Leaving Care and 16 / 17 Year Olds

If you are 16 and 17, you are legally homeless if where you’re staying is unsafe, unsuitable or if you have no legal right to stay there. You could be homeless if you’re staying with friends temporarily because, for example, you’re escaping from abuse or the risk of violence.

NHA on behalf of Newcastle Borough Council work alongside Staffordshire Looked after Children Services Team to ensure effective homelessness prevention services for 16 and 17 year olds. It is in the best interests of young people to live with their immediate families or, where this is not safe or appropriate, with responsible adults in their wider family and friend’s network.

You can approach NHA or Staffordshire Looked after Children Services Team for assistance.  If you approach NHA as homeless or threatened with homeless and you are under 18, a referral will be made to Staffordshire Looked after Children Services Team on your behalf. This is to ensure the best support is offered to you and to alert the authorities of any potential safeguarding concerns. Regardless of which department in the council you approach, the focus will be to work with you to prevent you becoming homeless.

If you approach NHA you will be invited to an assessment, the assessment will cover the following points:

• The housing officer will make enquiries to determine if you are homeless or threatened with homelessness. You will be asked a series of questions in order to help us complete the assessment. You will be asked about your address history, any medical conditions and any family you are in contact with.

• You will be asked questions about what support you currently have in place and what support you may need in the future. It is important that you are honest when asked these questions so that the team can agree with you the best course of action.

• During the assessment you may be asked if you can return home. Every effort will be made to speak to your parent / guardian in order to decide if it is safe for you to return home or if you can stay with another relative.

• You will be asked about your wishes and feelings regarding your housing options during the assessment. We will be realistic with you about what options may be suitable for moving forward.

The assessment will explore accommodation options with wider family and friends.

The Children Act 1989 sets out the responsibilities of Children’s Services towards children and young people. Accommodation for homeless 16 and 17 year olds is usually provided under Section 20 of the Children Act. If you are found to be a Child in Need and you meet the criteria for accommodation under s.20, Social services must provide you with accommodation.

Most 16 or 17 year old are not eligible for benefits, however the Staffordshire Looked after Children Services Team may be able to help you by:

• Providing housing or helping you find your own place to live.

• Supporting you financially by paying you enough for your rent, food, bills, travel costs for education and training, clothing, pocket money and childcare if you need it.

• Giving you any other support you need, such as helping with continuing your education, finding work or dealing with personal problems.

The types of accommodation which may be offered to you will depend on the outcome of the assessment undertaken. Your officer and social worker will explore all accommodation options available to you. Your wishes and feelings around accommodation options will be considered during the assessment and any offer will be made to you based on how suitable it is.

By law, any individual under the age of 18 cannot legally hold a tenancy, you can register for housing from the age of 16 however the providers that nominate properties to us will not accept you for a tenancy until you are 18.

You could be offered a place with a foster family, in a hostel for young people, or in more supported independent accommodation.

If you are a young person under the Staffordshire looked after Children Services Team your Personal Advisor can make a referral to the Housing transition scheme when you are 17 ½.  

Staffordshire Looked after Children Services Team
The Civic Offices
Merrial Street
Newcastle under Lyme

Phone: 01782 296290

E-mail: leaving.care@staffordshire.gov.uk

Emergency duty number: 01785 354030


If you wish to apply for accommodation on the Newcastle under Lyme area, you will need to register on this website.  Please click on the "Register" button at the top of the page.

For information on how the council can offer advice, you can visit the Shelter website


Useful contacts

contact NHA via customerservices@newcastle-staffs.gov.uk

Accommodation and support providers for care leavers in Stoke, Staffordshire & Cheshire

Tel: 01782 720094

E-mail: stoke@anewyps.co.uk

Website: www.anewyps.co.uk