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Making the difference for young people moving on from care - page 11 / 14





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Making the difference for young people moving on from care

Issues and policy recommendations

Housing and Homelessness strategies

The numbers of rough sleepers who have experience of the care system indicates that there are still high levels of homelessness amongst those who have left care. Anecdotally NCAS is aware of local authorities who use the homelessness route in order to secure accommodation for those leaving care. The figures collated under National Indicator 147 demonstrate that there are still a number of care leavers in unsuitable accommodation.

NCAS Policy Recommendation

All local authority housing and homelessness strategies should have a specific section on care leavers to ensure the housing and related support needs of this vulnerable group of young people are met by the local authority in totality being a corporate parent

Children’s trust partnerships

Under the Children’s Act 2004 housing authorities do not have to be part of children’s trusts, they are the only agency required to be involved, but not part of the trust. NCAS believe this was a missed opportunity; housing authorities have a role in safeguarding children and care leavers over 18 and should therefore be required to be a member of the trust.

NCAS Policy Recommendation

New primary or secondary legislation should be introduced that requires housing authorities to be represented on children’s trusts.

Children and Housing protocols

NCAS have evidence that successful joint working between children’s services and housing authorities are assisted by joint protocols at a local level. We were disappointed that the recent guidance regarding these protocols was not statutory as we believe that the varied success of local authorities in housing care leavers is proportionate to the interdepartmental ownership of the role of corporate parent. The importance of appropriate housing also encompasses the support for young people to sustain that housing. There are also nationwide differences as to the joint commissioning of services by local government departments including Supporting People.


A home not a safety net


October 2008

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