The type of help that social services may offer can vary widely. It will depend on your particular circumstances and needs.
Children and young people
The law says that social services have to promote the well-being of any person aged under 18 who is in need of care and support. If you are homeless and aged under 18, social services should consider you to be in need of care and support, should carry out a needs assessment and provide appropriate care and support.
The type of care and support social services can provide can vary and depends on your needs. They might:
- provide accommodation for you themselves
- help you to raise money for a deposit on a private rented place
- provide financial support.
If you are homeless, 16 or 17 years old and have been in care, social services usually has to provide you with accommodation and financial support until you are 18.
Families with children
Where the whole family asks social services for help, social services only have a duty towards the children and young people in the family (unless the adults have special needs). However, they should aim to help the young person remain with the family. This means that they can provide accommodation for the whole family. Whether they do this or not depends upon them balancing your needs with the demands upon them to help others. If social services decide not to help the whole family they may instead offer to help the children only by providing accommodation in a care home. If this happens, get advice immediately.
People who are ill, disabled or elderly
If you are ill, disabled or elderly and you are homeless, social services should consider you to be in need or care and support and may have to provide you with accommodation. This will depend on a needs assessment and whether there are any other ways you could get accommodation. If the housing department can’t help and you are still homeless, social services may have to help you find accommodation.
The type of help social services provides can vary because it is not defined in law. For example, they might provide accommodation for you themselves, arrange a temporary place in residential care, or help you to raise money for a deposit on a private rented place.
For more information about how to get a social services needs assessment, click here.