Forced to grow up fast

Young people coping with poor mental health, behavioural difficulties, and disabilities are the most likely to become homeless.

They are also more likely to face severe and costly experiences later in life, like debt, unemployment or even prison. Right now, they are the children and young people being failed by the state.

We have spent the last year talking to young people who face particular challenges. They might be leaving care, becoming parents younger than their peers, be caring for a family member or living with disability. We have also spoken to the professionals who work with them.

After leaving care I was homeless. I slept at lots of different places – family, friends' sofas or in a tent, anywhere that I could get really.
Carl, care leaver

These three reports are the result.

In Too Much, Too Young, we recommend that governments:

  • prioritise the emotional and mental health of children in care and care leavers
  • keep children safe when they return to their family after care
  • not give up on young people when their lives are at their most challenging.

In Paying the Price, we call on governments to:

  • make sure that national financial capability and inclusion strategies include a specific plan for vulnerable young people
  • target them with specific support, which goes beyond home and school
  • involve young people themselves in developing solutions to money problems.

In Getting A Fair Deal?, we call on:

  • banks and building societies to take our Young People’s Banking Checklist Challenge
  • the Government to take a strong leadership role to unify ministers, banks, employment advisers, regulators, social workers and others to support and advise young people on managing money as they move into adult life
  • the Money Advice Service to give professionals information they can use to help the young people they work with.