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Children, Families and Young People

The numbers of families and young people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless across the region is significant.

The Homelessness Taskforce’s Children, Families and Young People’s Task Group is working with a wide range of partners to lead the contribution to and promotion of Designing out Homelessness for children, families and young people in the WMCA region.

The main focus of the group is to promote and encourage early prevention activity that leads to a reduction in the number and time households spend in temporary accommodation; and an increase in the number of households in secure and affordable accommodation.

The group has been curating examples of effective practice in prevention and sharing those examples across the region, commissioning research on key issues such as use of Temporary Accommodation and promoting joint working between agencies.

Women experiencing Domestic Abuse are at significant risk of homelessness, with DA consistently featuring as one of the top three reasons for homeless applications to local authorities in our region.

We have included work on Domestic Abuse as an integral part of the CFYP group and have been working with partners across housing, criminal justice and related areas to begin the work of influencing practice and promoting effective housing led responses to this critical issue.

An important part of the early work of the group has been to explore effective ways of promoting gender responsive trauma informed approaches to supporting women affected by DA and homelessness.

Children and Families Resources

Young People

One of the great strengths of the West Midlands is its young population. Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe with 40% of the population under 25. Young people who can remain safely in a family home are able to live, work or study and be benefit free. However, young people, including care leavers, who are not able to draw on such support have more limited options.

There are also many young people who need the support provided in supported accommodation and who may need to remain in supported accommodation for some time, because of the shortage of affordable move-on accommodation. Young people making the transition from supported accommodation into independence face a significant number of challenges not least of which are navigating the benefits system and managing their finances as they make that move.

As part of the work of the Taskforce in 2022 we funded an important piece of research focused on those challenges. Facilitated by St Basils, the research was carried out by the Centre for Research in Social Policy, an independent research centre based at Loughborough University. It comprised 21 in-depth interviews with young people aged 17 – 25 across the West Midlands who were living in or had moved on from supported housing after experiencing or been at risk of homelessness.

The research highlighted the growing impact of low income and the social security system on young peoples’ living standards and their opportunities to transition out of homelessness. The research also revealed how young peoples’ employment circumstances interact with their financial and housing situation and shape their ability to make ends meet and plan for their future.

Young People Resources