The information below provides information to young people who are leaving care, and who are seeking housing advice from Erewash Borough Council. It contains information on support that is available to you, and ideas for finding somewhere to live, and for making it a successful, settled home of your own.

On your 18th birthday, the funding for your care is suddenly reduced, but you still have a number of challenges ahead, that mean you may need further help – such as finding a place to live independently, and improving your budgeting and practical skills. Derbyshire County Council Leaving Care Team will help care leavers in Derbyshire to prepare for becoming an adult and developing their independence. You will be entitled to this support up to the age of 21 (or longer, if you are in full-time education), if you have been 'Looked After' for 13 weeks from the age of 14, and for at least a day following your 16th birthday.

If you are a careleaver looking at moving in to your own accommodation can may wish to consider the options below:

Threatened with homelessness

If you are think you will be made homeless in the next 56 days, and you cannot find your own alternative accommodation (with the help of your leaving care worker), you can approach any local authority in England, and ask for assistance. Provided you are eligible, the council will assess your needs, and draw up a plan to help you resolve your housing problem. This plan will include the steps that you and the council will take to find a solution. This might involve, for example, ensuring you have approached all the right agencies in the right way, maximising benefits, or getting help with training or work. This is referred duty is known as the prevention duty and can last for up to 56 days.

 Already homeless

If we are satisfied that you are eligible, and do not have accommodation anywhere that you have a right to occupy, and can gain access to, we will try to help you resolve your homelessness. As a care leaver, if you are under the age of 21, you would automatically have what is referred to as a ‘priority need’ and be offered temporary accommodation. If you are 21 or over we would decide if you are more vulnerable as a result of your time in care or some other vulnerability, and may decide you are in a priority need group as a result.

If this is the case, we will provide you with suitable temporary accommodation, while we try and help you to find a more permanent solution. It is important to know that there is not a duty at this point to provide you with accommodation unless the Council considers that you have a priority need.

Whether you are vulnerable or not,  if you have a local connection, we will try and relieve your homelessness. If you are leaving the care of Erewash Borough Council, you will have a local connection to every local housing authority within Derbyshire, even if your care placement has been outside the Council’s boundaries. We will develop Personal Housing Plan with you to decide what housing is suitable. This is what is known as the relief duty. The relief duty to assist you lasts for up to 56 days and can be ended sooner if you refuse an offer of accommodation which the Council decides is suitable. If you are made an offer of accommodation please think carefully before refusing this as this may discharge the authorities duty to you.

If no accommodation can be found within 56 days, the Council will go on to consider whether they owe a main duty to offer accommodation. This duty will be owed if the Council decides that you not homeless as a direct result of something you have deliberately done, or not done. In some circumstances, if you knew that your actions would result in the loss of your last settled home, you may be considered to be ‘intentionally homeless’. This means the Council would not have a duty to provide housing directly. If you are not considered to be intentionally homeless then the Council would make you an offer of accommodation.

Derbyshire Services

• Derbyshire County Council have a Leaving Care Service to help with supporting the transition from Care to independent living. They can assist with follow on services providing skills, knowledge and access to 1-1 advice, supporting lodgings, employment and training. Information on the leaving care service can be found on the Derbyshire County Council website.

• The local offer for Derbyshire aims to tell young people the support available as a care leaver. 

• Step Up provides accommodation and support for 16-24 year olds in Derbyshire. The service supports looked after children, care leaves and homeless young people under 21 in accommodation. The service also supports 18-24 year olds who need help with tenancy sustainment or who are at risk of becoming homeless receiving a floating support service. Referrals are accepted up to some ones 25th birthday. Contact framework on 0115 9986635 or 01298 73798 or email stepup@frameworkha.org

• Derbyshire Youth Inc works with young people aged 16-19 who are or have left care providing a range of services around post 16 education, training and employment opportunities. Contact Derbyshire Youth on 01773 535495.

Further information can be found on the Derbyshire County Council website