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Leaving foster care.

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
edited December 2020 in Care Experienced Zone
I was fostered as a child (back and forth from my mum and back to care/foster parents) & I am now 17 turning 18 in a few months.
I live in the north of Scotland now and wanted to return to London as that is where I was born/grew up but it seems that it's near impossible to return to London because of so little houses.
Everyone around me says to make sure I emphasis my troubled/care home background as they will put me up the priority list but the council don't seem to care. I was told to think about private renting which was what I was going to do anyways.
I've ended up changing my mind about moving back to London as it seems like to much trouble and have decided on at least Glasgow. Again, the council just don't want to know.
I don't understand why they say they will help those in need/who are of priority if they actually have no intentions of doing so?!

Has anyone else who is of 'priority' had trouble or indeed luck with getting housing/help when leaving home?!
Post edited by Mike on

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hello :wave:
    maumau wrote: »
    Has anyone else who is of 'priority' had trouble or indeed luck with getting housing/help when leaving home?!

    :yes:

    I had trouble getting help when classed as a priority (wasn't in care but had to leave home). Most councils have pretty long waiting lists, so you will get help with finding somewhere, but it won't be quick. Some councils do schemes for care leavers usually aimed at 18-25 year olds which sometimes can provide accommodation or help with costs, not sure if there are any in your area or where you are looking to move to, worth looking into? But usually you would get more help from the council if you had a local connection to the area you are moving to (moving for work/education).

    Are you working or in college at the moment?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks for your reply.
    Well thats why I wanted to move to London. Being a born Londoner, living there for years before moving & having immediate family there (my brother, mother). I said this in my application form and they didn't seem to care.

    I'm not working at the moment, which is also why i want to move. There are no jobs here as I live in a teeny tiny little country village. It would seem that no one wants to help me move.
    I am looking into private renting but 98% wont accept housing benefits for the first few weeks until I can get a little job. It's a catch 22 :(
    The council and government have this bravado that they will help you, and from all the years i've been under the care of social services I can state no one has EVER helped in any way or form.
    Yet there are people on benefits who shouldn't be, people who are in this country illegally living of the state. *shakes fist*
    It just makes me mad because I don't ask for anything, I want to work and earn a living yet I get treated like crap :(

    Ok, i'm done. :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Totally know how you feel. It is soo frustrating when you need the help and it feels like you're going round in circles.

    Have you looked into house shares? It's not the same as having your own place but it can be a step in the right direction until you can get on your feet. I ended up private renting with someone who would accept housing benefit, you may get lucky if you keep looking, there may be some nice people out there willing to give you a chance. Spareroom is a good one for finding private tenants which accept benefits (search for DSS accepted)

    Keep going, it will pay off eventually :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I will have a look on that site, I've never seen it before so thank you :)
    Thanks for your help, I'll just keep on looking. Have to take a step further eventually right? :P
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you have a local connection (i.e. have close family living in that area and can prove this to the council, maybe by seeing if you can give them a copy of a utility bill from a family member), and are priority need (i.e. a care leaver - get your social worker to write you a letter), then they have a duty to house you. Councils will tell you you're wrong because they are so stretched and want as few people as they can to deal with, but maybe by contacting the who cares trust and Shelter you might be able to get some supporting letters. Also if you're in full time education remember that your local authority legally have to support you (up until you're 25). They also have a duty of care to you after 18 (until 25) if you're not in education.

    I left care a few years ago so if you need some advice about leaving care issues, feel free to ask

    (and feel free peeps to tell me I'm wrong if the law has changed).

    I left care
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey there,

    Welcome to the boards and thanks for posting your query.

    Sorry to hear the council have not considered your application as well as they should have. I'm sure it must be really frustrating especially as you want to be able to move closer to your family and want to work.

    Which local authority did you make an application to?

    I think it would be a good idea to get some specific advice from Shelter, as Miss Riot has stated above.

    But in the meantime some of things that the local authority will consider when you make a homeless persons application include;

    1. Whether you have other accommodation available to you. (i.e. are you homeless?)
    This includes where you last lived and whether you made yourself homeless intentionally.

    2. Whether you have a local connection to their local authority.
    I think, even though you've been living in Scotland (how long for btw?), you have a strong argument to move to London as your immediate live there.

    3. As you point out, the local authority assess whether people are in priority need as they need to allocate their resources to those who need it the most.
    Were you looked after/accommodated or fostered between the ages of 16-18? If so then you will be in priority need.

    4. Because you're 17, there are some extra rules that apply to you, as well as the normal homeless persons rules.
    This is where it gets a bit complex and I'm not sure if getting all technical is just going to confuse you (?)
    So I'll try to be brief;
    Essentially, if Social Services have a duty to you, then it is them that should be accommodating you/providing support. Although the Housing Department and Social Services department should work together. So if you make a homeless persons application and the Housing Department consider that Social Services should be looking after you, then they should make the referral.

    Sometimes, you need a big voice to be heard at the council as unfortunately they are so over stretched that they don't always make all the enquiries that they should. It shouldn't be like this, but that's the way it is at the moment. Therefore it might help if you asked Shelter/Social Services or a lawyer to write a supporting letter, outlining all the relevant facts and information about your case.

    This has turned into a long post, but hope it helps!

    :)
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