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To want to take in this young lad?

(73 Posts)
Scarfmisuseissues Sun 17-Jul-16 13:22:44

N/c regular, to protect this lad's identity.

My partner and I (he far more than me) are involved in a youth organisation. There's a young man (N) who my partner has known for a number of years who is currently 16/17. He is a fabulous young person but is currently experiencing a lot of turbulence at home, his stepfather is violent and unpredictable and has lately been staying with family members. I don't want to go into identifying detail but what I've been told about his stepfather's behaviour is really worrying. However my partner has heard rumours that he is now staying in some kind of hostel and is extremely worried about his wellbeing.

He intends to establish exactly what N's living situation is, but if he is in a hostel we have discussed offering him a place to live with us until he is ready to go to university. I have two younger children and therefore a few concerns about how we will all run along together but I am willing to offer him a home.

I have no idea about the legalities of this, about any benefits etc he may be able to claim, or indeed any experience of dealing with teenagers, but I trust N and want yo help him. We have a spare room which is set apart from the rest of the house so he would have some privacy and space. He is currently at college and studying.

Would you do this? Can anyone offer any thoughts on any legal requirements of us, would we have to inform social services as he's technically still a child? What could he claim if he lived here (I've no intention of rinsing him for rent but if he could contribute for food etc it would help our already stretched budget). Help and thoughts much appreciated.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 17-Jul-16 13:24:55

Legally at age 16/17 N can live where he likes providing social services don't class him as vulnerable which they may in his circumstances.

Devilishpyjamas Sun 17-Jul-16 13:26:17

You may be able to foster him. Does he have a social worker? If he is living away from home in a hostel is he a looked after child? You need to talk to him obviously to see what he even wants but if he wanted to go ahead & doesn't have his own social worker I would advise ringing to talk to the duty SW.

2nds Sun 17-Jul-16 13:26:59

I'm not sure about this, I think I really want to say you should put your own children first.

If the step father is a violent man is there any risk that he will turn up at your property?

Floggingmolly Sun 17-Jul-16 13:27:47

if he's 17, he's old enough to live independently; or at least decide for himself where he wants to live.
It does sound a bit strange, though - his youth leaders offering to take him into their home. hmm
It also sounds like you can't actually afford to have him live with you, if you concerned about what benefits he may get to pay for his food... confused
I really wouldn't consider this.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 17-Jul-16 13:27:55

Home > Your Situation > Young person (aged 16-17) > Young People and benefits > Young people in education
Young People and benefits - Young people in education
If you are aged under 18 (or under 20 in some circumstances), there may be extra rules to meet to get benefits. If you cannot get benefits in your own right, someone else, such as a parent or guardian, may be able to claim amounts for you within the benefits they get.

Care leavers
Ill or disabled young people
Young carers
Young people in education
Young people in work
Young people looking for work
Young people with a child
Young people with housing costs

Young people in education

Advanced education

If you are attending a course of advanced education, see our Studying (aged 16+) section for information about the rules relating to benefits while studying.

Relevant education

Most young people who are in relevant education are prevented from claiming benefits. However, you may be able to claim Income Support if your income is low enough and you:

N may be able to claim Income support of the following applies .

You have to live away from your parents and any person acting in their place and either:
you are estranged from them or would be in danger if you lived with them

Birdsgottafly Sun 17-Jul-16 13:28:17

I took a young person in, under similar circumstances. We then decided that they would be better off in a Hostel, because they get funding to set up their own home.

What are the rules of the Hostel? They are usually allowed to sleep out twice a week.

Is it a Teenage Hostel? The person that I took in was in temp accomatatioacomodatioaccomodation and then from mine they moved to a Teen Hostel, which are well run and safe.

He is a 'Child in Need' and so should be on Income Support with his HB paying for the Hostel.

Legally he can live where he wants. What makes the difference is if he's definitely going to Uni.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 17-Jul-16 13:29:13

Sorry I only meant to copy the last two paragraphs, it seems that as you would be " acting in place of parents he couldn't claim IS.

constantlycuntinglyconfused Sun 17-Jul-16 13:29:35

You are very kind in wanting to help this young man BUT this needs to be a heart and head decision. You need to be making this taking into account your own children first and their needs. This young man is still relatively unknown to you. By bringing him into your home you could be putting your children at risk and at a disadvantage.

Also he may not want to be taken in by you. Maybe rather than offering him a room you could support him in other ways but you would need to find out from him first the support that he needs and wants.

ChicRock Sun 17-Jul-16 13:30:27

I think you'd probably be overstepping some boundaries given you know him through a youth organisation. I'd be concerned that you don't really know enough about him or the whole situation, and you've got children of your own who you should put first.

RedHareWithBlondeHair Sun 17-Jul-16 13:31:15

I don't actually think you are in a position to do this if you're already querying his benefits potential and paying for food. Your heart might be in the right place but I don't think it's for you tbh.

AndNowItsSeven Sun 17-Jul-16 13:31:28

Flogging not necessarily, a 16 year old can have a care order put in place until aged 18.

SteviebunsBottrittrundle Sun 17-Jul-16 13:31:47

Yanbu, I think it's a lovely offer, but my sensible head would say you have to consider the children already in your care first. If he is in a dangerous situation then I would definitely offer to put him up but call it somewhere to stay rather than his permanent home yet. You might change your mind if it doesn't go well and it would be unfair to him if he thinks he can stay with you longer than you can actually accommodate.

Scarfmisuseissues Sun 17-Jul-16 13:31:58

To our knowledge, SS are not involved with him currently.

My understanding of the stepfather is that N being gone is his ideal so doubt he would turn up kicking off, we live pretty rurally away from the town where N lives though so it's unlikely he would work out where we live, and we wouldn't be volunteering the info!

My priority is obviously the wellbeing of my own children and any attempt st this would be on s trial basis with their full agreement (ages 11 and 8). N is a quiet lad though, he has a few close friends (who we also know) and doesn't go out drinking or causing trouble.

Birdsgottafly Sun 17-Jul-16 13:32:07

Just to add, what he doesn't want to do, is to come out of a supportive system, unless you are pledging long term support.

Things may not go as planned, he will have emotional needs, which will be catered for, where he is.

As said, does he have a SW? They will treat you as temporary Foster Carers, this will entail a home inspection.

Birdsgottafly Sun 17-Jul-16 13:35:11

""My priority is obviously the wellbeing of my own children and any attempt st this would be on s trial basis with their full agreement ""

Once he's out of the Hostel, there may not be places available if he needs to go back.

You could really mess things up for him.

I've had a lot of involvement in cases like this and well meaning people have taken in youngsters without realising the support that they need to be committing to.

Scarfmisuseissues Sun 17-Jul-16 13:37:43

Birdsgottafly that's really interesting, thank you. Once we establish what is going on I will see if he is allowed s certain number of 'nights out' where maybe he can stay here 2 nights a week to be in s home environment without losing entitlement to support - I wouldn't want to jeapordise that for him.

Re; the youth organusation - it's difficult to explain without revealing the nature of it but there us apparently a process by which we can notify them that we are providing him with support external to the organusation and there is apparently a precedent for this.

Re: money- we can afford to have him here without him paying and if needed we would. It would just help a bit if he had his own income - not just for chipping in for food but to be independent re: travel etc.

theoldtrout01876 Sun 17-Jul-16 13:38:35

I took in a mate of my ds2 as about the same age and under similar circumstances. I kept him until he joined the marines. He was and still is a fabulous young man.
I called his dad and informed him that the kid was moving in with me ( his mum died when he was 6). The dad said that was ok as he was having issues with him anyways, think he was happy to get rid of him to be honest.
He calls me mum and always comes to visit when he is home. We keep in touch, I love him like one of my own.

ChicRock Sun 17-Jul-16 13:39:31

You sound well meaning but clueless, and potentially may cause more issues for this boy if things don't work out.

Perhaps you could offer a regular "dinner at ours" night or something, tell him to bring some of his washing round if you like, give him a quiet hour or two to do college work your computer.

Moving him in seems over-involved and inappropriate.

stealtheatingtunnocks Sun 17-Jul-16 13:45:45

I think you are lovely, and that just having two adults who are interested in his welfare in any capacity could be a real gift for him.

Don't take his independence away, if he's in hostel he's sorted that out for himself. PP suggestion of speaking to SW is a good one.

Scarfmisuseissues Sun 17-Jul-16 13:46:39

Well meaning but clueless sums me up pretty well!

My partner is closer to N than I am, but I'm just really fond of him and want to find a way to help him that is manageable for us and constructive for him without compromising support that he may be entitled to. There are some really good suggestions here about how we can do that without fully moving him in and I really appreciate that.

hotdiggedy Sun 17-Jul-16 13:47:30

I think you sound very kind and lovely and I hope you are able to offer him all the support he needs smile

WorraLiberty Sun 17-Jul-16 13:55:00

Has he actually said he's unhappy at the hostel, or are you assuming?

The hostels for under 18s are on the whole, really good around here...although very difficult to get into due to lack of available places.

They have various experts/career officers/HCPs etc on hand all the time. They're even taught how to cook and budget etc.

Then when they turn 18, they're given help to find housing and stand a much better chance of doing so, than other people their age.

CatNip2 Sun 17-Jul-16 13:57:11

You sound like me, I seem to fall for all the waifs and strays. DD has has several friends brought up by various foster careers and my heart bleeds, I get to know them and want them to move in and be part of the family. My head says I'm nuts and wouldn't know where to start, and I know I haven't considered the real implications of doing this, so I just offer them friendly advice if they want it, lifts if they need them and there is always a meal available.

Pinkheart5915 Sun 17-Jul-16 14:03:41

I think your heart is in the right place but I had to admit I would worry about my own children as you don't know everything about this young lad and with the step father troubles he has had he could be a troubled boy. Your partner is clearly a very caring person to worry about the boy so much.

The hostel is probably his best bet because in time they will look at permanent accomadation for him.

Slightly different note but My aunt and uncle are unable to have children so they foster and over the years they have had a countless number of children and some of who have had an awful home life and because of that can have a range of problems including being violent. They just need a lot of support to get on a right track which my aunt and uncle can offer because they don't need to worry about other children that are living in the house

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