Making a difference to prevent youth homelessness

16/06/2020, PR-9440

New arrangements to prevent homelessness amongst young people in the Wakefield district are succeeding, new figures have shown.

Cllr Margaret Isherwood
Cllr Margaret Isherwood

Twelve months ago Wakefield Council and its partners held a Preventing Youth Homelessness Summit which brought together various organisations to help end youth homelessness across the district.


The Council also launched a new Homeless 16/17-Year-Old Joint Working Protocol, as part of its commitment to tackle homelessness. Since then, new working practices have assisted over 50 young people who were at risk of being made homeless.


The Council’s success came from setting up a new way of working with young people, aged 16 and 17, which includes joint working between teams from housing and social care, homeless prevention and social workers.


Where possible, and where it is safe to do so, the team works intensively with the young person and their family to address issues and allow them to remain in a family setting.


If this isn’t possible, the young person is given a short term, safe place to stay, where further assessments can be carried out to find a longer term solution.


Additional training has been given to staff working in housing and children’s services to help them identify young people at risk of homelessness.


Cllr Margaret Isherwood, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “It is very positive news that a year since the summit, so much progress has been made, and so many young people and their families have received the support they need.


“It is great to see how services are pulling together to tackle such an important issue and to see how this has already made a positive impact on the lives of young people.


“We are not complacent and recognise that ending youth homelessness across the district is a long term challenge for us and our partners.”


To report rough sleeping contact the Preventing Rough Sleeping Service on 01924 385722.


For advice about homelessness and housing options contact the Housing Needs Service on 01924 304362/304360.