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Young People: Refuges

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 9 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will fund an increase in emergency refuge accommodation for young people in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. (240491)

The provision of emergency accommodation for young people who need it is the responsibility of local authorities. Support services for runaways should be determined and run through local children’s trusts and other stakeholders, according to focal service needs. Where local partners agree that a refuge is a useful and appropriate form of emergency accommodation provision in their area, it is our expectation that this is funded by the relevant local authorities.

In order to support local authority children’s services in their provision of emergency accommodation my Department is funding research which will identify successful and cost effective commissioning models using services provided by the voluntary sector, and by helping commissioners at every level understand more about young people’s perceptions of different models of emergency accommodation.

In 2008-09, my Department will also be providing £114,500 to the St. Christopher’s Fellowship, which runs the London Refuge, in the form of a development grant to help them find more sustainable forms of funding.