Do you have nowhere to stay?
If you are 16 or 17 years old, currently with nowhere to stay and in need of some help to look at the available options, you should contact the MASH team on 01925 443322.
MASH has a team of social care professionals who will be able to give you some advice and let you know what support is available.
There are certain processes we need to follow to make sure you are getting the right support, this could include talking to your family and friends before making any big decisions about where you are going to live.
We are interested in hearing about your story and understanding whether you need additional support outside of your family and friends. In order to do this we will need to complete some assessments to get to know you better. One of these assessments will be completed with the housing team and another will be completed by a social worker. All through this process you will be supported by your own Families First Worker.
One of the first things you will be asked is whether you have anywhere to stay tonight. If you don’t, we are responsible by law to ensure you have a safe place to sleep.
If you do have somewhere to stay tonight, but you are worried about where you are living or that it might not be for the long-term, we can still offer you support. You will be given the option to come into local authority care - this could mean you go to live with a foster family or in a residential home with other young people in care. Your social worker will explain more about this to you when they meet you and answer any of your questions.
If you don’t wish to come into local authority care, we will still make sure you have somewhere to stay. This might mean you stay for a short time in our direct access beds at Verve Place (Young people’s housing scheme in Warrington) and receive support from your Families First Worker. This will be until we are all happy that you have somewhere to live in the longer term. For many young people, this has meant going to live with family or friends, whilst others have secured their own flat at Verve Place with continued support.
You need to know that:
- Your social worker or families first worker will make sure you have all the information you need and that your views are recorded and considered. You can also choose to have an independent advocate.
- Your family will be included in your assessments and plan if it is safe to do so.
- Some accommodation isn't free, but you will be supported to understand about benefits and budgeting.
What does being in care mean?
‘Being in care’ (sometimes called ‘looked after’) means that Children’s Social Care are responsible for making sure you have
somewhere safe to live.
Being in care can include living with foster families, in a residential homes or sometimes with an adult you may already know. Every young person who is in care will have their own social worker, they will get to know you and listen to your wishes and feelings. You will also be invited to regular meetings with professionals to discuss your care and future plans.