If you are a care leaver you may be able to get assistance from North Norfolk District Council or Norfolk County Council Children Services.

Key advice

  • Norfolk County Council Children Services team will be responsible for your accommodation needs until you turn 18.
  • If you are aged 18, 19 or 20 years old and are homeless, contact the Housing Options team at North Norfolk District Council.

North Norfolk District Council Housing Options team will, under its new duties, work with you under its Prevention or Relief duties.

The help you are entitled to when you leave care. The support that is available for care leavers aged 18 to 25 in Norfolk. Information on:

  • financial support
  • help with accommodation
  • health and wellbeing services
  • how to be part of the community
  • support to continue education, training, and find employment

16 and 17 year old care leavers

  • If you have already left care, and
  • you have spent a total of at least 13 weeks in care since the age of 14, and
  • part of that time in care was while you were 16 or 17

You will be able to get help, including somewhere to live, from Norfolk County Council. It does not matter if those 13 weeks were not all at the same time. You have different rights if you have spent less than a total of 13 weeks in care or you want to leave care before your 16th birthday.

Financial support for 16 or 17 year old care leavers

Most 16 or 17 year old care leavers are not eligible for benefits. The Children’s Services Department of Norfolk County Council must help you by:

  • providing housing or helping you find and keep your own place
  • supporting you financially by assisting with your rent, food, bills, travel costs for education and training, clothing, pocket money and childcare if you need it
  • giving you any other support you need, such as help with continuing your education, finding work or dealing with personal problems

You can usually only claim benefits if you are a 16 or 17 year old care leaver and you are also a single parent or unable to work because of a disability or illness.

18 to 25 year old care leavers

If you are a care leaver aged 18 to 25, you can get help from both Norfolk County Council Children’s Services and from North Norfolk District Council. If you approach these services, we will usually try to offer you a joint interview as we have a duty to assess the circumstances of your homelessness, identify what your housing and support needs are, and to work with you to try to prevent your homelessness or support you to find you somewhere to live. We will provide you with a ‘personal housing plan’ which will tell you what we can do to help you and what you can do to help yourself.

If you are homeless, we will consider whether we have a duty to provide you with accommodation. You will automatically be classed as being in ‘priority need’ for accommodation purposes until your 21st birthday if:

  • you are aged 18 to 21 and spent at least one night in care when you were 16 or 17
  • or you are older than this but qualify for assistance as you are still in education

Children’s services can also help you by providing support and help with training and education. If you are in full-time further or higher education, Children’s Services must find you somewhere to live during holiday periods if you need it.

Single room rate

Usually if you are aged under 35 and you rent from a private landlord, the maximum Universal Credit you can get is the same rate you would get for renting a single room in a shared house. If you have been in care, this rule will not apply until you turn 25. You should be entitled to Universal Credit even if you have just spent one night in care.

There is a maximum amount that you can be paid, which depends on the area you live in.

What is a local connection?

The local connection rules relating to care leavers changed on 3 April 2018. You will have a local connection with both the Authority that placed you and the area where you were accommodated (if you lived there for 2 years or more). Your personal advisor or housing options officer will help you make the best decision about where to approach based on your wishes and preferences.

Help and advice for homeless care leavers

Get advice before you become homeless.

An adviser can help you:

  • check whether Norfolk County Council Children’s Services or North Norfolk District Council should help you
  • tell you what sort of accommodation and support Children’s Services normally provide. This will give you an idea of what you can expect.
  • make sure you are claiming all the benefits you are entitled to
  • tell you what longer term housing options are available in your area and give you an idea of how much it might cost
  • put you in contact with local schemes that can help you raise a deposit or find a suitable place to live