Homeless youth given compensation after historical complaint against Peterborough City Council

Peterborough City Council news from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday
Peterborough City Council news from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday

A young person who was not treated correctly by Peterborough City Council after being presented as homeless has been awarded £3,000 compensation by the authority.

The incident took place in 2006 with the council now paying out after receiving an historical complaint.

The council has accepted that its original course of action contributed to the young person later being found to be intentionally homeless.

The council is not revealing the age or gender of the claimant with a spokesman saying: “We have to respect their confidentiality in this matter.”

The council has also apologised to the claimant.

At the time of the incident, young people presented as homeless could be offered support under the Children Act 1989 or the law in respect to housing and homelessness.

If the council had used the Children Act law at the time it would have had to continue offering support to the claimant between the ages of 18 and 21.

However, as it used the housing and homelessness law instead, when the claimant turned 18 it did not have to offer any further help.

In 2009, a ruling known as the Southwark Judgement stated that in almost all circumstances young people in the position of the complainant should be supported under the Children Act.

The claimant was awarded compensation because they were not dealt with under the Children Act and therefore did not receive the support they would have received if they had been.

The spokesman added: “The recent Ofsted inspection included an assessment of our practice in this area and found that Children’s Services acts entirely appropriately when supporting young people who present as homeless.

“This case dates back almost a decade, and social work practice today is very different to that in 2006. This is because practice is supported by a different legal framework to the one that existed then.

“This means that there is very little likelihood of a repeat of the circumstances that resulted in the payment of compensation in this case.”