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National Homeless Advice Service

Introduction: How to keep families together

Many families struggle with debt, unemployment, benefit cuts and overcrowded housing, as well as health and relationship problems, and young people often bear the brunt of family pressures.

For many young people, there seems to be an immediate and obvious solution: leave home. They can get their own place, go to college, find a job or sign on, and start a new independent life away from the hassle of parents, step-family or siblings.

The reality of life outside of home is of course very different, and increasingly providers of services for young people are focusing on ways to keep a young person safe and secure in the family home for as long as possible. This section looks at those services, and how advisers for young people may be able to help their clients access them.

This section looks at how local authorities and other service providers work to intervene early to prevent young people leaving home suddenly, for example through mediation work with families. It also considers how to provide services can work together, and how best to assess young people and refer them to appropriate services.

It also looks at communicating with young people about the realities of leaving home at a young age.

Although some of the options discussed in this section will be aimed at school-age children and young people aged 16 and 17, many are equally relevant to other young people up to the age of 25.

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