LANCASHIRE is one of the first places in the country to adopt a new way of young providing people leaving care with the long-term help they need to achieve independence.

Its county council will be one of 13 local authorities to set up a Local House Project an initiative designed to ensure care leavers aged 16 to 18 have a place to live and a stable support network around them

It is part of The National House Project is a registered charity sponsored by the Department for Education’s 'Social Care Innovation Programme'. T

Through this long-term project, around 10 young people each year will be supported to move into their own homes.

It will cost £83,000 in its first year.

Burnley Rural ward's Cllr Cosima Towneley, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for children and families, said: "Living alone for the first time is a daunting prospect for anyone but particularly for care leavers who may not have the support of family members around them.

"Children in care deserve the same opportunities as any other child.

"Like all good parents, the council wants to give young people the very best chance in life.

"This is a first for care leavers in Lancashire. The Local House Project will enable them to move into their own home while receiving wrap-around support to develop the practical and emotional skills needed to live independently and to make their house their home. This is central to being successfully able to reduce homelessness for care leavers."