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Homelessness and Care Leavers

Homelessness and Care Leavers

Posted by: admin | 17 December 2018| Categories: Case Studies , Events , Reports

Care leavers and homelessness


Glasgow Homelessness Network (GHN) collaborate with partners across Scotland to end homelessness through their leadership role in the Scottish Government’s Housing First Pathfinder programme.


Care-experienced individuals are, unfortunately, still over-represented in the homeless system in Scotland. We asked Jim Barclay, Development Co-ordinator at GHN, to share his thoughts on this important issue.


Here’s what he had to say.



“Homelessness is a difficult experience for anyone, regardless of the circumstances. Added to that, young people with care experience may never have known stability and are at risk of continuing to lead unstable lives if their support needs are unmet when they enter the homeless system.


“People who have experience of care are over-represented in the homeless system, with many more estimated to be ‘sofa surfing’ – sleeping on friends’ sofas. We know that people who have experienced homelessness as a child are more likely to repeat this as an adult. As part of the new approach to homelessness taking root across the country, addressing a lack of opportunity and life chances available to young people who have care experience has been part of the conversation throughout.


“The Homeless and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) recently made 70 recommendations that were subsequently accepted by the Scottish Government, and a high-level action plan aims to make significant and lasting changes to the landscape. As part of the consultation for that process, we spoke directly to 425 people with lived experience, which in turn meant that this first-hand insight and knowledge informed the recommendations.


“We learned that staff in frontline services need to be trauma-informed, more receptive to the events and circumstances experienced by the individual in the months and years leading up to a homelessness presentation. The Scottish Government – following the HARSAG recommendations – is considering the implementation of a national training programme which will ensure staff are trained to a high level and are also ACE (adverse childhood experiences) aware.


“All young people should have equivalent opportunities to their peers, and we know that the longer someone spends in the homeless system, the more damaging and life-limiting it is. With the proper accommodation fused with proper support, care-experienced people can move on and begin to rebuild their lives, without fear of being labelled. We are hopeful that with renewed focus on the issues in Scotland, we are moving at pace towards a homeless response that we can be proud of.”



To learn more about Glasgow Homelessness Network and the work that they do, please visit their website and find them on social media.


If you want to learn more about the National Confidential Forum, please get in touch online or phone us on 0800 121 4773. One of our co-ordinators would be more than happy to have a chat and explain a bit more about who we are and what we do.

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