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Youth Homelessness

 

Policy and Provision

Responsibility for the provision of accommodation and related services for homeless persons, including homeless children who are in the care of their parents, rests with individual housing authorities, while responsibility for the provision of a national framework of policy, legislation and funding to tackle homelessness rests with the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government.

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, has responsibility for children who present as homeless outside of a family unit. Children under 16 who present as being homeless to emergency services are taken into care.  Children aged 16 and 17 may be taken into care or provided with accommodation under Section 5 of the Child Care Act, 1991.

 

Youth Homelessness Strategy

Young people who were formerly in the care of the state and presently in receipt of aftercare services have their accommodation needs identified as part of this support. The vast majority of young adults who leave the care of the state each year, having reached the age of 18, do so with secure, stable accommodation in place such as remaining with their foster carers, moving on to independent living or returning to live with their families.  For a number of care leavers, these types of accommodation are unavailable due to the complexity of their needs.  Without a stable place to call home, these young adults may be particularly vulnerable to homelessness, and may have difficulty accessing consistent levels of support (for example, mental or physical health services).

Rebuilding Ireland: the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness includes a commitment to ensure that young people leaving State care and at risk of homelessness are identified and catered for through appropriate housing and other supports required to meet their needs. One key action taken to meet this commitment has been the addition in 2017 of care leavers as a category in their own right qualifying for the Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS). This means that where a local authority is informed by Tusla that there is a need for accommodation for people aged 18-21 (or up to 23 if in education/training) who are leaving or have left state care and are homeless or at risk of homelessness, it may invite Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) to apply for CAS funding to provide appropriate accommodation. This accommodation must be made available to care leavers on the basis of a long-term tenancy and at an economic rent. The stability provided by a secure tenancy in suitable accommodation, together with the aftercare supports provided by Tusla, is intended to provide these vulnerable young people with a safe base from which to begin their life as an independent adult.

follow us on twitter skills to work Supporting SMEs http://whodoeswhat.gov.ie/ Be Winter Ready The Better Start Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme