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Preparing for adulthood

Where you live

As you get ready for independence, you need to think about where you want to live as an adult.

Before making any decisions, you should check out the Preparing for Adulthood independent living page.

It has lots of tips for choosing the right place to live.

It also has stories written by other young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND), where they talk about leaving home and becoming independent.

When you can leave home

When you are 16, you can normally leave home without permission from your parents or carers.

If there is a legal order in place that says who you should live with, this usually comes to an end when you turn 18.

For more information on your rights and where you live, the LawStuff website has free legal advice for young people.

Your choices on where you live

When you think about where you want to live as an adult, there are 6 main opinions:

1. Stay at home with your family

If you want to stay at home with your family, that’s OK.

To make you feel more independent, you may be able to get extra help from support workers. They will come to your home and lend a helping hand when you need them.

Support workers can give you 24 hour care, or for just a few hours a day.

We may be able to help you pay for a support worker, but you’ll need to contact us to get a Better Lives assessment.

Read more about Better Lives and find contact details for the team.

If you are working, you may need to pay some money towards your home care.

If you stay at home you may also be able to get:

Home adaptations

Home adaptations are changes made to your home, so that you find it easier to be independent.

They include wheelchair ramps and safety rails in your bathroom.

Assistive technology

Assistive technology helps you to access a computer or the internet.

This can include special keyboards and gadgets that make a computer screen easier to read.

Find out more about getting equipment for your home.

2. Rent a house or flat

If you want to leave home, you can think about renting a house or flat.

You can rent a home from:

  • the council or local housing association
  • a voluntary or charity organisation
  • a private landlord or letting agent
  • a family member, friend or someone you know

Find out more about renting a house or flat in the Preparing for Adulthood guide called No Place Like Home.

3. Buy a house or flat

Buying your own home is a big step because you need to:

  • get enough money to put a deposit on the property
  • pay a mortgage each month

The Preparing for Adulthood guide called No Place Like Home can help you to:

  • see the advantages and disadvantages of buying a property
  • learn about the help available to people with SEND to buy their own home
  • find organisations that can give you help and advice

4. Shared Lives

Shared Lives is a service where carefully chosen single people, couples or families open their home to people with SEND.

Shared Lives allows you to live in an ordinary house, where the people around you are trained to give you help if you need it.

Many people with SEND enjoy Shared Lives as it allows them to make new friends.

Young people who choose Shared Lives also say that it makes them feel more confident and independent.

To find out more you can:

5. Supported living

Supported living homes are flats and houses that have special equipment to help young people with SEND.

You might live there by yourself, or with other young people who have similar SEND to you.

Although you’ll live independently, care staff will be on hand to help with tasks such as shopping and housework.

Some supported living apartments have care staff available 24 hours a day. In others, care staff will visit you at regular times during the week.

Supported living is good value for money for people with SEND, whether you pay for your own care or get a personal budget.

Use our directory to find supported living services:

Show me local supported living services

6. Residential care

Residential care is only for people with SEND who have high needs and require lots of support.

People in residential care normally have their own bedroom. But parts of the building may be shared with the other people who live there.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) makes sure that care homes look after the people who live there. You can search the CQC website to see reviews of care homes near you.