Are you moving out or living on you own?
Leaving your home and living on your own, or with friends for the first time, can be exciting and worrying. You may be worried about being able to look after yourself, if you will have enough money or getting used to your 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 leaving and living on your own can have an impact on how you feel and how you cope. If you are struggling, talk to someone you know and ask for help, or check out the Get Help Now links.
Moving to university
Whether you're just starting university or you're in your final year, looking after yourself at uni can be difficult. It can be scary being away from home in a new place with people you might not know that well yet. Or you may be finding your course very challenging. Lots of people find university difficult and however you're feeling is valid.
Did you know that universities offer their own wellbeing services to support you? You can find out what support is on offer at your university on the Student Space website.
It is really important that you are supported in your transition to leaving care to living independently. Change can sometimes feel really scary but it can also be an exciting step forward in your life and you should feel supported throughout this transition. Before you leave care your social worker/personal advisor should speak with you about options of where you will live, this may be into social housing, private renting, supported accommodation or shared accommodation. Your social worker should discuss with you about your finances and supporting you to learn skills like budgeting, money management and exploring how to access and apply for relevant benefits, bursaries, apprenticeships and job opportunities.
Information about what will happen when you leave care, and details of any support your Local Authority has said they will provide, should go into your Pathway Plan.
Your Pathway Plan is a document that should set out the package of support that the Local Authority, and other professionals, will provide you to help you achieve your goals and become more independent.
Your Pathway Plan should be created by your 16th birthday, but your social worker and/or Personal Advisor should be thinking about what support you will need to help you with a successful and positive transition to independence before this time.
As this Pathway Plan is about you, your goals and aspirations, and the support you will get when leaving care, it is important you are fully involved in it being created, and your wishes and feelings are clearly shown in the Pathway Plan. You should always have a copy of this Pathway Plan, and you can request this from your social worker and/or Personal Advisor.