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Independent Living

The impact of living leaving home for the first time

When children move out, it can be hard to adjust. Parents can feel a range of emotions – from pride and happiness to sadness and guilt. It's also possible that you don't react immediately and feel worse as time goes on.

Empty Nest Syndrome is common and you're not alone. Family Lives have a dedicated helpline to support parents and advice about how to cope with your child moving out. 

What it's like for the young people

Leaving home and living on your own, or with friends for the first time can be exciting and worrying. Young people may be worried about being able to look after themselves, if they will have enough money or getting used to their new home.

Everyone has reasons for wanting to live on their own. These could be:

  • wanting to live independently
  • not getting on with your family
  • being forced to leave
  • moving away to university

The worry of your child leaving and living on their own can have an impact on how you both feel and how you cope. If you or your child are struggling, talk to someone you know and ask for help, or check out the Get Help Now links.

Easy Read: Housing – Our Easy Read Guide Mencap

Moving to university

Whether your child is just starting university or in their final year, looking after themselves at uni can be difficult and you may feel worried about how they’re getting on. It can be scary being away from home in a new place with people they might not know that well yet. Or they may be finding their course very challenging. Lots of young people and their parents find university difficult and however you're feeling is valid.

Universities offer their own wellbeing services to support their students, so if your child is struggling at uni, this could be helpful for them. You can find out what support is on offer at their university on the Student Space website.

There is lots of helpful information for young people about preparing for university, tips for looking after themselves and real stories from uni students on the Young Minds website.

You can find more helpful information specifically for parents on the Student Minds website.

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Get Help Now

Here are a list of services that can help with independent living. The icons below tell you the type of support available.

  • Email Email
  • Phone Phone


City and County

age Under 27

  • Web chat Web chat
  • Phone Phone

Shelter England

City and County

age All Ages

  • Phone Phone
  • In person In person

Leaving Care Service Nottinghamshire


age 16-25

  • Phone Phone
  • In person In person

Leaving Care Service Nottingham City


age 16-25

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Which services can I access?

Some of the services available operate only within city or the wider county area. Pop your postcode in below to quickly check which services are available to you 

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