16 and 17 year old young people at risk of homelessness
24. Appendix 3 - Entitlements under each route
What will you be entitled to, before and after you turn 18, according to which option you choose
When housed under section 20 of the Children Act
After 24 hours, you will become a looked-after child. You will be given a social worker and all of your needs will be taken care of by the local authority.
Before you turn 18, your social worker will work with you to plan what support you will need to achieve your long-term goals once you turn 18.
Your accommodation is paid for by Children’s services until you turn 18.
You should receive subsistence/pocket money or special allowances for birthdays and other occasions.
You will be entitled to get advocacy support for any complaints and representation.
If your placement breaks down, Children’s services must find you a new placement.
When you turn 18 and until you turn 21, you will automatically have priority need if you become homeless, meaning you will be much more likely to get help.
Between 21 and 24, care leavers may have priority need if they can show that they are vulnerable as a result of having been in care.
Depending on how long you were housed as a looked after child, you will either be a former relevant child or a qualifying care leaver. Each category is entitled to slightly different levels of support after they turn 18.
A young person who was in care for at least 13 weeks and was still in care when they turned 18 is a former relevant child. They are also known as care leavers.
They will continue to receive support until the age of 25, including support to pursue higher education.
Before they turn 18, the young person in entitled to having their long-term needs assessed (a Pathway Plan needs assessment) to set out the advice, assistance and support social services will provide them to transition into independence. This includes helping with education, career planning, employment, accommodation, financial needs and planning, and any other support needs and leaving care provision, up to the age 21. They will have a personal advisor who should keep in touch, provide the support agreed on in their Pathway Plan and any other support they need.
Once they turn 21, former relevant children are still entitled to a Personal Advisor and advice and support until they turn 25 if they request it.
A young person who was still in care when they turn 18 but was not in care for at least 13 wees in total is known as a qualifying care leaver. They are entitled to advice and assistance from children’s services until the age of 21, including sometimes financial assistance. If they are in higher education, they can receive help with their living expenses and with having a place to live during school holidays until the age of 25.
When housed under section 17 of the Children Act
You will be a child in need and therefore should continue to receive the support children’s services will have decided you need based on their assessment of your needs and will have a social worker assigned to you to make sure that your needs are met.
However, you will not be entitled to any Pathway Planning or leaving care support to assist you to transition into adulthood.
Your accommodation should be paid for by Children’s services until you turn 18.
Any subsistence/pocket money or special allowances for birthdays and other occasions would be at the discretion of social services.
You will be able to get advocacy support for any complaints and representation.
If you are housed under section 17 and your placement breaks down, Children’s services will find you a new placement
Once you turn 18, you will not be a care leaver and will not automatically have priority need on those grounds.
After you turn 18, you will not legally be entitled to any support, including with pursuing higher education, though some local authorities may offer support packages in these circumstances.
When housed under part VII of the Housing Act
You will be legally entitled to minimal support, though some local authorities may offer support packages in these circumstances.
There is no requirement for you to have a social worker or a Pathway Plan or equivalent.
You will be responsible for working and/or claiming benefits and paying for your accommodation and all other expenses.
No pocket money/subsistence and no special allowances for birthdays or any other occasions.
There is no entitlement to advocacy support. However, you would be able to get advocacy support for any complaints and representation.
If you are accommodated under the Housing Act and become at risk of eviction, depending on why you might be viewed as intentionally homeless and so no longer eligible for further housing support from housing services.
Once you turn 18, you will not automatically have priority need on grounds of care experience.
After you turn 18, you will not legally be entitled to any support including with pursuing higher education though some local authorities may offer support packages in these circumstances.