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What preparation can you do yourself?

Think about money

There may be funding options available to support your young person.

If your young person is eligible for adult social services support you'll be able to discuss your situation with the Money Advice Unit. They can help give advice on the best options available to you.

Dosh is an organisation that supports people with a learning disability to manage their money. They can support with budgeting, benefits, bills, direct payments and more.

Think about where your young person will live

Moving away from home is a large step for some young people towards gaining independence. If your young person wishes to move out of your family home, you will need to consider what's needed to make sure they are fully looked after:

  • How much independence can your young person attain?
  • What level of care assistance, if any, will they need?
  • Which locations are best?
  • What do you need an independent living service to provide?
  • Who would your young person like to live with?

It's best to plan early as the process can take some time, with long waiting lists for some types of accommodation. Some placements can take between 5 - 18 months.

We recommend you do lots of visits with your young person to see what you like and don’t like. Include the whole family and your care worker in the discussion.

The national Preparing for Adulthood website has an independent living page with case studies on how independent housing has given young people with SEND invaluable life skills.

Think about staying safe online

Your young person may be using the internet for things like playing games, sending messages, connecting with friends, and looking up information.

However your young person uses the internet, it's important to consider how you'll prepare them to keep themselves safe online.

Tips for using the internet safely

Have a chat with your young person, reminding them to:

  • be careful about who they chat to, as you never really know who you are talking to online
  • be careful about sharing information about themselves online or sending photos
  • keep their passwords and bank details a secret - no one should be asking for this information in an email for example. This is called a scam.
  • If someone or something they have seen makes them feel scared or uncomfortable online, tell someone they trust immediately - such as a teacher, parent/carer, or trusted adult.

There are organisations that can help with resources and information on staying safe online:

  • NSPCC - information and tips on how to keep children safe online
  • BullyingUK - advice on what to do if you are being bullied on social media
  • ChildLine - advice on online bullying and keeping your devices safe
  • SaferNet - advice for staying safe online if you have learning disabilities.

What services are available?

Travel training for students

Travel training gives pupils the confidence and skills to travel to and from sixth form or college.

Here's a guide to doing travel training with your young person.

Independent Travel Toolkit Printable Version

If you're a student aged 16 or over, with an EHCP and home to school travel provided by the council, you may be eligible for 1 to 1 travel training coaching. Talk to your SENCO or someone at college about this.

Home adaptations

To help you stay independent you may be able to get special equipment or home adaptations to help at home. A home adaptation might include for example installing a wheelchair ramp to make it easier for you to get around, or a safety rail in the bathroom.

Assistive technology

You could also look into assistive technology to help you access a computer and/or the internet. Devices typically include:

  • Input devices – special keyboards, adapted mouse, switches
  • communication devices
  • visual enhancement devices
  • hearing enhancement equipment
  • mobility aids
  • memory and cognition aids.

YC Hertfordshire's Independent Living Skills programme

YC Hertfordshire runs an independent living skills programme for young people who are in care or are care leavers.

It covers:

  • home cooking skills
  • managing your money and budgeting
  • establishing healthy relationships
  • healthy living
  • managing your emotional wellbeing
  • keeping yourself safe
  • learning DIY skills

When you've completed a subject area you will receive a City and Guilds qualification, which will enhance your CV.

Learn more or apply for this programme.

Care assessments

Every young person is entitled to a care assessment which gives them the opportunity to discuss their situation with a professional who can then offer advice to make the transition to adulthood easier.

Young people can refer themselves for an assessment, or be referred by their family, carer or by a professional.

The assessment reviews whether a young person might need extra help managing day-to-day tasks, and whether they might be able to get support from the local authority.

To request an assessment you can talk to your social worker or contact the 0-25 together service.

Housing options

Living at home with your family

You could stay at home with your family, and have support workers who help you to stay independent. This is called home care.

Support workers can come to your home for 24 hour care, or just a few hours, on a short or long term basis.

This type of care is often provided by home care agencies. You may be eligible for help towards the cost of home care. You'll need to contact the 0-25 together service to request an assessment.

You may need to pay some money towards your care based on your income.

Buying your own home

You can get help with buying a house through a shared ownership scheme. The housing association will buy the property using a grant, and then sell a share of it to you. The rent, service charge and interest payments on your mortgage might be met by eligible benefits.

You'll need to be claiming medium to higher level disability living allowance (DLA) to get this option.

Supported living

You could have your own flat in a supported living community, or rent a room in a shared house with other people who also access support.

The local authority will fund the care that is in your social care assessment. If you earn enough money, you'll need to pay for the rent yourself. If you don't earn enough, you could apply for housing benefit.

Shared Lives

People who need extra support could live in a carer's family home instead of going into residential care. You could apply for housing benefit to meet the cost of rent.

Residential care

Residential care is an option usually reserved for high needs, emergencies, and some types of specific health needs where you'll need 24 hour supported living.

Your main living costs such as rent and food are included, so most of your income will go to pay for your care, with a small amount of money to spend each week on personal items.

Page was last published on: 09/03/2020 11:37:42

0300 123 4043
Hertfordshire County Council customer call centre


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