A new resource on understanding youth development, published today by Homeless Link, will enable frontline homelessness workers to improve the support available for young people experiencing homelessness.
Meeting the specific needs of young people experiencing homelessness to empower them towards independence and out of homelessness is of key importance. Homeless Link’s recent annual review of single homelessness support found that 82% of accommodation services are working with under 25s, and that 34% had seen an increase in the number of young people they were supporting since the previous year.
The guide aims to help homelessness practitioners to understand how brain development and the impact of trauma on the developing brain may affect a young person’s support needs and behaviour. It introduces the concept of adultification from the children’s social sector – which is when young people assume or are forced into adult-like roles prematurely and their perceived vulnerability is reduced – to contextualise the information.
Vitally, the resource also provides tools to help homelessness staff to put this new knowledge into practice and deliver compassionate, developmentally informed support, that can facilitate safe transitions into adulthood and out of homelessness.