When Melissa decided to find out whether fostering was for her, she had no idea that Newcastle City Council's Supported Lodgings scheme would ultimately provide the perfect solution.
Offering accommodation and emotional support to young people between 16 and 21 wasn’t something the 36-year-old teaching assistant from Newcastle had considered or even known was an option before she enquired. "I'd always thought about fostering but when I first investigated it, I was frightened by the prospect.
“However, when I talked to the team it became clear Supported Lodgings was something I could definitely do. I've had lodgers in the past, which made it an obvious fit and I was immediately more comfortable with the idea.
“Since registering I've welcomed five young people into my home, including two staying with me right now. It’s gone extremely well and there’s plenty of support should I ever need it. The opportunity to help someone take their next steps into independence is very special and I'd encourage others to consider it.”
The Supported Lodgings Scheme aims to give young adults good quality accommodation together with the security and support that living with a responsible adult can offer. There are lots of reasons why young people need Supported Lodgings. It could be that they've experienced a family breakdown or have recently left full-time care and are not ready to live on their own. The scheme provides a stepping stone for young people to help them learn the skills to live independently.
All those potentially interested in offering Supported Lodgings have to provide is a spare room, two meals a day and some support according to the needs of each young person.
If you could provide Supported Lodgings to a child, enquire here.