If you are 16 or 17
…and homeless or about to be kicked out, you should contact the Youth Homeless Workers. They have a duty to look into your situation and the Council may have to find you emergency accommodation while they do this. If you are 16 but still officially of school age (e.g. in Year 11 and before the end of June) they will put you in touch with a social worker instead, as they will not be able to refer you to any of the supported accommodation options.
The Youth Homeless Worker will need to contact your parents to check whether you can return, and will try and sort things out for you to go back home, even if this is for a short time, while you get help planning other housing (such as supported accommodation). If you can’t go back they must find you a placement in a hostel or with Children’s Social Care (Social Services).
If it is not safe for you to return home you need to tell them why. They can’t contact your parents without your permission, but you’ll need to tell them why you don’t want this to happen. However it may be easier if your parent(s) can go with you, if you both agree.
The Youth Homeless Worker will make a homeless assessment with you, which should look at your current situation, your personal circumstances and what support you are likely to need. They may then need to refer you to Children’s Social Care if you have additional support needs or want to find out more about being “looked after”, which can include suitable accommodation and support. The alternative is to be housed by Housing Services instead in supported accommodation. You should be advised about these two options and what the consequences are longer term, so that you can make the best decision for you.
If you go into a hostel you will get support to learn the skills you’ll need to live independently. When you are ready, you’ll get support to plan your next move. See ‘what happens next‘ in the Supported Housing section.
If you are 16 or 17 and are not being asked to leave home but want to move from home out of choice, then speak to a worker at Castlegate. They can look at your options with you, such as private rented, talk about the costs involved, any benefits that you may be entitled to, and how best to plan your move.