Council's drive to prevent youth homelessness gains national recognition
The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s unique homelessness prevention model has been shortlisted for UK Housing Awards’ “Homelessness Project of the Year” award.
The shortlisting comes off the back of a collaborative working model forged between the Council’s Housing Solutions and Social Services departments, and Llamau, Wales’ leading homelessness charity.
The model is designed to reconnect young people with their parents, schools, and care-givers, and facilitate a positive transition into adulthood.
With a focus on community relationships and continual development, it pools the knowledge of the Council and its external partners to ensure 16 – 25 year olds with a housing need in the Vale of Glamorgan are put on the appropriate pathway.
The Council’s “Young Persons Gateway”, facilitated by its Supporting People team, offers a single point of access for supported accommodation and streamlines the process of application, referral and assessment.
Llamau’s “One Stop Advice Shop”, meanwhile, provides a mediation service to help young people reconnect with their families, support them whilst they are in alternative accommodation and help them access benefits.
Llamau helps to support some of the most vulnerable young people in the Vale of Glamorgan, and, working out of 236, Holton Road, Barry, its doors are open to all.
Cllr. Andrew Parker, Cabinet Member for Housing and Building Services for the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said:
“Homeless young people have different needs to adults, ones that can, at first, be hidden or linked to disadvantaged childhoods or adverse childhood experiences.
“That is why our project has a broad range of advice and support on offer – to ensure that the applicant receives support tailored to their individual needs.
“We’ve worked hard to forge relationships across the authority – Children’s Services liaise with our Supporting People team, for instance – whilst also communicating with external companies like Careers Wales to help with access to education and employment for young people.”
Joe Payne, Head of Bridgend, Cardiff and Vale Services and Family Mediation for Llamau, said:
"I am incredibly proud of Llamau’s fundamental role in the partnership-driven approach to youth homelessness prevention that characterises the Vale of Glamorgan model.
“Early intervention work and family mediation will prevent homelessness wherever possible and seeks to maintain a young person in their home environment unless it is unsafe or inappropriate.
"Joined-up assessment processes then ensure that a young person needing accommodation is referred to the most appropriate form of accommodation, with the right level of support. Move-on is planned to be timely and suitable.
"The whole approach seeks to bring about the best possible outcomes for young people in the Vale of Glamorgan."
More than 150,000 people under the age of 25 ask for help with homelessness in the UK every year. It is estimated that 7,000 of them are in Wales.
If you are a young person at risk of becoming homeless, or know of someone that would benefit from advice and support, contact the Council on 01446 748852.