What changes in a When I’m Ready arrangement?
So, there will be a few changes once your arrangement starts, but most importantly these changes should not affect the relationship between you and your carers. All of these changes should be fully explained to you prior to the arrangement starting, but to help you understand them better, here are a few examples:
Rent/Contribution to the Household
So, to prepare for independent living, you will make a rent payment or a contribution to the household on a monthly or weekly basis. This may sound daunting, but the payment will be affordable and will support you in understanding the financial responsibility of independent living. This will be fully explained by your PA or When I’m Ready Co-ordinator and outlined in the Living Together Agreement.
Living Together Agreement
This is an agreement which formalises what may already be established in the household (expected behaviour, household chores, curfews etc.). It will also include the terms in which you pay your rent (weekly, monthly, the amount).
It will also focus on areas for development, areas that are essential for independent living, such as cooking, doing the laundry, making doctors and dentist appointments and so on.
Both you and your carer will contribute to this agreement and you must be comfortable with the content before its finalised. The Living Together Agreement will be managed by the local authority and your PA or When I’m Ready Co-ordinator will structure and produce it. Both you and your carer (once happy with the content) will sign the document and use it as a reference during the When I’m Ready arrangement.
Once you enter into a When I’m Ready arrangement (when you reach 18) the local authority supporting you are no longer making a foster arrangement but facilitating a “post-18 living arrangement” for you. Your foster carer who continues to support and care for you is now a “When I’m Ready Carer”
To continue living with your carers past the age of 18, the legal framework will change to ensure you can remain within the household. You will become an “excluded licensee” which means that you will pay rent or a contribution to the household. This means that technically, you are lodging in the home and the When I’m Carer technically becomes a landlord.
Please be assured this is simply to comply with the framework set out by Welsh Government. This does not and should not affect your relationship with your carers as nothing changes in practical terms on a day-to-day basis. It is just a term used to comply with the guidelines produced by Welsh Government.