Becoming Independent

This page will provide important information for those who are about to become an adult.

What does becoming independent mean?


Becoming independent means you have the necessary skills to be able to look after yourself. 


Independence can take on many forms. But for teenagers moving into adulthood, independence will usually be in the form of;


Financial Independence: This means earning your own money or accessing benefits you may be entitled to pay for food and shelter


Safety-Related Independence: This is knowing how to keep yourself safe and can include safety on public transport, being in a relationship, attending a public event and being in your home.


Self-Care Related Independence: This entails knowing how to access medical appointments – Dr’s, Dentist and Optician.  It also means how you look after yourself and how to meet your needs to live a healthy life.

Why do I need to become independent?


Becoming independent is important for your survival. It means that you can take of care of your needs without reliance on anyone else.


The 8 main reasons why it is good to be independent are:


1. Being independent boosts your confidence.
2. Less reliant on others
3. Emotional independence reduces stress and promotes happiness
4. Financial independence means freedom and a sense of accomplishment
5. Better at making decisions
6. Promotes personal creativity and improvement
7. Broadens your horizons
8. Increases your self-value and self-esteem

Keeping yourself safe


It is important to remember that you can say no to your friends if you feel that you are being pressured into doing something you do not want to do. Peer pressure could be a small thing such as missing a lesson to bigger things like carrying a knife, joining a gang and taking drugs and alcohol. It can be hard to say no to your friends as there will be a fear of rejection if you do not conform. 


These websites below will help you gain more understanding on the risks associated with peer pressure and how you can say No.

The link below provides you with definitions of peer influence and peer pressure


Peer Pressure (for Teens) - Nemours KidsHealth


The Childline website provides information on different types of peer pressure you may experience and how to say no. There is also a useful YouTube video on this page about not being able to say No to your friends.

Peer pressure | Childline


The websites below contain information on protecting yourself from knife crime

Knife Crime- how to keep safe (


And the difference between a good and bad gangs, and what to do if you get caught up in a gang.

Gang Culture – Getting caught up | SLYP Safeline Young People


Keeping yourself safe whether in your own home, using public transport, taking a taxi, going to large event or on a night out is important. If you are not keeping yourself safe you could be injured or arrested.


People Safe is a blog that offers some amazing tips for keeping safe in a wide range of areas.


Personal Safety Tips & Advice | Peoplesafe


The crime stoppers website contains many resources around keeping safe and includes sections on keeping safe online, keeping safe in your home and tips for personal safety.


Keeping safe | Crimestoppers (

What to do if things become difficult at home

If you are struggling at home you may feel that your only option is to run away. However running away is extremely dangerous and can put you at risk. To help you remain safe consider the below tips. 

  • Speaking to a trusted adult about how you are feeling
  • Asking if you can go somewhere else temporarily
  • Making a safety plan – which can include who you can contact in an emergency and where you can go
  • Trying distraction techniques – listening to music you enjoy or reading

If you have already run away, there is still support available to you to help you keep safe.

Runaway helpline is a free and confidential service that offers support and advice. There is a free texting service. The site also provides information on the different stages you may be at when thinking about or have run away.

Homepage - Runaway Helpline


Childline provides a free counselling service that can be accessed at any time

Running away | Childline


CentrePoint is a charity dedicated to helping runaway youths. They offer a chat service and helpline.

Centrepoint Helpline | Centrepoint

How to become financially independent


Knowing how to manage your money will stand you in good stead to gaining financial independence. 


There are websites that can help you with information on everything from applying for a bank account, paying your bills and the cost of living.


Check out Barclays life skills, offering various modules to work through that can give you insight into topics such debt, financial risk and security, planning finances for the future and financial survival skills


Barclays life skills:

Remote learning - Money Skills l LifeSkills (


Money Super Market contains information on the average wage and cost of living.

Basic money skills for young people | MoneySuperMarket


Looking for a job or an apprenticeship


There are many job sites out there but the ones that usually show the most jobs and feature filters are


Indeed: This website allows you to communicate direct with employers. You can build your own CV on there or upload a CV that you have created.

Job Search | Indeed


Reed:  This useful website allows you to look for work, but also contains resources for creating CV’s and cover letters, interview tips and courses that are relevant to your interests or to your work.

Jobs and Recruitment on, the UK's #1 job site


If you are interested in an apprenticeship then head to this website where you can find apprenticeships and get further information and advice

Find an apprenticeship - GOV.UK (


As a young person you may also be entitled to some government benefits.


These can help supplement your income, pay for childcare costs if you have dependants and pay towards your housing costs.


Turn2Us is a charity website that calculates your entitlement to means-tested benefits (based on your income and savings). Please note this website is only a guide and the actual amount may be different.


Fighting UK Poverty - Turn2us


Entitledto is a website that provides accurate and reliable benefit advice and looks at local housing allowances


Benefits Calculator - entitledto - independent | accurate | reliable


To claim benefits such as Universal Credit, Disability Allowance or Carers Allowance head to the below website for types of benefits and how to claim.


Browse: Benefits - GOV.UK (

Moving into your own place


You could be moving into student accommodation or into your first home, but wherever you are moving too, you are likely to feel excited about it. However, there are some key things you should be aware of when you move into your own place. 


The first is registering on the Electoral Register. Doing this means you can vote and also looks good to lenders if you are applying for credit.


Follow this link for information on how to get on the electoral register.

Register to vote - GOV.UK (


You also need to ensure you pay your bills, this doesn’t just include your rent. You will be responsible for paying for electric, gas, water and council tax. That is without your internet and TV license.


The Children’s Society has produced information to help you navigate what each bill is and why it needs to be paid.

Typical Household Bills | The Children's Society (


If you are in rented accommodation, make sure you understand your legal responsibilities and your landlords responsibilities. This will prevent you being in unsafe accommodation.


The website contains important information on tenants rights and the landlords responsibilities. This is for those who are privately renting.

Landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities in the private rented sector - GOV.UK (