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Making the difference for young people moving on from care - page 12 / 14





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Making the difference for young people moving on from care

NCAS Policy Recommendation

Government should introduce secondary legislation requiring children’s services and housing authorities to have a joint protocol in place.

Local authority Supporting People strategies should include how the needs of care leavers are going to be met. Local authorities’ joint working with social service and housing departments should also include senior representation from the supporting people department.

Intentionally homeless

NCAS work with local authorities has raised the problem of young people being given tenancies, failing in them and then being prevented from getting back into permanent housing because they have made themselves intentionally homeless. Young people are often placed on the housing register or have their application activated on their 18th birthday whether they are able, or would like to, live independently or not, which contributes towards failed tenancies. We believe that this is against the spirit of the corporate parenting role.

NCAS Policy Recommendation

The Statutory Guidance on Homelessness for Local Authorities should include in the section on intentionality a presumption against declaring any care leavers intentionally homeless. Young people should be placed on the housing register at 16 in order to gain ‘waiting currency, but only have their application activated when they and believe they have the skills and experience to sustain independent living and that is their wish. Young people should be able to veto housing which does not meet their needs as set out in their pathway plan without jeopardizing future offers.

Local Housing Allowance

The Local Housing Allowance allows for those who are vulnerable to have their allowance paid directly to their landlord. For those young people leaving care they, or the person supporting them in completing a housing benefit application, have to outline why they are vulnerable, which can be undermining to a young person aspirations of independence.

The ‘shared’ room rent restriction that applies to all young people under 25 years of age and care leavers from the age of 22 to 25 years of age discriminates against those care leavers who have been resettled in private rented accommodation, as apposed to social housing. For some young people leaving care shared accommodation is not appropriate and the


A home not a safety net


October 2008

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