Councils breach guidelines for youth homeless
A quarter of all councils have yet to implement joint working arrangements between housing and children's services departments - in breach of government good practice guidance.
Departments are supposed to have implemented joint protocols to set out the arrangements and responsibilities for homeless 16 and 17-year-olds.
The Communities and Local Government department told Inside Housing that too many 16 and 17-year-olds were currently being accepted as homeless.
A spokesperson for the CLG said the trend had emerged during its monitoring of homeless acceptances by different priority categories.
'Sixteen to 17-year-olds, together with care-leavers aged 18 to 21, have been disproportionately represented in homelessness acceptances,' she said.
This showed the need for targeted interventions to prevent and tackle youth homelessness, she added.
The Department for Children, Schools and Families' targeted youth support agenda specifically mentions the need for children's and youth services to work with young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Earlier this year the department set up 10 regional centres of excellence for youth homelessness, mainly based in local authorities, to help tackle the problem. These centres will hold meetings and seminars across the country to promote good practice.
'One of the key criteria for the selection of the regional centres of excellence was the level of effective joint working between children's services and housing departments,' the spokesman added.