Care leavers shouldn’t be forced to “bear burden of proof” when it comes to accessing housing support

12 Mar 2024
Care leavers

This week in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called on the Welsh Government to ensure that the onus of proving their backgrounds isn’t placed on care leavers looking for housing support.

The Welsh Government have suggested making it a requirement that local housing authorities should have to inquire whether an applicant for housing assistance has experienced life in the care system.

However advocacy groups such as NYAS Cymru argue that this places an unnecessary burden on care-experienced youth to repeatedly disclose painful personal memories.

The advocacy group have stated their belief that the burden of evidence should not be on care-experienced young people, but instead on Local Authorities acting as “corporate parents”.

The Welsh Lib Dems are now calling on the Welsh Government to prioritise data sharing between housing authorities and social services regarding care histories.

Commenting, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

“The Welsh Government’s proposals on preventing our most vulnerable from slipping through the cracks of our housing systems are, whilst well-intended, flawed.

Our care-experienced young people shouldn’t be forced to repeatedly disclose painful details of their past every time they wish to access rights and services that they are rightfully entitled to.

Rather than burdening our young people with proving their backgrounds, the Welsh Government must instead look at prioritising multi-agency collaboration and data sharing between housing authorities and social services.

The onus must be placed on governing bodies, not care leavers.”