Estranged young people

Estranged young people live independently with no access to the parental support that most young people can take for granted.

Thousands of young people across the UK are estranged from parents or carers. Typically they have been forced out of their homes because relationships have broken down irrevocably. Some are fleeing abuse. Most have had challenging childhoods.

These young people try to live independently but without parental support they often find themselves homeless.  They can receive accommodation from the council or homelessness charities, but have little else to settle them into their new home and get them back on their feet.

Getting into education, employment or training is vital for these young people’s future prospects. Most have to make do on £57.90 of Income Support each week, barely enough to subsist. This money must cover both their living expenses and the costs of pursuing an education: books, equipment, uniforms and travel costs. As a result they are often faced with difficult daily choices when prioritising their spending, sometimes whether to feed themselves or go to college.

Research shows that stable accommodation is a key factor in re-engaging young people with education (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2008). Maintaining positive overall emotional and physical wellbeing are also important to their chances of success. Statutory support is rarely enough for them to meet all these needs themselves.

The package of support we offer young people contains all three elements: support for an education, employment or training goal, as well as funding toward establishing a stable home environment and access to activities that help promote a young person’s wellbeing.


Buttle UK are grateful to the following for their support of this area of our work:

Quick Facts

60% of estrangement cases have no support from social services Stand Alone

59.7% of Estranged Young People at university attend London universities Stand Alone

4% of students that are estranged resort to using pay day loans whilst at university Unite Students Impact Report 2015