Many young people who become homeless are already known to local authority services and their commissioned partners.
This page looks at common risk factors associated with homelessness, which services will be first to deal with young people, and how best these services can work together to identify young people at risk, and work to intervene early and prevent later homelessness.
Many young homeless people will have experienced disruption and disadvantage in their childhoods. Homeless young people are more likely to have:
These young people may therefore already be known to one or more agencies and services of their local authority, and long before crisis point is reached, work can be done on early intervention and prevention. These services, and their commissioned partners, may be able to identify early those young people who will be at risk of homelessness, and by putting support in place at an early stage, can help to reduce the likelihood of a young person leaving home suddenly and facing a housing crisis.
Preventative intervention strategies will require a joined-up approach across several local authority departments, from family and children’s services to youth offending teams, and including education and health services, and can be delivered in conjunction with voluntary sector partners and other providers.
Services that young people come into contact with from childhood to adulthood will include (but not be limited to):
See the section services for children and young people.
For more information on how young people and their families can best access available services, see advice and referrals.
A strategic approach to preventing homelessness from an early stage will focus on: