Homeless - Care leavers

If you are a care leaver you may be able to get housing assistance from social services. They should continue to help you until you turn 21, or until you are 24 if you are still in full time education. The help you get depends on your age and what help social services provide in your area.

You are a care leaver if you fit into one of the following categories.

Eligible Child

  • Aged 16 or 17
  • Looked after by children’s services for a period of 13 weeks since the age of 14
  • Currently looked after

Entitled to:

  • A Personal Advisor
  • A Needs Assessment
  • A Pathway Plan
  • Receive all the care and support they normally receive until they leave care

Relevant Child

  • Aged 16 or 17
  • Looked after by children’s services for a period of 13 weeks since the age of 14
  • Looked after for a period of time after their 16th birthday
  • No longer looked after

Entitled to:

  • A Personal Advisor
  • A Needs Assessment
  • A Pathway Plan 
  • Accommodation and maintenance
  • Financial support to meet education, training and employment needs

Former Relevant Child

  • Aged between 18 and 21 OR between 18 and 25 if still in full-time education
  • Previously an eligible child and/or a relevant child

Entitled to:

  • A Personal Advisor
  • A Pathway Plan, kept under regular review
  • Assistance with employment, education and training
  • Suitable accommodation
  • Help with living costs

Qualifying Care Leaver

  • Aged between 16 and 21 OR between 16 and 25 if still in full-time education
  • Looked after by children’s services on, or after, their 16th birthday and no longer looked after
  • Spent less than 13 weeks in care since 14th birthday,
  • i.e. do not fulfil criteria for eligible or relevant child

Entitled to:

  • Help with living expenses and if they are in higher education they may also help with securing vacation
  • Accommodation
  • Advice and assistance from Children’s Services, which may, be in cash


  Social Services can be contacted via Brent Family Front Door on: 020 8937 4300 (press option 1)


If you are currently homeless or facing the threat of homelessness then you may be eligible for housing assistance.

Apply for Housing Assistance

If you don’t have access to a computer, you may visit our Customer Services centre at the Brent Civic Centre or your local library to use a computer. You may also refer to your family/friends or other support networks to help if need assistance completing your online application.

Will the Council provide me with accommodation?

We can provide advice and support to you to help you find alternative accommodation. However we will not have a duty to provide emergency accommodation or temporarily house you unless you are considered to be eligible, homeless and have priority need.

If you are a single person with support needs, the Single Housing Pathway can discuss with you a referral for floating support or supported housing. For more information on the homelessness criteria please visit the Shelter website: www.shelter.org.uk (contact details under ‘homelessness support’) where there is specific advice for ex-prisoners.

Priority Need

If you are a young person under 21 and you were a looked after child between the ages of 16 and 18;  you will be deemed to be vulnerable as a result of having been looked after, accommodated or fostered in order to have a priority need. Both of these categories exclude ‘relevant students’, who are owed particular accommodation and support duties by Social Services under the Children (Leaving Care) Act. If a young person was looked after when aged 16 or 17 they will be in priority need when they are 18, 19 or 20 years old, whether or not they qualify for leaving care services from a children’s services authority.

You can get independent advice from an advocacy service such as those listed below:

  • Coram Voice (London) - Coram Voice enables and equips children and young people to hold to account the services that are responsible for their care. Visit the Coram Voice website.
  • Just for Kids Law - This is a specialised service consisting of lawyers who work directly with young people to help them navigate their way through challenging times: whether they are facing difficulties at school, mental health, immigration or criminal justice issues, are being denied benefits, or are homeless. Visit the Kids Law website.
  • Rees foundation - The aim of the Rees Foundation is to ensure that care leavers won’t have to make that transition alone. Many existing services can only be accessed up to a certain age, but the Rees foundation want to help anyone who has been in care not just to survive, but to thrive as adults. They believe that everyone may need support at times, but also that everyone has something to offer. They can work to build a network of people with care experience who can support each other, creating a sense of belonging and a positive sense of identity. Having access to stable and supportive relationships is essential to reaching your full potential and achieving aspirations. Visit the Rees foundation website.