Care leavers need more support, say MPs

The Communities and Local Government Committee of MPs issued its report on homelessness today. It urges improvements in how the Government collects data on homelessness, noting that official statistics estimated there were 940 people sleeping rough in London, compared with CHAIN’s (a multi-agency database) calculation of 8,096 in 2015/16.

MPs highlight that one in four (24%) homeless people has been in care and report young people’s experiences of falling off a “sudden cliff-edge” when local authority support ends at 18, if they do not continue their education (when assistance continues to age 25).

To reduce the financial difficulties facing young care leavers, and therefore the threat of homelessness, MPs recommend “the Government should consider a policy whereby [care leavers] should not be required to pay council tax until they are 21.”

In january 2016, Children and Young People Now magazine reported that North Somerset County Council would, from April, be no longer collecting council tax from care leavers below the age of 21.

The report can be accessed here.