.

Applying for jobs
Understanding your own strengths and areas for personal development are vital when looking for work. Knowing how to develop new skills, to improve employability, is also important when planning a future career.

By giving young people extra time to develop in these areas of life we are providing young people with an opportunity to become more rounded individuals capable of thriving when they move on to independent living.

This is why Perpetual Care Group’s Choices team is now accepting enquiries for our Share Living scheme which is allowing young people to ‘stay put’ until 21. If you would like more information about this please contact our team via website or by calling 0845 1304748.

 

Article Information

Posted on 26 August 2014

Posted in Fostering news / Support for foster carers

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