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Finding a new home

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2. Young person leaving home

When to leave home is a major decision which should not be taken lightly. Although leaving home will grant you more freedom, it also means you will have responsibilities that you have probably not had to deal with before.

The best way to leave home is after careful thought and planning. Leaving your parental home at a very young age, especially if you have nowhere to go, should be the very last option that you should consider. You could easily end up homeless.

You won't be entitled to a council home and you may have to find a deposit and rent in advance for a home in the private sector.

Some 18 to 21 year olds claiming Universal Credit will not be entitled to help with housing costs in Universal Credit full service areas, this might affect you from October 2018.

The GOV.UK website provides more information about which 18-21 year olds can still get help with their housing costs.

For more help and advice, ring the Housing Solutions advice line on 01392 265726


Explore your options first

When you are ready to leave, you will need to decide the type of housing that will suit you best. A big factor in making this decision will probably be your financial situation. The cost of running a home is rising all the time. Many young people decide to share with others at first as this will mean you can share the rent and bills. Seek advice before you decide and don't rush into anything.


If you are having problems at home

There is help and support available. Try to find someone you trust to talk to, such as friends, extended family such as an aunt or uncle, or a teacher at your school or college. If the situation becomes worse, see if there is a place you can go to for a night or two to let everyone cool down

Exeter City Council have commissioned a Young Persons Homeless Prevention Service provided by Young Devon. If you are 16 or 17 or a care leaver then Young Devon may be able to provide mediation in your home with your family to talk about the problems. Remember, no matter how bad things may seem, if you leave home without preparation, you may find yourself in an even worse situation. You may also find it difficult to continue with your education.


Feel unsafe at home

If you have absolutely no choice and feel that you have to leave home immediately, for example because someone is being violent or abusive towards you, you must seek help right away.

If you are 16 or 17 or are a care leaver then please contact Young Devon on 01392 331666 or visit:-

The Yes Centre

39 George Street




You may be homeless

Don't forget, you may be classes as homeless if

  • You are asked to leave home by your parents or family
  • You can only stay where you are on a very temporary basis
  • You are sofa surfing
  • You can’t live at home because of violence or abuse
  • You are a young person leaving care


Young Devon can help

The Young Devon service is here to help and will

  • chat to you before things get to crisis at home and you have nowhere to live
  • help mediate between you and the people you live with
  • help to start to sort out the issues and remain at home or have a plan of action
  • put you in contact with other services that may be able to help you find what you are looking for

If it is after 5pm or at the weekend and you are homeless then please contact Exeter City Council Out of hours service on 01392 265147


More help and advice

There are a number of agencies who can advise you. Some of these are listed below:

  • Childline 0800 1111 free 24 hour support helpline for children and young people
  • Womens Aid 0808 2000 247 free 24 hour helpline for victims of domestic violence
  • Shelterline 0808 800 4444 free 24 hour helpline giving information on housing
  • Housing Solutions advice line 01392 265726
  • Young Devon 01392 331666

For more information on domestic abuse against young people try the hideout.


Other support you can get

There are lots of agencies which support young people with a range of issues including housing, jobs and career advice, finances, drug and alcohol issues, personal health and safety and much more.

Seeking support when you face important decisions will mean that you are less likely to do something on the spur of the moment which you later regret. Sharing others' experiences will also really help to prepare you for the unforeseen consequences of any actions you may take. 

  • Devon Children and Families Partnership The Devon safeguarding Children Board aims to help people like you and your friends stay safe at home, at school and out and about. 0345 155 1071
  • Careers South West Learning and work options. 01392 203603
  • Centrepoint provide a range of housing advice for homeless young people
  • Talk to Frank for advice and information on drugs and their effects
  • Victim Support offer advice and support to victims of crime
  • Shelter offer advice and support relating to housing and homelessness