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A care leaver or young person facing homelessness

If you are a young person facing homelessness, we can help. Let us know about your situation.

If you are a care leaver aged:

  • 16 or 17 years old, our Children’s Services team will help you to resolve your situation with somewhere safe to live
  • 18 to 21 years old, and you were looked after, accommodated or fostered between the ages of 16 and 18 then you are automatically entitled to advice and support to resolve your housing situation 
  • over 21 years old and under 25 years old, you are still entitled to advice and support, but entitlement to accommodation will depend on your individual circumstances.

If you feel that you can no longer live where you are staying, you have options. First, talk with your personal advisor (PA) in the Leaving Care Team, but you may also approach homelessness services directly.

For more information, visit our care leavers page.

Housing for care leavers

Up to the age of 21 years old, you can get help to find a place to live from our Housing and Children’s Services teams. Depending on your needs, different types of housing may be available, such as:

  • shared accommodation
  • supported or semi-independent living
  • private rental
  • school holiday accommodation (if you are in full-time, continuing education).

Get in touch with our Shared lives team if you have a disability that makes living on your own difficult. You may be able to live with a Shared Lives carer in their home and get support to be independent. 

You also can get access to training courses, such as money management, and higher education. If you have a disability and want to know more about education and other support options, visit The Local Offer.

Use Shelter's directory to find your local Shelter or Citizens Advice centres. These services are free and confidential.

Any accommodation we provide should be suitable for your needs. You may get a place in a hostel or a self-contained flat.

It is unlikely but, in some cases, you could be offered a place in a children’s home or foster care.

Ask your PA for help if you have problems with your accommodation. Get advice immediately if you’re placed in any unsuitable accommodation, such as a bed & breakfast.

Benefits and financial help

You may be able to get help with your finances, such as organising universal credit, moving expenses, or an allowance toward setting up your flat, room, or type of accommodation.

Additional support may include:

  • help with setting up a benefit, including help with identity documents, such as a passport or driver's license
  • help to set up a bank account and national insurance number
  • a loan, such as advance payment of your first benefit payment
  • emergency support and unexpected bills payment
  • Council Tax exemption until you're 25 years old.

If you need budgeting and debt advice, speak to your PA, in the first instance.

You can use the benefits calculator to see what benefits you may get.

Care leavers aged 21 to 25 years old

If you're an older care leaver between the ages of 21 and under 25 years, you may get accommodation from the Housing Needs team if you are in priority need. For example, this may be the case if you:

  • are vulnerable as a result of having been in care
  • haven’t had a stable home since leaving care
  • have slept on the streets in the past
  • are in full-time, continuing education.

Homelessness

If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, you should contact us for advice at the earliest opportunity. We should not wait until you are made homeless before we help you. If you are eligible, we have a duty to assist you to prevent your homelessness.

Local connection

If we owe you leaving care duties under the Children's Act, you will automatically have a local connection to the Isle of Wight for homelessness assistance.

If you are owed care leaver duties by another local authority which has provided you with accommodation on the Isle of Wight, you will need to have been accommodated on the Island for a continuous period of two years or more. At least some of this period must have been before you were 16 years old to have a local connection with the area.

This applies until you turn 21 years old (or longer if you continue in education or training specified in your personal pathway plan).

If you are homeless and do not have a local connection to the Isle of Wight, the homelessness duty to assist you may be referred to a local authority where you do have a connection. We will consider your circumstances when making this decision.

Related links


Some of the information on this page links back to our council website (iow.gov.uk)