A committee of MPs has called on the government to ban the use of bed and breakfast accommodation for care leavers.
Members of the Commons Education Select Committee said bed and breakfast accommodation can be “threatening and frightening” for young people leaving care, and they insist that it should only be used by councils instead of regulated accommodation in emergency situations.
In a newly published report, entitled Into independence, not out of care: 16 plus care options, the Committee notes statutory guidance which states that bed and breakfast accommodation is unsuitable for care leavers in most situations.
Therefore, they are, they say:
“… deeply troubled by the continued use of B&Bs. Far from being merely unsuitable, B&Bs can present an environment which feels unsafe and threatening to a young person.”
The Committee interviewed a number of young people about their experiences of leaving care. They cite one a woman who told them she had been left to live in bed and breakfast accommodation for two years.
The report claims that preparation for care leavers’ transition into independent living is “too often inadequate”. Care leavers must be kept fully informed of their rights and given a proper choice of accommodation, the MPs declare.
Data from the Department for Education indicates that 22 per cent of 16-17 year olds leaving care are living in unspecified “other arrangements” for their accommodation. The Department has promised “tough action” to tackle the use of bed and breakfast accommodation by councils.
Read the report here.