SUPPORTED living flats in Evesham costing more than £250,000 have been officially opened to accommodate young people in care.
Worcestershire County Council granted the cash injection to design new homes for 16 and 17-year-olds before they leave care – refurbishing a former family contact centre in the town to create four separate, one bedroom flats.
The flats already accommodate some of the county’s Looked After Children under the council’s supported living scheme, ensuring a member of social care staff is on site 24 hours a day to aid residents.
Staff will hold planned support sessions helping residents to live independently, including lessons in cooking, budgeting, food shopping, maintaining a property and managing appointments, as well as helping them to get a job or access further education or training.
When the occupants reach 18 they will move out and become self-reliant, or move to a longer term supported living provider such as YMCA, St Basil’s or the Bath Road Project, to allow them to receive extra support.
Justine Bishop, team manager of the council’s Outreach Team said: “We’re so pleased work has finished on developing these new flats and some of our young people can move in and start learning how to live independently.
“Staff on site not only keep an eye on the tenancies but are also there to support young people to get into employment, education or training as well as teach them the housekeeping skills they’ll need in later life.”
Coun John Campion, council cabinet member for children and families, said: “It’s really important our care leavers are given the best chance in life and grow up to achieve their full potential.
“Young people leave the care system when they’re 18 and, whilst they are supported by the Care Leavers team, they have to learn to live independently very quickly.
“These new flats allow our young people to learn the life skills they need to get a tenancy of their own, whilst still being able to access extra support when needed.”