Local authorities criticised for offering care leavers limited support

Services for care leavers remains subject to a postcode lottery, a new report from the homelessness charity Centrepoint has found.

The report into the experiences of care leavers in finding suitable accommodation reveals that the type and level of support these young people receive is still dependent on where they live.

It concludes that the “limited” choice of accommodation and support care leavers receive is unacceptable.

“Local authorities must specify and fund decent support accommodation and support for care leavers,” it argues. “In addition, young people in their own tenancies who are vulnerable should be guaranteed a floating support service.”

It also identifies a persistent problem with the appropriateness and patchiness of services aimed at preparing young people for leaving care, and welcomes the shift in focus in the recent looked-after children green paper towards supporting this group of young people for as long as they need rather than forcing them to leave care too early.

However, the charity stresses that this must not detract from the need for local authorities to fulfil their legal duties to those who do leave care earlier by ensuring they are providing the right support and choice of housing.

“For those young people unable to stay on in foster placements, it is vital that the right support and range of accommodation is in place to help young care leavers during their transition to adulthood,” the report says. “This is not happening at the moment.”

Contact the author: Lauren Revans


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