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New resource launched to help the social care workforce recognise the risks of homelessness

05 December 2023

Social care workers and social workers can now access a free online resource which will help them better identify the risks around homelessness and guide towards prevention.

The resource includes films featuring first-person experiences as well as a training tool with information on how to access support services for those at risk.

This resource has been developed by the Homelessness Prevention Forum in partnership with the Social Care Council and supported by the Housing Executive’s Homelessness Prevention Fund.

Declan Morris, Project Manager, Extern and Paul Fleming, Senior Practitioner, NIACRO, both co-chairs of the Homelessness Prevention Forum, said:

“The Forum is a collection of a wide range of floating support services that help prevent homelessness on a daily basis. The resource and training tool are our way to help raise the level of awareness of the issue. It will help our fellow professionals across the social care sector with a training tool that identifies the early warning signs of homelessness and how housing support provided by floating support services can help’.

This resource is also part of a wider Housing Executive’s Homeless Strategic vision to “End Homelessness Together”.

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council (the Social Care Council) is supporting the social care workforce to help the people they support who may be at risk of homelessness.

The online resource, available through the Learning Zone, provides information, identifies the risks and signs of homelessness and signposts people to information and contacts for the Floating Support Services that are available. These services offer help for young and older people, families, those experiencing addiction, mental ill health, disability issues, and many other circumstances.

Social Care Council CEO Patricia Higgins highlighted the crucial role social care and social work staff can play in preventing homelessness:

“Working so closely with the community as social care workers and social workers do, means they are ideally placed to identify the risks of homelessness.

“Everyone working in the social care sector can now access this new tool to help give them the knowledge to support others who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.”

“Everyone should have secure and suitable housing and there are many services available to prevent homelessness. Social care workers and social workers are uniquely placed to help address this as part of their role is to enable people to achieve a better quality of life and support vulnerable people to live more independently.

But don’t stop there

This resource is one of many that the Learning Zone brings together for those working in social care and social work across Northern Ireland. Many are focused on learning and development for both professions.  

Take a look at our full list of learning resources and you might just be surprised at what is on there to support your continuous professional learning and development needs and supplement the training you receive through your employer.

If you need any help/support using and or accessing any of the Learning Zone’s digital resources, please email