There are many reasons why young people choose to leave home. Some move out because they want more independence, others choose to leave home because they don’t get on with their parents and others are forced to leave because of ongoing abuse or violence. 

Whatever your circumstances, leaving home is a big step and there are some important things you should consider in deciding whether or not to move out.

When is the right time to leave home?

When it comes to making a choice about when to leave home, it’s good to remember that everyone is different. Some people choose to stay in their family home until they are well into their 20’s or older and others decide to leave as soon as they are able. In the UK most people stay with their parents until they are at least 18 years old and your parents will remain your legal guardians until then.

How do I make such a big decision?

Getting advice from someone you trust before you make a big decision is generally a good idea. Before you can make a choice about moving, you really need to be clear about what is involved and what the consequences will be. Talking things through with another person might help you gain a realistic picture of what to expect and to also think about the bigger picture. What will leaving home mean for your hopes and goals for your future? For example, some people choose to stay at home longer because its cheaper, to save money, study or because it suits their particular circumstances or needs.

In making a decision about leaving home, you should consider these questions:

  • What are some of the advantages and the disadvantages in terms of your emotional, physical, mental and financial wellbeing?
  • Do I have a realistic idea of what to expect?
  • Do I have a safe place to go?
  • Am I ready to look after myself?

Chatting with an adult you trust is one way to get help in considering these questions and making a decision that is right for you.

How will this decision affect my relationships with others?

Leaving home and establishing your own life is a normal part of growing up but it can be a very challenging time for parents who are used to being involved in their children’s lives and daily decisions. Sometimes parents can feel a sense of rejection or sadness when a young person leaves the family home. It’s good to remember that this is not only a big transition for you but is also a big change for you parents.

Some young people leave home because of conflict with their parents. It can seem like the best or easiest option, however it doesn’t mean that it’s your only choice. Relationship issues can sometimes be resolved and improved with better communication and understanding. Getting help from a counsellor or trusted family member/friend to help you with this is a great idea.

Do I have a safe place to go?

Many young people face the challenge of finding safe and supportive accommodation when they are forced to leave home because of abuse or family conflict. Moving under these circumstances can be very tough, especially if you have to leave in a hurry.

Remember, your safety is very important!

If this applies to you, think about using the following support:

  • Get help from friends, other family members or an adult that you trust.
  • Contact your local Police service (particularly if you are younger than 18 years old).
  • If you think that you might be in immediate danger of harm you should call emergency services on 999.
  • Call or visit your local council. They can provide you with information about safe and supportive accommodation.
  • Call the Shelter helpline 0808 800 4444 to get support and assistance as well as a referral to crisis accommodation services that are close to you.

Regardless of the circumstances under which you are moving, it is important to try and be as prepared as possible. If you leaving because you are unsafe it is really important to let a trusted adult know what is happening to you!

How do I choose a place to live?

There are many factors to consider in choosing where to live and who to live with. For example, you may need to choose a location that not only suits your rental budget but also provides access to public transport and facilities.

How much money will I need?

If you have a job, you will need to work out how much it will cost to cover your rent, deposit, food, utilities and transport needs. The cheapest private rental properties in Worcestershire are around £95 per week. If you are not working or you are a student then contact the Citizens Advice Bureau or Job Centre Plus to find out if you are eligible to receive any benefits.

Coping with leaving home – how will I feel?

It is important to remember that leaving home is big step for most people. Depending on your situation, leaving home might be exciting or scary and with any big life change there is loss involved.

Moving home might mean that you feel sadness about the changes in the relationship with your parents or you might feel lonely and disoriented if you have moved into a new area. Even though these are normal responses, it’s important to take care of yourself and your feelings by reaching out to others. Staying in touch with friends and trustworthy family members is important and can help with managing these feelings.  If you start to feel sad or low, talk to someone you trust you can get more information on understanding how you are feeling by visiting the Young Minds website.