To achieve the best possible outcomes for young people in housing need, it is vitally important that the accommodation and support offered by local authorities is well matched to the young person’s needs and their ability to manage.
In this part of young people’s pathway to independence, progression is about planning moves based on needs and readiness to succeed. Too often young people who are homeless miss out on the experience of positive progression through different types of accommodation and/or support.
Flexibility and mobility is needed when so much is changing - especially in terms of work opportunities and relationships.
Managing this progression effectively requires a central accommodation gateway or similar arrangement. Through this, multiple agencies - principally Children’s Services and Housing Services - can access accommodation and offer specific support services to young people with greater needs.
Accommodation and support strategies for young people should therefore focus on providing them with:
In many authorities the strategy is led by the Supporting People or Children’s Services commissioning team. This represents a shift over the last decade from a provider-led approach. This approach has left a legacy in a number of areas, including:
Strategic commissioning teams need to address these shortfalls in provision. They must ensure that there are effective lines of communication with and between withal partners involved with the strategy.
Appropriate systems will need to be put in place to support not only the processes, but the strategy itself.