Almost one in six young people leaving care are placed in unsuitable and sometimes unsafe accommodation, according to a report published today.
The study by young people’s charity Rainer found that in some cases care leavers were placed in unsecured accommodation where they experienced harassment and discrimination.
Although local authorities have a duty to provide “suitable accommodation” for young people leaving care, the report says a lack of co-ordination between leaving care and housing departments can mean this is not carried out in practice.
And the report says there is evidence young people feel they have no choice but to accept unsuitable accommodation or face being declared “intentionally homeless” and therefore not eligible for any more assistance.
It recommends that every local authority develop a list of approved properties, build closer links between leaving care and housing teams and introduce a presumption against young people leaving care being declared intentionally homeless.
Rainer chief executive Joyce Moseley said: “We want local authorities to provide the support, advice and encouragement that any parent would when their child moves out on their own for the first time.”
Rainer’s report followed the publication of responses to the government’s looked-after children green paper Care Matters last week, where organisations called for improvements in housing including regular inspection of supported accommodation.
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