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Children’s Commissioner highlights plight of homeless 16 & 17 year olds in need of care

The Children’s Commissioner, Dame Rachel De Souza, has released new data showing that almost 6,500 teenagers were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in England last year. Of these, about 1,000 were unaccompanied children seeking asylum (UCSA), although the figure doesn’t include the large number of children placed in hotels when they arrive.

De Souza said “Too many of the children who do present to their local authority, are not getting the care they deserve and are entitled to. This new data shows for the first time that of the 4,879 children who weren’t UCSA who presented as homeless only 40% were accommodated.

I am even more concerned by the fact that the majority of children accommodated were not taken into care, as statutory guidance is clear they should be – unless they refuse it – with the legal protections that entails. Only 39% were taken into care while the majority, 61%, were simply accommodated under housing legislation.”

She continued “These young people who are the focus of the report are all vulnerable, and are all children. All of them should have a safe caring place to call home”.

See here for a copy of the full report.

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Published on 21st November 2023