Frequently asked questions
Q. Where can I go for help if I am homeless, at risk of becoming homeless or I am in unsuitable accommodation?
A. You may be able to get help from a local council if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness. Local councils have a legal duty to help some people, but not everyone gets help with housing. Some people can only get help with advice on finding a home.
Q. I have a spare room and want to help young people in need of accommodation, what do I do?
A. Please contact us via e-mail or on 01524 389655 and we will send out information, and then visit you to take it further.
Q. What do I need to take into consideration if I want to provide accommodation for a young person?
A. Supported Lodgings householders should:
- Be able to relate to young people and enjoy their company
- Be supportive by nature
- Have great communication skills
- Be open-minded and approachable
- Offer a safe, friendly environment
- Welcome a young person into their home, involving them in day-to-day tasks
- Provide an individual room and use of shared facilities along with a house key
- Offer practical and emotional support
- Attend training sessions and meetings
- Work closely with Barnardo’s to provide the best support possible
- Weekly payments are provided to cover the costs of hosting a young person as well as on-going training and support from Barnardo’s for the duration of the placement
- Householders don’t have the same legal responsibilities as a parent or foster parent. The young person will have their own dedicated Barnardo’s project worker
Q. How can you be sure your householders who provide places to stay are safe to stay with?
A. All these people have training and go through an assessment with several checks, including Disclosure and Barring Service checks, and references. All the information gathered is then compiled into a report and considered by an independent panel. Only if they are satisfied will the person be accepted.
Q. What can I do to help?
A. Barnardo’s is keen to hear from you if you can offer support and lodgings to a vulnerable young person at a crucial time in their life. Of course, each young person is different – but they may need support with:
- pursuing education or training
- finding a job
- attending appointments
- managing money
- finding sustainable accommodation
- developing life skills such as cooking, housework, laundry and budgeting
- building confidence in their ability to live independently
You will make a huge difference to their life and chances – just by welcoming them into your household, taking an interest in their wellbeing and encouraging them as they gain the skills and confidence to live independently. It’s impossible to say exactly how long this will take, but most lodgings are for between eight weeks and two years.
Q. What help will I get from Barnardo’s?
A. Our support begins as soon as you apply to be a lodgings householder. We’ll guide you through the assessment process and continue to support you after you’ve been matched with a young person. We also offer on-going guidance and training for as long as you need it. You’ll also receive a weekly payment while the young person is living with you.
Q. Can anyone apply to be a lodgings householder?
A. Potentially, just about anyone can help a vulnerable young person. If you have a spare room and the time and desire to offer practical and emotional support, you’re exactly who we’re looking for.
- Single people, couples and families can all be lodgings householders
- It doesn’t matter whether you’re in full-time or part-time employment, or not employed. The only requirement is that you can commit the time to support a vulnerable young person
- You must be over 21 years old at the time of application
- Having current health problems will not usually affect your application
- All applicants are subject to a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. People with convictions for violence or offences against children or young people will not usually be considered. Other offences will be discussed with you and may not stop you from proceeding