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Housing advice for young people


Housing advice if you are 16 or 17

I’m at risk of being homeless

If you are at risk of becoming homeless, phone or visit a social worker from Children’s Services Single Point of Advice (SPOA)

  • Telephone: 01323 464 222

East Sussex County Council
St Mark’s House
14 Upperton Road
Eastbourne BN21 1EP.

East Sussex County Council
Ocean House
87–89 London Road
St Leonards
TN37 6DH

What you tell us will be confidential, and we will only pass it on if we think you are in danger.

Emergency help

If you can’t go home and it’s the weekend or at night, the best thing to do is find a friend or relative you can stay with.

In an emergency you can contact the East Sussex Emergency Duty Service on

  • Telephone: 01273 335 905

A social worker will phone you back and advise you what to do.

Working things out with your parents

Once you’ve contacted Children’s Services the first thing that we will always do is to help you try and work things out with parents. This is called mediation and is often really helpful when things have got a bit out of hand at home.

Living with other members of your family

If you’re not able to return home for whatever reason we may try bringing together other members of your family to see if we can arrange a safe place for you to live with them.

If you can’t return home or live with a family member

If you can’t return home or live with family, you may find yourself with a choice to make. Children’s Services may have decided that you can become what we call ‘looked after’ or ‘in care’. However, if you don’t want to be looked after there is still a lot of help and support you can get from us.

What if I choose to be looked after?

If you choose to be looked after you will get a social worker who will help and support you. Together with your social worker you will agree a ‘Pathway plan’.

This means you will agree what help and support you need. This will include:

  • somewhere to live
  • support with other areas of your life, like depression or school
  • help accessing other services like the Substance Misuse Team

Will I get benefits?

You will not get benefits unless you are a young parent or have a disability or ill health. Children’s Services will provide you with enough money to meet your needs.

You will not be entitled to Housing Benefit until you are 18 even if you are a lone parent or a young person with a disability.

If you are earning you may have to contribute towards your rent.

Where will I live if I choose to be looked after?

It depends on what your needs are, but we will find you a place to live:

  • with a foster carer
  • with a supported lodgings provider
  • in supported accommodation, or
  • in semi-independent accommodation, in exceptional circumstances

What if I choose not to be looked after?

If you choose not to be looked after you will get a different type of support, but you will still get support. As a child in need you will get a social worker who will work with you to agree a support plan.

This means you will both agree what support and help you need and it will include:

  • somewhere to live
  • help applying for benefits
  • help accessing other services like the Substance Misuse Team

Where will I live if I choose not to be looked after?

We will find you a place to live, either:

  • with a supported lodgings provider
  • in supported accommodation or
  • in semi-independent accommodation, in exceptional circumstances

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