NYAS, as part of a collective of children’s and homelessness charities across the sector, have today submitted a letter addressed to Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson calling on the Government to prioritise homelessness amongst care leavers.

Homelessness is one of the key issues faced by care experienced young people as they transition to independence. Our evidence suggests that care leavers are overrepresented amongst the ‘hidden homeless’ such as those sofa-surfing. This builds on concerns that some of the most vulnerable young people in society may not benefit from the emergency support put in place by the Government to support rough sleepers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Around one in four homeless people have been in care. The consequences of a lack of housing support could have a long-term detrimental impact, such as creating a barrier starting or continuing education or employment. To prevent this happening, it’s crucial that the Government fulfil their corporate parenting duties for all care leavers up to the age of 25. Given the additional risks shaped by the current climate, it should now be an urgent priority for the Government to extend homeless ‘priority need’ status to all care leavers up to 25.

Read the full letter here.