Homelesseness: Local Council neglects homeless teenager19 Jun 2012
A 16 year old boy was forced to live in a tent for 9 months while the local council in Kent refused to help him as reported by national newspaper The Guardian.
The boy had been in care from the age of 12 to 14 and then returned to live with his mother who had mental health problems. During this time he became involved with drugs, fathered a child then his mother threw him out after an argument.
The council’s housing department has a duty to assist 16 and 17 year olds who are homeless. Although he was offered bed and breakfast accommodation he did not want to stay there as he was trying to get away from drug use in the area.
Social Services also have a duty to help young people in need, especially those who have been in care, and the two departments are supposed to work together to ensure they are supported. Local Authorities have a Joint Working Protocol and according to the Guardian the “… councils flouted a joint policy they had agreed upon for homeless young people”.
After getting help through a voluntary service organisation, the boy got legal representation and after the council was threatened with legal action he was provided with appropriate accommodation.
The Local Government Ombudsman found that the council had failed in their duty and awarded him over £5000 compensation for the way he was treated.
Safiye Connor, expert property and social welfare solicitor at Osbornes comments:
“If any individual is made homeless through no fault of their own the local council has a responsibility to help them, the fact that in this case the person involved was a child is shocking and will undoubtedly have repercussions for the council involved”
How the social welfare department at Osbornes can help
The housing solicitors at Osbornes can provide you with expert advice and assistance in the making of homelessness applications, requesting a review and interim accommodation. Our housing solicitors can also assist in carrying out of appeals of negative review decisions to the Courts.
Our solicitors can also help with Community Care Assessments and securing compliance with social services duties towards children
For further advice in making a homeless application please contact Safiye by: