Don’t Let me Fall Through the Cracks: Homelessness amongst care-experienced young people in Wales

Date: October 15th 2020
Time: 13:30 – 14:30 BST

Research suggests a third of care leavers become homeless in the first two years after leaving care. The End Youth Homelessness Cymru (EYHC) report ‘Don’t Let me Fall Through the Cracks: Homelessness Amongst Care-Experienced Young People in Wales’ reports on 27 interviews with young people across Wales about their experiences of care and homelessness. This research was undertaken and co-designed with care experienced peer researchers, who have been homeless.

This research examines where systems failures contributed to a care experienced young person going through the traumatic experience of homelessness. We report on young people’s experiences in the care system; they spoke of frequent placement moves and high staff turnover making it difficult for them to form relationships.

One of the things that stands out in the research is young people’s experiences of early independence, which led to isolation and loneliness. Young people spoke of being placed in areas without their support networks. This often led to them associating with peer groups and having challenges managing visitors, which led to difficulties sustaining their tenancies and this, led to homelessness.

Another shocking element of the report is young people’s experiences of emergency accommodation where they were often placed with much older people with harmful substance use issues. Young people asked: ‘why would they move me out of a traumatic environment only to be put back into an even more traumatic environment when I became homeless?’ The report contains practical recommendations for Welsh Government, local authorities and UK Government on how we can prevent care experienced young people going through the traumatic experience of homelessness in the future.