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Commissioning services for young people at risk of homelessness

Report, best practice, research, case studies | July 2010

This report by the Commissioning Support Programme, of which the Institute of Public Care is a partner, reviews research and best practice in the design and redesign of services for young people at risk of homelessness or entry into care, and of care leaver services. Produced to help commissioners across 16 local authorities in the South West, it considers the evidence base for interventions aimed especially at safely preventing homelessness and/or entry into care for vulnerable 16-17-year-olds, and promoting good outcomes for care leavers.

Establishing a national context, the report notes significant increases in numbers of children in care in some areas and associated pressure on resources, and briefly assesses relevant legislation and guidance, including the `Southwark Judgement` on housing provision for homeless young people, and still pertinent aspects of the 2007 `Care Matters` White Paper.

Illustrated throughout by case studies of schemes in place or being piloted by authorities across the country, the main body of the report examines research and best practice in the areas of:

  • Preventing vulnerable 16-17-year-olds becoming homeless or needing to enter care - especially assessing risk factors for young people on the brink of care, and multi-disciplinary interventions aimed at safely preventing family breakdown.
  • Promoting good outcomes for care leavers - including an assessment of key factors in successful transition to independence, practical solutions such as mentoring schemes, and the range and relative merits of accommodation and support services that need to be available.
  • The devising and day-to-day management of care pathways - especially multi-agency approaches.
  • Promoting access to other support services for care leavers - with emphasis on reducing the number of care-leavers not in education, employment or training.
  • Involving young people in the commissioning process.

A concluding section provides a list of key publications in this area.

For further information please contact Katy Burch at IPC


Tel: 01225 484088