Young people should be offered more supported lodgings, report finds

A report conducted by Barnardos has recommended that young people should be offered more supported lodgings to cut the number of care leavers living in ‘unsuitable bed and breakfasts’.

The report, entitled Evaluation of Barnardo’s Supported Lodgings, presents the findings of the scheme, launched in 2006. It found that this kind of accommodation was successful in bridging the often difficult transition between leaving care and living independently.

The programme involved enabling vulnerable young people to live with host families, with at least one adult in the household provided with training to provide practical and emotional support. The report conducted interviews with 14 young people and 20 host families and found care leavers viewed supported lodgings as a safer environment to develop confidence and life skills.

Kate Sewel, the report’s author said: “The lived experiences of young people show supported lodgings offer a unique opportunity to master the basic skills they’ll need to look after themselves in future. With youth homelessness on the rise, it is important local authorities consider supported lodgings as a viable option when planning accommodation for vulnerable young people.”

Javed Khan, Barnardo’s chief executive, said: “If you’ve got a spare room, and would like to help transform a vulnerable young person’s future, then come forward and offer up your home and life experience as a supported lodgings host. Few things are more rewarding than equipping a young person with the basic living skills needed for adult life.

“Welcoming a stranger into your home can be daunting, so Barnardo’s provides emotional support and training for all our hosts.”