Taking in a homeless teenager.(14 Posts)
Sorry new to here so please correct me if I do it wrong.
My 16 year old daughter bought home a friend that had run from home. We agreed to one night with us and contacted the parents to say she was safe. That was 5 weeks ago. The more I found out about the home situation, the more I realised that I could not send her back to the situation she was in. Social services agree that it is best that she does not return.
The problem is that we have agreed that she may live with us for as long as she needs, provided that we recieve so financial support, as we already have 16 year old twins and financial difficulties
This appears to have caused a problem for social services etc as she is no longer technically homeless and as she is over 16 the support they can provide is limited. She will not qualify for foster care due to her age, the parents should be responsable for funding her care but they will not cooperate with social services. Their answer is to send her to live in America with relatives there ( they are prepared to fund that). Young peoples services might be able to help her claim benefits in her own right but as she is staying in our home that would be the very basic amount which she will need for fares etc for 6th form.
My problem is I am finding it very difficult to fund my own children let alone another. Day to day is ok as I can feed 5 as easily as 4 but I can not provide her with all the other basics she need without my children going without more than they do already. I have already spent over £200 to provide her with a bed and bedding and now I have to provide her with a phone.
I can't ask her to leave but could some one please advise me where I can get some financial support.....
She can go into foster care until she is 18. She could also go into supported lidgings or a foyer. Get her to speak to the children's rights officer at your local authority, or call the children's legal centre ( details from google). There is help out there.
She can't return as mother has abused and possible reoccurance. All of the services would kick in if I throw her out. I am happy to let her stay as she needs to be within a stable family enviroment. Social services etc are happy for her to remain as I work in Education so have full CRB check. I have offered to go through the vetting for Supported lodging provider whilst she lives here but social serv. need to find out if that is allowable.
Apparently our situation is very unusual!! Not many people do what we have done and offered a homeless teenager a home so there is nothing in the system for cases like this ???
I am surprised at this, we can not be the only people to do this.
It's not unusual, they are just trying to wriggle out of supporting her (am a foster carer).
There is no reason why they can't rush through for you to provide supported living.
I must admit I thought this was the case, when I first contacted them they said not interested. They are only involved now as younger sibling made a disclosure. The school they are at advised me that this might be the case and to think carefully before I took her in. I have not yet recieved a penny for her care not even child benefit as parents are/were claiming.
What sort of statements should I make to get them to start acting?
No practical help but can I just say - well done you.
My own mum kicked me out at 16 and I had nowhere to go.
My neighbour has recently kicked her 16yo DD (she is also DS's friend) out and she has spent a few nights with us but gone back for now. She's coming back to housesit for us soon and I've told her she always has a place to come to here (her DM is unhinged).
It's just a shame more people don't reach out like you are doing, OP.
Thanks. Just couldn't see a good kid out on her own. Even housing advised me to fight to keep her out of the options for homeless kids locally.
I wouldn't mind if I was looking to do this for the money but all I want is to be given enough to support her with the basics.
Can she apply for housing benefit, If she rents a room from you?
I went through the same when I was her age, I was at college.
That might be worth looking into, would she also be entitled to benefits for herself as well?
Not sure if this will help. Is she in full time education & will she be in September? I know there is a 16-19 bursary fund that schools & colleges administer. Think you need to be in y12-13 to apply, it replaced EMA. Maybe her & your twins would qualify? It will at least help towards travel & stationery etc.
Could you try CAB for advice?
Thanks for the info about the bursary. My son has just recieved his info pack about college and it is mentioned. We will look nto it.
Thanks for the comments everyone.
She may be able to claim housing benefit and possibly income support if her parents will say - if asked by the housing dept / benefits dept - that she can't return home.
Best thing would be to get someone helpful like a youth worker involved who can help her go to the benefits agency / job centre. Job centre will have an under 18s adviser who can help. If you have a Connexions centre locally they might be able to 'pave the way' with the job centre under 18s adviser if she speaks to them first.
Its hard for a 16 year old to do these things but its better that she does them not you - more likely to get offered some benefits that way.
And yes to the college bursary.
I'm glad she's with you, you sound lovely. Best wishes.
What a special person you are. She's blessed to have found a stable and caring home for now. I hope you find the financial support that you need
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