Residential care is when you live in a home with other young people, with staff who look after you.
Who is residential care for?
You can’t always live with your family. It might be that your parents have asked for you to be looked after, or that a court has decided that you need to go into care so you can be safe.
What’s it really like living in residential care?
Living in a different place with new people can take a while to get used to, but the staff at the home will do all they can to make you feel at home. Lucy, who is 16 and has been living in residential care for three years, says:
‘Although you don’t live with your family, staff at the homes become like family to you. You might have arguments with them or other young people from time to time but that’s just like any other house where you argue with your parents or siblings.’
When you live in residential care you will carry on going to school. You will also do activities and have time out for holidays.
Watch this short video made by some young people who live in care.
How long will I live there?
It depends on your situation and why you have come into care. We get together with you and your family to make a plan about your future. In most cases, the plan is to help you return home.
If this is not possible, the plan may be adoption or permanent fostering. Your social worker will explain all this to you and answer any questions. They will also listen to your views.
Read more about living in foster care
What happens when I leave care?
Once you reach 18 years old you legally become an adult. You can choose to carry on living in care or you can move on to living independently. We can help with this.
How do I apply to live in residential care?
If you, or someone you know, wants to apply for residential care, get in touch. We want to be able to help before a situation reaches crisis point. Find out more at East Sussex County Council – applying for children and family services