Independent living for young people with SEN and disabilities

If you are a young person with disabilities aged 16 or over and you are making decisions about whether to live independently, find out on this page about the options available to you.

Deciding whether you want to live independently

Independent living gives you choices about and control over:

  • your life and the support you get
  • where and how you live, including supported living.

If you have a support plan or an education, health and care (EHC) plan and you want to live independently, from the age of 16 we will start talking to you about your options. We will do this at your review meetings and your circle meetings

Ways you can live independently

There are a number of options for you to think about:

  • living at home
  • Shared Lives
  • supported living
  • social/council housing
  • residential care.

Living at home

If you live at home and you qualify for adult social care, you can get help to develop skills to live independently such as personal care, managing money, travelling independently or making decisions. If you get social care services, you might need to pay something towards your care. 

Find out more about help living at home

There is also a service called 'enablement'. This is a six-week programme of support to help you develop your skills or learn new skills to live independently. Occupational therapists and other support workers will work with you to do this. You can get this service if you are 18 or over even if you don't qualify for adult social care.

Find out more about enablement

You can also find information and equipment available to help with daily living.

Find out more about the information and equipment available

Shared Lives

Shared Lives is a scheme to help the over 16s with support needs get the care they need in a home with a family or an individual.

Find out more about Shared Lives

Supported housing

Supported housing offers 24-hour support for people with SEN and disabilities.

Private organisations or housing associations run supported housing. And we may work with housing associations to build housing specifically for people with disabilities.

Find out more about supported housing

Social or council housing

If you wish to apply for council housing you need to find out if you qualify. To find out more, go to our page on Applying for housing in Newham.  
To apply for social housing you will need to apply directly to the housing association. For a list of housing associations, go to our page on Renting an affordable home.

Residential care

You may need to live in residential care if you need more support than you can be given at home or in supported housing. Find out more about residential care.

Living independently: making decisions about money

If you want to live independently we will talk to you and work out how much support you will need and how much it will cost. We will do this as part of your reviews. The amount of money your care costs is called your personal budget.

You might get part of your personal budget as a direct payment, which is money that we pay straight to you. You can use this money to buy the services you want.

Find out more about personal budgets

If you take a place in a residential care home the way we pay for your care is different.

Mental capacity

Whether you can live independently and whether you can choose to have a personal budget depends upon your ability to make big decisions on your own. This ability is called your ‘mental capacity’. Your social worker or other professional will assess you if he or she thinks you need support to make big decisions such as moving home, getting married or managing money.

Find out more about mental capacity

Last updated: 28/05/2019

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