This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at www.shelter.org.uk

Young people and care leavers

This content applies to England

This section looks at housing rights and options of young people and care leavers, including the duties of local authorities towards them under the homelessness legislation and the Children Act 1989 and Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000.

Although this section explains rights and options that are specific to young people and care leavers under the age of 25, many young people aged 18 or over will also be able to access the assistance available to other adults. Advisers should therefore refer to other sections where appropriate.

Housing options for young people

Accommodation options for young people including hostels, night shelters, lodging schemes, private renting and social housing. 

Local authority duties

Local authority duties and powers towards homeless young people and care leavers. 

Duties towards children in need

Social services duty to assess children in need and their families. 

Accommodation under section 17

The duty on social services to accommodate homeless young people aged under 18 and their families. 

Accommodation under section 20

Duty of social services to provide accommodation to certain children in need in their area who cannot live with their families.  

Homeless 16 and 17 year olds

Local authority duties and powers towards homeless young people and care leavers. 

Housing and social services cooperation

Local authority protocols and legislative framework on joint working responsibilities towards young people and care leavers. 

Leaving care duties

An overview of provisions for children leaving care in England and Wales. 

Challenging Children Act decisions

The ways in which an assessment or decision made by a local authority under the Children Acts can be challenged. 

Tenancies for under 18s

The legal position of minors (children and young people under the age of 18) with regard to holding a tenancy, and the issues associated with this. 

Paying for accommodation

Options available to help young people pay for and access accommodation. 

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