New report suggests Nightstop emergency accommodation could help 14 and 15 year olds

  • Date: 03/02/2016
  • In: UK

A study commissioned by Railway Children has found that some 14 and 15 year olds could benefit from emergency accommodation in the homes of approved hosts.

Nightstop supports young people in crisis and provides them with a bed for the night in the homes of approved volunteer hosts. Co-ordinated by homelessness charity Depaul UK, the service is currently only available to those aged 16 and over.

Railway Children’s Reaching Safe Places research found that young people needed a variety of accommodation options when they went missing, and suggested that an extension of the Nightstop model to under 16 year olds could help some.

Railway Children then commissioned Depaul to undertake a feasibility study into extending the Nightstop service in the North East of England to include 14 and 15 year olds. 

In the course of the study, Depaul sought legal advice; analysed available data; and consulted key stakeholders – including local authorities, statutory and voluntary agencies, young people and volunteer hosts.

They concluded that the Nightstop model could be extended to help 14 and 15 year olds in some instances but only with support and agreed protocols from local authorities and police.

While an extension of the scheme may only lead to a small number of successful placements in the early stages, the study found that the service had the potential to make a great difference to young people who would otherwise face a range of risks.

Download the full report below.