02 November

Young people are disproportionately affected by homelessness and the council's work to  - prevent homelessness amongst young people - was recently named as an area of best practice in Scotland.

The council's Housing Need service won the COSLA 2023 Excellence Award in the Achieving Better Outcomes For The Most Vulnerable category.

The award was given to the team for their Upstreaming Youth Homeless Prevention programme. The award was given to our Youth Homeless team in recognition of their successful partnership work to support vulnerable young people at risk of homelessness. Our team presented their work to COSLA judging panel after being selected from hundreds of Scottish council applications. Their program actively works to prevent homelessness among young people by collaborating closely with our partners at Rock Trust, Action for Children and colleagues in Education Services. Together, they identify those most at risk and provide them with the support and interventions they need to avoid a crisis and find stable and safe accommodation. This approach is the first of its kind in Scotland, and we are thrilled that the judging panel recognised our unique and practical approach to providing crucial services to those who need it most.

Julie Whitelaw, Interim Head of Housing, Customer and Building Services said: "Homelessness is one of the most critical, challenging and complex issues for local government, anywhere in Scotland. We are very proud of our work and dedication in helping some of the most vulnerable people in West Lothian, to tackle this issue. I am delighted that the team have received that external recognition from COSLA."