Start to prepare for your independent life
If you want to do more for yourself or you're thinking about moving into your own home, there are many ways to learn new skills.
Find more information about these skills and how you can learn them:
- Weymouth College life skills
- Scope has some practical advice for helping your child learn skills to live on their own
- care and support plans from NHS
- Skills and Learning Adult Community Education (ACE) Dorset offer courses to gain living skills such as money management and food preparation. Often these courses are free or very affordable.
Keep yourself safe living on your own
There are several ways you can help yourself to stay safe. these include:
- not sharing your address, phone number or email address with people you don't know
- not inviting people you don't know into your home
- ensuring you lock your windows and doors when you leave the house or when you go to sleep
- getting to know your neighbours in case of an emergency
- making sure you're familiar with where you live
There is also a variety of equipment and services available to support you to keep safe, in and out of your home. Find out more about disabled adaptations.
Safe and Independent Living (SAIL)
SAIL can support you to stay safe and living independently. The support can include:
- advice and information
- home safety checks
- information about local social activities
Fire safety visits
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service offer Safe and Well visits. This is where they visit your home for free to help you make your home safer.
They can fit free smoke alarms, and give you safety advice. This includes topics like cooking safely and what to do if there is a fire.
Stay safe online
Safety advice from youth link
Find more information about how you can stay safe living on your own in our youth link section.
Help to manage your money
Open a bank account
With your own bank account you can:
- save money
- check what money you have and see what you are spending
- pay your own bills
- take out your own money when you need it
You could have a look online for information or speak to your parent, carer, a family member or friend for advice. They can help you research banks and find out which would best meet your needs.
It's best to visit the bank so you can chat to a member of staff. You could bring a family member or friend with you for support.
See the Money Advice Service guidance on opening a bank account. This includes advice on choosing the right account and how to manage it.
If you're struggling to manage your money
Speak to your parent, carer or your social worker if you're struggling to manage your money and they can organise support.
This could include:
- your parent or carer
- a family member
- independent financial advocate. This is an independent person who will help you manage your money and will act in your best interest
- your service provider (if you are eligible)
Tools to support you
To help you budget your money, use the Money Advice Service budget planners. These can help you:
- work out what money you have left after paying your bills/expenses
- see a detailed breakdown of your spending. This will show you where your money is going to help you save costs
You cannot manage your money
Not everybody has the capacity to make decisions about and manage their own money. If you've had a mental capacity assessment and you don't have capacity, you will need somebody to manage your money for you:
- appointeeship is where you have the capacity to choose who this is
- deputyship is where you don't have the capacity to choose who this is
The person could be:
- your parent, carer or relative
- a trusted friend
- an independent financial advocate, such as DOSH or Money Carer Foundation
- a solicitor
This will be decided by a court. Some people will charge you for this service.
All the decisions that this person makes will have to be in your best interest.