Being homeless or being at risk of becoming homeless presents a real risk to a child’s welfare. Our Removing Barriers Team are aware of contact details and referral routes into the Local Housing Authority so they can raise/progress concerns at the earliest opportunity if our children and family are experiencing homelessness. Indicators that a family may be at risk of homelessness include household debt, rent arrears, domestic abuse, and anti-social behaviour, as well as the family being asked to leave a property.
Whilst referrals and or discussion with the Local Housing Authority will be progressed as appropriate, and in accordance with local procedures, this does not, and should not, replace a referral into children’s social care where a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm.
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 places a new legal duty on English councils so that everyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness will have access to meaningful help including an assessment of their needs and circumstances, the development of a personalised housing plan, and work to help them retain their accommodation or find a new place to live.
Furthermore, our school promotes Early Help and Support so that children and families can be identified and supported at an early stage. If a parent or carer and/or their children find themselves in this situation, we strongly urge them to speak to us so that support can be provided.