Could you provide a safe home environment for a young person aged 16-21 years old?07/09/2023
We are currently looking for Supported lodgings/STAY (Supported Transition and Accommodation for Young people) hosts to provide homes for young people aged 16 to 21 years old. Supported lodgings/STAY hosts provide a family based home environment for care experienced young people who need support to develop social, practical and other independence skills. These young people need a positive adult role model to support them to achieve their potential in relation to education, or in training or employment, working in partnership with social workers and other professionals to promote the personal development of the young person.
Supported lodgings hosts need to be kind people who can offer a bedroom, a safe home environment and life skills to a young person who are not quite ready to live on their own or who have come to Northern Ireland from a number of countries across Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Asia without a parent or responsible adult.
Barbara Lunny, Supported lodgings/STAY Support Worker in the Western Trust explains:
“We are currently looking for hosts who can provide supported accommodation for young people in the Western area to help them with basic life skills so that they can move to independent living once they reach adulthood. We are particularly looking at recruiting hosts from the Omagh and surrounding areas.
“Anyone can be a Supported lodgings/STAY host as each application will be assessed individually from any race, religion, language, culture, gender, disability, age or sexual orientation. Hosts can work full time, part time or be unemployed. They can be from any section of the community, single, married or in a civil partnership. Supported lodgings/STAY hosts can own their own property or be in private rental or housing association homes. They will receive financial support as well as expenses relating to the young person in their home and will have a support worker who will keep regular contact and offer practical advice and support on any issues relating to their supported lodgings provision.”
Nicola Stevenson, Host said:
“I find it really enjoyable and fulfilling hosting. My partner and I have hosted both young refugees and young people from Northern Ireland. The young people bring us joy and laughter.”
Mohamad who is a young refugee said:
“ I am very happy with my supported lodgings/STAY host family. I have been living with my hosts for three months and they have welcomed me into their home and made me feel very much part of their family. I feel I have been accepted into the local community and I am very grateful for their kindness and support. Thank you.”
If you have space in your home and think you could make such a positive difference to a young person in our area who are most in need and would be interested in finding out more about becoming a Supported Lodgings/STAY host please contact HSC NI Foster Care on 0800 0720 137 or visit adoptionandfostercare.hscni.net.