About Joint Housing Assessments

A Joint Housing Assessment (JHA) is a joint meeting that is arranged with:

  • you - a young person with housing and support needs
  • a social worker
  • a housing officer
  • an independent advocate on your behalf
  • an excluder - a person that has parental responsibility
  • a representative or friend of your choice.

Information gathered before or during the assessment appointments will be used to decide on the support you're given.

Each assessment is:

  • led by a social worker, to explain the process to you
  • multi-agency and child focussed.

The assessment aims to:

  • identify your needs and how to address them
  • understand your wishes and feelings, so they can be taken into account.

During the assessment

During the assessment we will decide if you're a 'child in need'.

We'll see if you meet the criteria under Section 20(1) of the Children's Act 1989.

You'll be considered a child in need if:

  • there is no person who has parental responsibility for you
  • you are lost or abandoned 
  • the person caring for you is prevented, permanently or temporarily, from providing care or accommodation. 

If you're a child in need

We have a duty to accommodate you.

We'll likely speak with your family first to see if it is possible for you to stay at or return home. 

If it's not possible for you to stay at or return home, we will offer you support, including financial support. 

It is unlikely you'll be given your own place without being put into supported accommodation first. 

If you're not a child in need

If we find you're not a child in need or if you decide you do not want to be accommodated or supported, you can apply to Medway Council for housing

Support during the assessment

You can ask a friend or professional adviser to be with you at your assessment to help you understand what is happening. 

If you do not know anyone suitable, you can contact:

After the assessment

After the assessment, we'll:

  • consider all the information
  • decide if family mediation would help. 

Sometimes it may be possible to resolve a difficult situation at home by going to:

  • family mediation
  • family group conferences.

If the issues are not resolved, but you are able to stay at or return home, we'll provide support to your family. 

If you're not able to stay at or return home and have been considered a child in need, we'll create a plan to support you.