View Cambridgeshire LSCB Manual View Cambridgeshire LSCB Manual

3.5.2 Homeless 16 and 17 Year Olds

Statutory Guidance on the Provision of Accommodation for 16 and 17 Year Olds Who May be Homeless and/or Require Accommodation was issued in 2010.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was extensively revised and updated in August 2015 and should be re-read in full.


Contents

  1. Introduction 
  2. Protocol for the Assessment of Homeless 16/17 Year Olds and Care Leavers
  3. Young People Under the Age of 16 Years Old
  4. Young People of 16 or 17 Years Old Who Are Already ‘Children Looked After’
  5. Homeless Young People Age 16 or 17 Years Old and Those at Risk of Homelessness


1. Introduction 

Being homeless can pose serious risks to young people. A protocol has been produced that forms an agreement between Cambridgeshire County Council: Children Families and Adults – Children’s Social Care, Cambridgeshire County Council: Children Families and Adults – Early Help and Preventative, Cambridge City Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council.

The Protocol aims to ensure that by working together, agencies will prevent homelessness wherever possible and/or resolve the homelessness of young people and care leavers.

The Joint Housing Protocol has been developed in compliance with legislation and guidance which require Housing and Social Care Authorities to work together. It outlines the joint responsibilities of the signatories concerning the assessment of need and provision of accommodation services to homeless 16/17 year olds and care leavers aged 16-25.


2. Protocol for the Assessment of Homeless 16/17 Year Olds and Care Leavers

Click here to view the Protocol for the Assessment of Homeless 16/17 Year Olds and Care Leavers.


3. Young People Under the Age of 16 Years Old

All young people under the age of 16 years remain the exclusive responsibility of their parents, and if in need, Children's Social Care. If a homeless young person under 16 approaches any one of the other signatories to the protocol, Children's Social Care should immediately be contacted in order that an assessment can be undertaken.


4. Young People of 16 or 17 Years Old Who Are Already ‘Children Looked After’

This category refers to young people who are eligible and/or relevant care leavers under the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000.

All of Cambridgeshire's care leavers aged 16 to 25 are held within Children's Social Care. This would be within a LAC / Disability Unit or post 18 by the 18-25 team (leaving care). These young people could also be open to Adult Social Care post 18.

An application for housing needs to be made once the young person has reached the age of 17 ½ through registering with Home Link if they will have a housing need post 18.

Social Care and Housing will work together to make arrangements for the young person to be offered the most appropriate housing and ongoing support.


5. Homeless Young People Age 16 or 17 Years Old and Those at Risk of Homelessness

Supporting families to stay together and re-unification

It is in the best interests of most young people aged 16 or 17 to live in the family home, or, where this is not safe or appropriate, with responsible adults in their wider family and friends network. Local Authority responses to 16 and 17 year olds seeking help because of homelessness should explicitly recognise this and work pro-actively with young people and their families to identify and resolve the issues which have led to the homelessness crisis.

Emergency Accommodation

The service that the young person first approaches (Housing or Social Care) will have the responsibility to make initial enquires regarding the young person’s circumstances and where it is evident that the young person cannot return home, the service in which the young person initially presented will be responsible for securing emergency accommodation. (Where a young person is being supported by a District Early Help Team, the responsibility for providing emergency accommodation, where required, will rest with Social Care, however the District Early Help Team will assist in trying to resolve the family breakdown to prevent the young person leaving home).

The use of Bed and Breakfast accommodation is deemed to be unsuitable for 16 and 17 year olds and therefore CSC and housing will work together to avoid this wherever possible.

Further Reading

CCinform: The online resource for professionals working with children and families.

Research in Practice.

End