In this blog, I am going to be talking about the reality and personal experience of mine as a care experienced person applying for housing both when in higher education and as a independent care leaver moving into independence.
When being placed into foster care, the idea was always that once I turned eighteen I would transfer to independence and start applying for housing. Unfortunately this took longer than planned as I decided to further my education and transfer to university. When transitioning to university, the first thing that I needed to do was to apply for halls of residence. When doing this, it was quite straightforward compared to applying to normal housing as I guess due to this, the part that made it easier was the fact that I knew where I was going to study.
However, this all changed when I needed to apply for housing, for when I graduate. As a care leaver, my personal advisor supported me to make an application to my local authorities housing register. I will have to admit, this was absolute torcher, as the amount of evidence that I needed to send it was out of control, and all I felt was over active dread, as I was thinking that I would never be able to get this sorted.
When this was going on, I was lucky to have my personal advisor to support me, as with every issue I had, I was able to give her a message or call and she would support me to get everything sorted. This was a major help, as it allowed me to get everything done in a calm environment, but also allowed me to not get overworked, which helped massively as well. Becoming independent can sometimes be the worst thing ever to become, as we can all get scared of the concept, however, being independent can also be the best change and chance for some people, which in all honesty, this was for me.
When I became independent, I was frightened as I had no idea what I was doing. The fact that I was at university helped a lot, but being there was easier as I needed to pay my rent in termly instalments apart from monthly, and having a term’s money to cover my food costs. This was all massively new for me, and for many this is the same, but the support and help that I received during the first few weeks was outstanding and helped me alot as not only was I able to settle in and get the essentials that I needed.
During my time at university, this was exactly the same, as a lot of the time as a student, we run out of money as we have big amounts of money to pay on rent and tuition fees, so there was a lot of times that I needed to ring my personal advisor as ask for some of my bursary from her and she would be more then willing to help me get some money that i might of needed.
However, being independent and living independently this is not the same, as the money that we might get from Universal Credit or from our wages if working, would need to last us during the duration of the month with food and rent and any other necessities that we might need during that month.
So, I would like to give care leavers some advice from my own experience. Never feel that being independent is scary. The first few days or weeks will be the hardest of them all once you have moved and secured your place, but once you have got things in flow and started working and setting things up, everything will get better. Also, if you struggle, never be worried to ask for help as your personal advisor or social worker will always try to support you the best they can.
By Anonymous Care Experienced Blogger.