We know you can get bogged down with too much information, hopefully having it here will reduce the amount of legwork finding the information that can help.

Homestays, Cumbria's supported lodgings scheme was established in 2008. The scheme was set up in response to the growing number of young people leaving the care of the Local Authority who needed support to make the transition to independence.

Homestays, working on a supported lodgings model, recruits and supports a network of people across Cumbria, who can offer a young person a room in their home and support to enable them to develop independent living skills. Supported lodgings are not a permanent solution to a young person's housing problems, but rather a breathing space and opportunity to develop the skills appropriate to independent living within a supportive environment.

In Homestays the young person is provided with their own bedroom but will be expected to share the other household facilities. Food for breakfast and evening meal will be provided by the Provider. The Pathways team and Supported People will pay the rent and support element direct to the Provider. The young person is also expected to pay a contribution to the household.

The project will offer support to the Provider whilst the placement is in force. The Leaving Care/Pathway team will continue to offer the young person advice and assistance during the period of the placement.

This Handbook provides you with a more in depth look at how the scheme works.

What does this guide contain?

This guide will provide information the main issues and rights of young people leaving care including:

  • Who are care leavers?
  • Legal definitions
  • Entitlements?

Who can help Sections?

  • Accommodation
  • Education
  • Health
  • Benefits
  • General advice and information
  • Mental health
  • Tracing family
  • Advice for young parents
  • Sex and relationships
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Rape, sexual violence and domestic abuse
  • Bullying / keeping safe on the internet
  • Who to call if you have any concerns about a child

This is a very informative guide to give you knowledge and places to signpost the young people to go to for the full information.

  • Home Management
  • Money Management
  • Self Care Skills-you and your clothes!
  • Self Care Skills-food
  • Friends and Family-negotiating the rapids!
  • Identity- who are you and what do you need?
  • Education, Training and Employment
  • Healthy Lifestyles

Useful to get ideas and ways in which to get young people to think about their choices and what it takes to be able to move forward confidently when living independently.

Independent living skills toolkit (1.5Mb, PDF)

This toolkit is to be used with young people and those who may be supporting them, e.g. foster carers, PAs, social workers, residential workers, mentors etc. to build a young person's independence skills and resources over time.

Area covered include:

  • Housing
  • Home Management
  • Money Management
  • Self Care Skills-you and your clothes!
  • Self Care Skills-food
  • Friends and Family-negotiating the rapids!
  • Identity- who are you and what do you need?
  • Education, Training and Employment
  • Healthy Life Styles

Useful to get ideas and ways in which to get young people to think about their choices and what it takes to be able to move forward confidently when living independently.

These regulations and guidance are designed to ensure care leavers are given the same level of care and support that their peers would expect from a reasonable parent and that they are provided with the opportunities and chances needed to help them move successfully to adulthood.

Research and practice show that those leaving care supported according to the following principles have the best chance of successful transition to adulthood:

  • quality
  • giving chances where needed
  • tailoring to individual's needs.

The guidance seeks to have these principles at the centre of decision making for care leavers. This is available for Local Authorities to guide them on ways to support successful transitions and the policies which they put in place.

Key Messages

  • Children need a relationship with a caregiver who is sensitive and responsive, who comforts the child when distressed and enables them to feel safe enough to relax, play and learn. This is the basis of a secure attachment.
  • Attachments are formed during the first year of life even in the context of maltreatment. However, such attachments are more likely to be disorganised.
  • Developing a secure attachment with a substitute carer is key to improving outcomes for these children. The emotional and behavioural strategies children use to protect themselves, however, puts them at risk of being rejected by others and can affect all relationships.
  • Children who are securely attached have higher self-esteem and empathy, and can deal with stress more effectively.

This PDF provides a great page of further reading and is a good starting point. Look out for more information and case studies regarding teenagers and adolescents in the Attachment section of this website.


A Review of Effective Strategies for Child Care Services By Tony Newman

Dr Tony Newman is Principal Officer, Research and Development at Barnardo's.

  • Resilience is a quality that helps individuals or communities resist and recover from adversities.
  • Over the past few decades, children's psycho-social health has declined in all developed countries.
  • Child welfare services have become more pre-occupied with risk factors than with factors which keep children healthy and safe.
  • At present, our understanding of the processes that promote resilience is more extensive than our range of practical applications.

This report was commissioned by the Centre for Evidence-Based Social Services at the University of Exeter. The purpose of the report is to review strategies, interventions and approaches that can help promote resilience in children and young people.

The report addresses the following questions:

  • What is resilience and why is it important to child welfare services?
  • Why do some children and young people resist and overcome stressful episodes while others suffer long term damage?
  • How can child welfare services promote resilience?

The aim of this guidance is to set out the different "Staying Put" frameworks and context i.e. arrangements where-by young people aged eighteen and older who were previously looked after remain living with their former foster carer/s (who may also remain a foster carer for younger children).

The guidance sets out the Department for Education (DfE) context, followed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit related issues for both Foster/"Staying Put" carers and young people, and finally sets out the Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Income Tax and National Insurance framework.

This guidance was intended to inform local authorities Staying Put policies not dictate policies. Each local authorities policies and procedures will differ dependent on budgets and logistics of delivering the service.

This report is about giving the most vulnerable children in society a second chance. Too often those who start life experiencing deeply dysfunctional relationships end up treading the same path their parents did before them. With 10,000 children leaving care every year and with at least one in 10 care leavers who are parents having their own child taken into care in the past year alone, it is vital this cycle of disadvantage is broken.

Find out how to keep you and your family safe from fire indoors and outside your home with our range of advice.

Foreword by Communities and Local Government ministers Fire safety within the home is an extremely important issue, especially in mixed use premises and where unrelated occupiers, who live independently from one another, share common areas of the same building. This area of law is covered by both the Housing Act 2004 and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

We welcome this guidance which helps to manage the relationship between the Housing Act 2004 and the Fire Safety Order by offering advice and assistance to enforcers, landlords, managing agents and tenants, amongst others, on ways to make residential buildings safe from fire, regardless of which piece of legislation is relevant. When it comes to fire safety, everyone involved has an interest. So we would encourage all those with an interest in these types of premises to read this guidance, ensure they are aware of their responsibilities to carry out a fire risk assessment, and make sure their property has adequate and appropriate fire safety measures in place.

Foster Talk is a non-profit leading provider of independent support for foster carers in the UK. Available to all Homestays and Staying Put Providers. A wealth of information and advice available regarding many areas including finance and legal.

Independent body to provide effective strategic and operational direction of safeguarding and monitoring performance in Cumbria. Information; Advice; Guidance; Training; Procedures.