Leaving home as a young person
Leaving 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 normally be your very last option. The exception would be a situation where you are at risk of violence or abuse, which you should report immediately either to the police and/or by contacting children’s social services on 020 8825 8000.
If you are not at risk of violence or abuse, but are finding it hard to live at home, it is important to get help and advice before you leave. Being homeless, especially as a young person, is dangerous and difficult
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 major factor in making this decision will probably be your financial situation. The cost of running a home is rising all the time. Many 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 do not 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. The SAFE (Supportive Action for Families in Ealing) team 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.
Feeling unsafe at home?
If you have absolutely no choice and feel that you must leave home immediately, for example because someone is being violent or abusive towards you, you must seek help right away.
If you are in immediate danger, call the police using the emergency number 999.
If the situation is serious but you are not at immediate of being harmed, contact Ealing Children’s Integrated Response Service (ECIRS) on the telephone number 020 8825 8000 or email ECIRS@ealing.gov.uk
There are a number of agencies which can help you, including finding you a safe place to go. Some of these are listed below:
- Childline: 0800 1111 - free 24-hour support helpline for children and young people
- Women's 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