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To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities on recruitment of supported lodgings carers for 16 and 17 year-olds in care.
Guidance on supported lodgings is outlined in the Children Act (1989) guidance and regulations.
The term ‘supported lodgings’ has no formal definition or prescribed regulatory framework, but supported lodgings services generally share key common characteristics. They provide accommodation for a young person within a family home, where the young person will have a degree of independence with their own room and will share the kitchen and bathroom facilities with the "host" (hosts can be families, couples or single people).
The primary aim of supported lodgings is to provide a supported household environment that enables a young person to develop practical, emotional and relationship skills that will ensure they make a successful transition from care to independence and adulthood. Supported lodgings should be seen as part of a range of accommodation options on offer to young people aimed at preparing them for independence and adulthood. As commissioners or providers of supported lodgings, local authorities should ensure that clear policies and procedures are in place, setting out the following:
• assessment and approval criteria for carer/s or host/s;
• the nature and level of support for carer/s or host/s;
• allowance and fee structure;
• referral and matching criteria for young people to carer/s or host/s;
• expectations of carer/s or host/s and young people;
• safeguarding frameworks;
• financial arrangements (young people aged 16 and 17 and young people aged 18 and over);
• training available to carer/s or host/s;
• the income tax, national insurance and welfare benefits frameworks affecting payments made to carer/s or hosts.