Young people

Housing is an important issue for all young people, whether you choose to live at home or in a place of your own. If you are living at home it is natural that there will be some stresses and strains. Try to understand that it may be hard for your parents and carers to accept that you are growing up and to treat you like the adult that you are becoming. Explain how you feel to them and listen to what they have to say. This may help stop problems before they start.

Leaving home

If you are under 16 years of age, you can't normally leave home unless there are serious problems such as violence. If this is the case, get in touch with Social Services for help and advice.

If you are 16 or 17 years old, you can move out if a parent or guardian agrees to it. If they don't, but you leave anyway, you could be reported to the police as a missing person and be brought home if you are considered 'at risk'.

Think carefully before you make a decision to leave home. If you want to leave because you feel restricted by other people around you, remember that wherever you live you'll have other people to consider, whether that is parents, flatmates or neighbours.

If you have family problems, it may be better to try and sort things out. That way, when you leave you can do so at a time that suits you, and plan your move. Also your parents will be happier if they see your leaving as a natural stage rather than a spur of the moment decision.

Problems at home can sometimes be helped by talking to someone. Mediation is an informal process with a third party mediator involved to help people work out what is important for each party.

What to do if you are threatened with homelessness

If you are aged 16 or 17 and are threatened with homelessness, you should contact Social Service on 020 7361 3013.