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National Homeless Advice Service

Youth services hubs and good practice


London Borough of Greenwich: 1st Base

1st Base in Greenwich provides a fully integrated one-stop housing options and support service.

It is led by children’s social services for 16-17 year olds and care leavers aged 18 and 20 at risk of homelessness. 1st Base is part of a wider service to provide targeted youth support to the most vulnerable young people. There is a particular focus on improving health and well being, access to education, employment and training, personal and community safety.

The 1st Base team is made up of housing options officers, housing support officers and a social worker. It is responsible for:

  • working with young people and families to find solutions that prevent homelessness, including providing home visits, floating support, respite accommodation and mediation services
  • completing housing options, homelessness and Child In Need assessments
  • acting as the gateway to all young people’s supported housing in the borough
  • working with young people 16-24 to develop independent living skills and to sustain more settled accommodation

This gateway also acts as the referral point for reconnection and mediation services delivered locally by DePaul UK.

For more information, see 1st Base Housing.

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Birmingham City Council: The Youth Hub

The Youth Hub is a multi-agency service, delivered in partnership between Birmingham City Council’s homeless services and children’s services and St Basils.

It works with all young people in housing need, including young care leavers, young people leaving custody and young parents.

The Youth Hub offers a variety of different services including:

  • assistance in preventing homelessness: family mediation, access to floating support and landlord liaison/negotiation
  • statutory assessments including Children’s Services undertaking Initial Assessments of young people aged 16/17, and Housing taking and investigating homeless applications and provision of temporary accommodation
  • advice and help applying for a range of housing options, for example, supported accommodation, private and social housing
  • benefits advice
  • advice on accessing education, training and employment
  • specialist support services including health needs, drugs and alcohol misuse support and mental health services
  • access into suitable short stay/emergency accommodation if needed

Youthline - a central helpline - acts as the gateway into supported accommodation for all young people in housing need in Birmingham

For more information, contact St Basils.

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Youth Access - Youth Advice: a mental health intervention?

This publication from Youth Access provides a summary of a research study on the mental health benefits and cost-effectiveness of youth advice services.

Scope of the study

The study focused on young people attending youth advice services for social welfare advice, defined as advice to individuals on their rights in relation to everyday problems concerning housing, homelessness, welfare benefits,money/debt, employment rights, education rights, consumer rights or immigration.

Design of the study

The study was designed to:

  • measure the mental health of young people in youth advice settings, comparing their scores on a standardised mental health instrument to a range of other groups
  • assess the impact problems have had on their lives and the associated costs of some of these impacts
  • identify what impact getting advice has had on their lives
  • quantify the cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness of advice, with particular regard to health-related benefits

Conclusions of the research

The findings demonstrate the benefits to mental health of social welfare advice provided in young person-friendly settings and the importance of an advice model that acknowledges and responds to young people’s significant emotional and mental health needs.

The report is available from Youth Access.

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