Skip to main content

Preparing for Adulthood - Independent Living (Local Offer)

Teenagers shopping

Preparing for independence

Thinking about and preparing for growing up and adulthood is something that happens throughout children and young people’s lives. 

Independent living is a part of preparing for adulthood and includes things like:

  • somewhere to live
  • skills for looking after yourself and your home
  • managing money
  • making decisions and having support if that’s needed

Parents have asked for a comprehensive guide to transitions and we have worked with Family Voice to produce the Preparing for Adulthood - A Parents Guide

Things you need to learn to be independent

Living Independently

As you grow up and start thinking about being more independent there are things you need to think about.

These might include:

  • Looking after yourself
  • Planning your day
  • Safety awareness
  • Keeping your home clean
  • Managing money
  • Cooking
  • Making a shopping list and then doing the shopping
  • Finding out about options for where you might live
  • Thinking about the support that you might need

You can find out more and watch some useful videos on the Easy Read pages.

Finding somewhere to live

Staying with your family

You may continue to live with your family when you are an adult until it’s the right time for you to move. Your family can support this and you can still become more independent whilst living with your family.  If you are in care, you can find out more information about living independently on the Local Offer for Care Leavers.

Living independently

You may decide you would like to live independently.  There are a number of ways you can do this.

Social Housing (this means properties owned by housing associations)

If you want to rent social housing you must register on the Peterborough Homes Choice Based Lettings Scheme first.  If your application is accepted you will be told what type of housing you can apply for and how to do it. 

Finding a home that suits you

You will need to consider what a property needs to be like to suit you.  It isn’t always possible to find a home that suits you exactly but there may be small things that can be changed to make it work for you.

A Disabled Facilities Grant may be available to pay for any big changes. You will need to have an Occupational Therapy assessment first to find out what you need.   All Disabled Facility Grants are managed by the Care and Repair Home Improvement Agency who will assist you through the application process.  If you do not own the property, permission will  be required from the property owner before any work is approved and undertaken.

Housing Guide 

This housing guide sets out a range of housing services available across Cambridgeshire, and Peterborough, with links to help you find out more and get in touch with the right team.

The guide does NOT provide any kind of advice, it simply gives a picture of housing activities and how you can find out more – usually by providing a link to a partner’s website.

Some related topics such as help with mental health or finding support through other partners is also included, though not strictly housing functions these may be useful to contact. View the housing guide webpages.

If you need support to live independently

Supported living is a term used to describe the range of services that enable people with additional needs to live as independently as possible in their local community.

While supported living is often for people with a learning disability, it can also help people with mental health problems or physical disabilities.

Money and benefits information

Money and Benefits

As you get older, become an adult and leave education you will have to start paying for things with your own money.  This might not happen all at once and parents and family will often continue to pay for things for you.

You might have to pay for things like food, clothes, somewhere to live, gas and electricity bills, your phone and doing things you enjoy.

The money you have could be money you earn from work, savings you have or from benefits.  Benefits is the word used for money that some people get from the government to help them pay for things.

When you are an adult the money you have is yours and you will be expected to look after it yourself and make decisions about it.  You can still have help to look after your money if you need it.

Benefits to help you live independently

You may be able to claim benefits to help you live independently.

Some of the benefits you may be able to claim depend on how much money you have already and if you have a job.  Income Related Benefits - Disability Peterborough

Some benefits you may be able to claim are for people with a disability or long term illness.  Disability Benefits - Disability Peterborough

Some benefits are for help with the cost of housing.  Housing Benefits - Disability Peterborough

You can find lots of useful information on our Send Information Hub (Local Offer) Money and Benefits web page.

Universal Credit

You may have the option of claiming Universal Credit as a young disabled adult. Normally you need to be over18 years old. Some 16 and 17-year-olds can claim if you have a medical certificate from your GP. 

Most young people who are still at school or college cannot get Universal Credit. You might be able to claim it if you study part-time or stay in full-time non-advanced education beyond the August after your 19th birthday. 

Note for parents and carers  about Universal Credit. If your young person gets Universal Credit, you will lose any benefits you get for them as part of your family. Universal Credit is a means-tested benefit, but if your young person claims it, the Department for Work and Pensions will only look at their income and capital and not yours. Find out more on the Contact for families with disabled children website

Support and advice about benefits

It’s always a good idea to get advice and support about benefits. 

Disability Peterborough have information on their webs page Support And Advice - Disability Peterborough or you can phone or visit them.  They can help with checking what benefits you can claim, help to fill in forms and answer questions. 

Telephone 01733 265551,


As you get older and become 18 some of your benefits may change.

As you get older and become 18 some of these benefits change. You can find out more on the Adults Welfare Benefits page.

Get support and advice from Disability Peterborough

Trained Disability Peterborough staff are available to advise and guide you on all things related to physical disabilities. If you cannot find the information you are looking for on their website, please contact them.

Telephone 01733 265551


You can read lots of relevant information on their website page Your guide to Disability Benefits.

Financial Advocacy

It is a good idea to get independent financial advice and you can find organisations by searching on the Peterborough Information Network.  There are also some organisations that work specifically with people with learning disabilities, like DOSH.  They will charge you for their services.

Technology and gadgets to help you

What is technology enabled care (TEC)?

Technology enabled care is equipment and technology to help adults stay independent.

Some of the benefits of technology enabled care are:

  • increasing independence and confidence
  • increased safety at home and out and about
  • supporting and reassuring family carers

Some examples of technology enabled care equipment are:

  • Planning your day and reminders - such as simple apps on your phone to remind you what you need to do each day
  • technology to remind you to take your medication
  • alarms and home safety such as flood detectors and smart doorbells

If you think you need some TEC

You can contact Adult Social Care and ask for a conversation about your needs.  Contact details are:

Complete our online form

Tel: Adult Social Care: 01733 747474 


Postal address: 

Peterborough City Council

Sand Martin House
Bittern Way
Fletton Quays

Assistive Technology Smart Flat - Peterborough

If you want to go and look at technology, there is a flat, set up with different Assistive Technology, at Kingfisher Court in Peterborough.

You can see how the equipment works. The Lifeline personal alarm system is also live so you can see how the control centre responds to calls.

You are welcome to come along and visit the SMART flat by appointment. To book a time slot please call Peterborough City Council on 01733 747474 ((option Adult Social Care) or email: giving your name, address and phone details. 

You can find out more on our Easy Read page and on the SMART Flat record.

Support from Adult Social Care

Young woman in a wheelchair

When you are over 18 years old any social care support you might need is organised by adult social care.

If you have been getting care and support from children's social care services, you may be eligible for support from adult social care.

If you have not been receiving support, but think that you might need it, this page explains what you need to do.

Find out more on our 0-25 Disability Social Care page and on the 

Adult Social Care for young people aged 18 plus page.

City College Peterborough Day Opportunities

Day Opportunities is Peterborough’s largest local day support specialist provider and experienced social care provider, supporting young people and adults with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs to live the fullest life possible. 

You can find out more on their dedicated page.


You can find out lots of information about travelling on public transport on the Getting Out and About page on the Local Offer and on the Easy Read Travelling pages.

Local colleges run courses for young people on developing independence and these can include travel training. 


You might want to consider a Blue Badge to make parking easier. You can find out more on the council website and on the Easy Read Blue Badges page.

Mobility vehicles - Your young person may be eligible for a mobility vehicle

Travel Training

The Access Champions at City College Peterborough support young adults to gain more confidence by encouraging peer to peer support. Through their travel training they support young adults to gain confidence in using public transport independently.

Contact the Access Champions via email to find out how you can get travel training: