Devon Young People’s Accommodation Service (DYPAS)

DYPAS is a supported lodgings accommodation scheme for young people in care, aged 16–21, who are not yet ready to live on their own.

The aim of the scheme is to offer young people the opportunity to live in the home of an approved carer who can help them prepare for independent living. This will be a safe and supportive environment where a young person can develop the practical skills and emotional maturity to move on and cope with living independently.

Who are we looking for?

We are recruiting carers across Devon who have a spare room in their home and a positive attitude towards young people.

If you have suitable accommodation and the skills and abilities to work with other professionals in giving emotional and practical support to teenagers who may have mental health issues, possibly be known to the criminal system or misused substances, then we would like to hear from you.

We are recruiting carers from a variety of different backgrounds and would like to encourage families, couples or single people to apply.

The most important thing is that you like being with teenagers and have an understanding of some of the issues they may face, as well as the time and flexibility to offer advice and support. You will need to be able to attend meetings regarding the young person in your care.

Can you provide a young person with the following?

• a room of their own
• a home environment that is safe and welcoming
• use of shared facilities including kitchen, bathroom, lounge and dining room
• advice on practical skills such as budgeting, shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, using public transport and other essential life skills
• a supportive and non-judgemental approach
• encouragement to make and sustain positive relationships with friends and family.

If the answer is yes, then supported lodgings could be for you.

In return there are many benefits for carers, including:

• a competitive financial package
• preparation training course and ongoing training opportunities
• ongoing support and supervision
• the opportunity to develop a positive relationship with a young person
• the opportunity to make a difference to a young person’s life.

How do I become a DYPAS carer?

Applicants to the scheme are assessed to ensure they have the right skills and abilities to support a young person in their own home. There is a shorter assessment process than mainstream fostering, it takes a few months and involves several home visits. We ask questions about yourself and your life which help us build a picture of your strengths and abilities. You will need to successfully complete local authority, DBS and medical checks, as well as provide satisfactory references.

Being a DYPAS carer can be a challenging yet rewarding experience, the time and support you offer will make a big difference to a young person’s life at a time they need it most.

We are currently recruiting, so if you are interested in becoming a supported lodgings provider please email fostering@devon.gov.uk or call 0345 155 1077 to request an information pack.