Councillors approve extra housing support for care leavers

Published: Friday, November 19, 2021

Councillors have given their approval to plans that will provide additional help to young people leaving care as they search for a new home.

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Town hall officials have drawn up a pilot scheme proposal to provide young care leavers ready to rent a home, with a cash deposit to help them secure the accommodation of their choice.

And earlier this week councillors on the education and children’s services overview and scrutiny committee endorsed the proposal.

As well as providing an initial cash deposit the pilot scheme would also see the council’s children’s services department acting as a rent guarantor for 12 months, further helping the young people secure a home by offering this reassurance to landlords.

Care leavers are supported by the council until they reach the age of 25. During this time, many want to lead more independent lives and secure their own homes.

A report considered by councillors as they discussed the scheme stated: “At present there are two main barriers to care experienced young people renting privately; access to a deposit and rent in advance, and access to a Guarantor. As a good corporate parent, we would like to be able to offer this to our children when they are ready to leave our care and live independently.

“All local authorities have a statutory duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child under the Children Act 1989, the Children Leaving Care Act 2000 and the Children and Social Work Act 2017. As ‘corporate parents’, there is a collective responsibility of the council, elected members, employees, and partner agencies, to provide the best possible care and safeguarding for the children who are looked after by the council.”

The proposal will now be considered by the council’s executive.