Ending Homelessness Continues Upstream

Youth Homelessness is a complex social issue with those at risk difficult to identify at first. It can often stem from a young person being exposed to difficult social settings, family conflicts, to becoming less engaged in school activities. In the end, the young person faces unavoidable life patterns, and are trapped in unsafe environments without someone to turn to. Youth homelessness can be challenging to tackle, but anything is possible to achieve with prompt intervention.

Our school-based early intervention programme, Upstream Cymru, has been designed by specialists to address research gaps into key homelessness risk factors for students aged 11-16 and intervene at the earliest possible stage. The accessible data is essential to create safe environments for young students who spend most of their days in a school facility, and help them seek support when facing a crisis.

Read Upstream Cymru Report here.

Welsh Schools and Education Inequalities

According to the Welsh Government pilot scheme, 14 schools in Wales have adopted extended school days and term dates to focus on education inequalities. However, many schools across Welsh local authorities have not tackled youth homelessness trends yet – which may leave young people exposed to risk. So what else can Welsh schools do to intervene in a crisis?

Llamau and Cardiff University have been collaborating to help lay foundations for a potential Wales-wide  implementation of Upstream Cymru in secondary schools. The purpose of Upstream Cymru is to prevent, reduce and identify the number of young people at risk of reaching a crisis point. Therefore, it is vital to take early action and find solutions targeted to give children and young people the chance to turn their lives around.

Here is what our latest Upstream Cymru Report tells us in a nutshell:


The primary focus is to evaluate the data accessed and identify the baseline of youth homelessness trends across Welsh schools. Prevention is more impactful if the upstream interventions are actively tailored and informed by youth homelessness applications.


There is a need to help identify local authorities where upstream intervention should be a priority. Our available data will also identify schools and areas where Upstream Cymru is more likely to have the greatest impact.


Helping to inform future selection of schools to where Upstream Cymru may be implemented is crucial to effectively drive our efforts against appropriate data and share key learnings with our partners.  

The First Minister of Wales in 2017, Carwyn Jones, committed to paving the way to end homelessness within 10 years across Wales, and Team Llamau is dedicated to being part of the mission.