Layla* was one of the first beneficiaries of our extended Supported Lodgings service. These are places that receive additional funding in order to extend the duration of the placement and provide support at a critical point in a young person’s journey towards independence.

When Layla was 16, her parents went through a very complex and challenging divorce. Not only did this negatively impact Layla’s mental health, but it also introduced a lot of instability and uncertainty as she was pulled between her parents. Layla’s parents made the decision to put her into care as they were unable to cope with her mental health challenges.

Step by Step initially supported Layla with counselling. She was given new coping strategies to manage her anxiety and depression and to help process her feelings.

Upon leaving care, Layla was accommodated by our Supported Lodgings service. She moved in with a host family who were able to offer a safe and stable home. Layla’s host and support worker helped her to understand and maintain healthy relationships, learn daily life skills and set out an education pathway.

Young people are typically placed in Supported Lodgings until they are 18 and usually stay for 12 months while they work towards independent living. However, in some cases, the end of the placement might come at a critical time for a young person. Our new extended placements are funded to support young people who would benefit from staying a bit longer.

This was the case with Layla. She was in her final year of her A-levels and due to sit her exams when her placement was to come to an end. We were able to extend the placement until she had completed college.

Layla passed her A-level exams and got a place at University studying Occupational Therapy. She now lives in halls, enjoys her studies and is positive about her future. Without the extension of her Supported Lodgings placement at a key point in her education, the outcome could have been very different.

*Name changed to protect privacy

Layla was supported by Step by Step when she left care Donate View all Stories