Where does it go wrong?
Without a safe and secure home, or adequate support to help them, care leavers may struggle to gain their independence. Leaving care often means young people face huge challenges and could find themselves at risk of homelessness. These challenges include:
• Being unprepared to manage finances, especially bills
• Not having enough income to pay rent, which is particularly tricky in the private rented sector
• Moving to a new area, especially if they were placed out of their borough while they were in care
• Having less support from the local authority, as care leavers have a personal advisor rather than a social worker who they will see less frequently
• Loneliness and isolation
• Feeling unsafe in their local area and their home
• Losing their tenancy and facing homelessness
Our research for the report was based on detailed interviews with care leavers, local authority leaving care practitioners, a nation-wide survey of 87 care leavers and 99 local authority practitioners.
Like everything we do at Centrepoint, the numbers count – they drive our work. If we didn’t do the research and analyse the data, we wouldn’t know that 26% of care leavers surveyed for the report have sofa surfed and 14% have slept rough. We wouldn’t know to recommend that the Government change homelessness legislation so that all care leavers under 25 are seen as a priority group eligible for help with homelessness, for example.
We just wouldn’t know what to fight for and how.
As a Centrepoint supporter, you deserve to know the numbers. We know you care about each and every young person experiencing homelessness and you want to know how, together, we can help.
One of the ways your support helps care leavers is with mentoring. Centrepoint mentors work with young people on a one-to-one basis for one year, tailoring their support to the young person’s needs and ambitions. People like Emily: