Praise for initiative giving young people leaving care a home

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Councillor Lorna Cresswell

YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVING Care will be able to benefit from a new initiative that provides them with a decorated flat in which to live.

That is the result of a decision by the Communities Committee at Moray Council yesterday, where the ‘Scatter Flats’ initiative was unanimously approved.

Under the scheme any young person leaving care may apply for a flat – a panel, including social workers and housing staff, will then agree if the person would benefit from round-the-clock support to transition into their own accommodation.

Their care-leavers grant would be used to furnish their new property, which will also be decorated prior to them moving in. The initiative will avoid young care-leavers becoming homeless – and provide an incentive to plan their own journey out of care and into their community.

Moray Council’s housing and social work teams will create a tenancy preparation programme, which will help young care-leavers understand what’s involved in managing their own tenancy.

Tenancies will be offered for nine months initially, with regular progress reviews to make sure the tenant is receiving the support required. If the tenancy is going well, a permanent let will be offered.

Committee Chair, Councillor Lorna Creswell, said: “I welcome this initiative as part of our corporate parenting responsibilities in supporting our youngsters’ transition to adulthood. Some might wish this opportunity of securing a home and the support package to help them gain confidence to manage their own tenancy.

“I for one, remember how daunting the experience was when I moved into my first flat and this must be even more of a challenge for those leaving a ‘looked after’ setting.

“I look forward to hearing how things progress as we move to 2018 and encourage them all to consider this opportunity.”