Homelessness, amongst 16-17 year olds, is primarily caused by family breakdown. A significant number of young people are living in challenging conditions, and are exposed to a number of high risk behaviours. These young people can end up in crises, in and out of temporary or inappropriate housing and not managing to cope. Without sufficient support, a lack of stability can lead to problems becoming entrenched, and with new issues emerging. As young people transition as care leavers many end up homeless, unemployed and not in secure accommodation. Subsequently, the risks and costs associated with homelessness start to rise.
Five accommodation strands were developed during the project: Short Stays residential service and Boarding School places for young people on the edge of care; 24hr Intensive Supported Accommodation service and Foyer provision for vulnerable 16-25 year olds at risk of homelessness; and a Staying Close option for young people leaving residential care.
The innovation was successful, with all five accommodation and support options implemented, with all but one operating at capacity. Additionally, referrals were streamlined through a single pathway, bringing about greater efficiency, improved cross-agency work and information sharing.
Calderdale has received further funding under Wave Two of the DfE’s innovation project, for a project on teenage pregnancy.
Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York