Homeless 16 and 17 Year Olds

You may need help to find somewhere to live because where you are staying is not safe, not suitable or you do not have a legal right to live there.

You could be homeless if you are staying with friends temporarily because, for example, you are escaping abuse or other violence. We work alongside Staffordshire’s Children’s Services to help prevent homelessness in line with the Joint Protocol (pdf 2mb).

If you are 16 or 17 years old, and need to find accommodation upon leaving care, Staffordshire County Council has a legal duty to help you prepare for independent living. Their contact details are:

Staffordshire Looked After Children Service Team

Tel: 01782 296290

Emergency Duty Number: 01785 354030

Email: leaving.care@staffordshire.gov.uk

If you are a homeless 16 or 17 year old, and you are not already known to social care, then you will need to be assessed under the Children’s Act to determine the best options for you.

The First Response Team will undertake this assessment, alongside the Housing Options Team.

First Response can be contacted on:

First Response Team: 0800 131 3126

Emergency Duty Services: 0845 6042 886

Email: first.r@staffordshire.gov.uk

Children Services can help you by:

  • Supporting you to find and keep a place to live (this could be negotiating stays with family members where it is safe to do so, finding a place in supported accommodation, or occasionally, in a children’s home or foster care);
  • Supporting you financially by paying to cover your rent, food, bills, travel costs for education training, clothing, pocket money and childcare, if you need it;
  • Giving you any other support you need, such as help with continuing education, funding work or dealing with personal problems.

We will assist Children’s Service by providing a housing need assessment.

We will determine whether you are homeless or threatened with homelessness and what support you will need to help you find housing. We may ask you questions about your address history, medical conditions, family, and any other support you have in place.

If you approach us directly, and we confirm that you are homeless, a referral will be made to Children’s Services on your behalf. This it ensure that the best support is offered to you and to alert the authorities of any potential safeguarding concerns.

If you do not want to undertake the assessment alone, you may be able to get support from an advocacy services (details below). 

It is important that where you live is safe for you, Stafford Housing Options will work closely with Children’s Service around helping you find somewhere to live.

Our focus will always be to prevent you from becoming homeless.

Housing Advice 

If you are aged 16 or 17, you will need a guarantor to allow you to hold a tenancy.

You can apply to be on our housing waiting list up to six months before your 18th birthday.

You will be awarded priority banding based on your housing situation and we will work closely with Staffordshire County Council regarding a tenancy support plan to provide you with the best possible start to your first tenancy.

Choices made around housing for young people can have long-term impacts on your ability to find accommodation later in life. For example, if you fall behind on your rent payments or lose accommodation due to problems with friends causing noise and nuisance.

It is important that Staffordshire County Council, the Housing Options Service and any provider of housing works closely together to help you with your first tenancy.

Support is often available, so it is important that you ask for help.

Your personal advisor or housing provider or the housing options team can be a point of contact.

The Housing Options Team at Stafford Borough Council can provide you with full advice on different housing options in the Borough.

You can register directly for social housing with Homes Plus, who own the majority of the housing stock in the Borough. 


Most 16 or 17 year old care leavers are not eligible for benefits. If you do not have financial support, Staffordshire County Council’s Children’s Services should provide you with advice and assistance in relation to this.

Staffordshire County Council (First Response)

Provide statutory assistance up to 18 years old.

Tel: 0800 1313 126

Out of Hours Emergencies Phone: 0345 604 2886

Email: firstr@staffordshire.gov.uk 

NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Service)

Provides advocacy for the following groups of children and young people. The service is available for care leavers up to the age of 25.

Tel: 0800 808 1001

Email: help@nyas.net

Runaway Helpline

A 24/7 support service for those considering running away from home or those who have already run away. Working in partnership with the charity Missing People, they offer advice and practical support for young people.

Freephone: 116000


The Mix

Providing a range of support to under 25’s including guidance on housing, mental health and relationships.

Freephone: 0808 808 4994



Centrepoint help 16-25 year olds into a safe place to live, provide a health assessment and plan support for their individual mental and physical health needs. Centrepoint is the UK's leading charity for homeless young people.

Tel: 0808 800 0661



Barnardo’s runs 22 leaving care services across the UK. The services aim to bridge the gap for young people leaving care and living in the adult world. The services help young people to develop the life skills they need to look after themselves, and include encouraging them to look at employment, training or further education opportunities.

Tel: 01827 286643


St Basils

St Basils helps young people aged 16-25, across the West Midlands region, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Tel: 0300 303 0099


Contact us

The Housing Options Team can provide you with advice on your housing needs and explain what options are available to you.

Tel: 01785 619000

Email: housingadvice@staffordbc.gov.uk

If you are homeless and the council offices are closed, then you can contact the homelessness out of hours service on 01785 619170. You should only use this service if you have nowhere to stay immediately.

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