Anyone between the ages of 18 and 20, who has been in care at any time while they were a child, is in priority need. You do not need to have just left care and provided you have spent at least one night in care during your childhood you will be in priority need.
Being in care includes being looked after by social services, by a voluntary organisation, in a private children’s home, accommodated by the NHS or being privately fostered.
Provided you are 18 or over but under the age of 21 on the date that you apply to the council for help, you will remain in priority need under this category, even if you turn 21 by the time the council make their decision.
Even if you are over 21 when you apply to the council you may still be in priority need if the council think you are vulnerable as a result of some special reason (see below), particularly if you have been in care and do not have anywhere else to go for support.
If you are a care leaver, social services also have a duty to help you until you reach the age of 21, or, if you are in continuing further education, until you are 24.
If you are entitled to help from both housing and social services departments, they should work together to provide whatever help you need. For example, social services can ask the housing department to house you. They are not allowed just to tell you that they can’t help you and send you to the other department. If this happens, get advice immediately.