We want to see changes to the law for care experienced children and young people so they are never left homeless and have access to long term, stable housing.
We have two key priorities in this area which have been informed by Just for Kids Law's direct practice:
1. Homeless 16 and 17 year olds
Every year, thousands of children aged 16 and 17 approach their local authority for support as they are facing homelessness, but many are sent away and others are unlawfully housed under legislation that does not give them the full support they are entitled to. The legal status and support that children receive at this age can have life-long consequences.
The reason we are focusing on this age group, in particular, is because 16 and 17 year-olds tell us they are often treated like adults by the services that are meant to support them – despite the fact that they are legally still children and are entitled to a greater level of support than someone aged 18+.
We are campaigning to improve the support which is provided to homeless young people aged 16 and 17, and in particular, to ensure that all children in this age group have the opportunity to become ‘looked after’ by their local authority if this is what they want.
2. Increasing support for care leavers facing homelessness
Young people aged 18+ who have experience of the care system (‘care leavers’) face an increased risk of being made homeless compared to other young people, particularly as they may not be able to fall back on family members if they need somewhere to live. One in four homeless people were in care at some point in their lives (NAO, 2015).
We are campaigning for the Government to expand the support it gives to homeless care leavers. In particular,
- Extending priority need for care leavers up to the age of 25.
- Removing the intentional homeless test for all care leavers and ensure that care leavers are better supported to maintain their accommodation.
- Ensure priority access to social housing for all care leavers placed out of borough as a child.
Independent Review of Children’s Social Care
A key focus for us over the past two years has been influencing the Independent Review of Children's Social Care to ensure it includes key recommendations to protect care-experienced children and care leavers from becoming homeless.
Care leavers for housing rights campaign
Our Care Leavers for Housing Rights campaign offers young people aged between 16 and 25 with lived experience of the care system the opportunity to influence positive change and wider reform to help ensure young care leavers have their right to adequate housing realised. Our policy team work closely with our young campaigners to bring about change.
Get in touch
To find out more about our policy, campaigning and research work on housing and care, get in touch with Elsa Corry-Roake at email@example.com.
To find out about work supporting children and young people to campaign on housing and care, get in touch with Michaela Rafferty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need support with housing issues, find out about the support our legal team can offer.