FtSE Member News: Barnardo's - Put care leavers in the driving seat, so they can choose their housing
Together with homeless charity St Basil’s, we are launching a new five-step framework for local authorities that puts young people at the heart of choosing and managing their accommodation when they are leaving foster and residential care.
Young people who leave care are more likely to live alone when they are too young to cope. More than two in three (68%) of young people who have been in care leave home on their 18th birthday, and 31% leave when they reach the age of 16 or 17 .
Care leavers are more likely than their peers to face rent debt or homelessness. A quarter of homeless people were in care as children .
The framework pulls together expertise from local authorities, leaving care and housing charities. The Care Leavers Accommodation and Support Framework has five steps for local authorities to help put young people in the driving seat with their housing:
Vulnerable young people who leave care can face rent debt, misery and even homelessness. All-too-often they find themselves living in accommodation that they’re not ready for or doesn’t suit them."
As their corporate parents, we need to give care leavers the same support we would give our own children – honest advice about their housing options, choice and control as they make those decisions. They need to be in the driving seat.”
St Basil’s chief executive, Jean Templeton comments:
St Basil’s have been really pleased to work with Barnardo’s to develop this framework for care leavers which complements the positive housing pathway developed for young people moving to independence.”
As well as setting out a simple model that local authorities can use flexibly to meet local needs, the framework provides advice, case studies and examples of good practice from across the country. This includes talking young people through the reality of their local housing market, planning their options together, and working with them to find new accommodation if their circumstances change.
Notes to editors
This press release applies to England.
 Data from the Department for Education, 2014
 Crisis, Young, hidden and homeless, 2012
 The following organisations worked with Barnardo’s and St Basil’s in developing the Care Leavers Accommodation and Support Framework: Centrepoint, Depaul UK, Homeless Link, Leeds City Council, North Yorkshire County Council, Oxfordshire County Council, Somerset County Council, St Christopher’s, Stoke on Trent Council, The Who Cares? Trust, Youth Justice Board
 St Basil’s published its updated Positive Youth Accommodation Pathway in September to help local authorities tackle youth homelessness: http://www.stbasils.org.uk/how-we-help/#positive-pathway
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