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To Sam

Family problems

I am currently in a situation where I don't really want to be living with my mum anymore because of loads of past problems and present problems. She is saying that she wants me home but I don't want to go back as the problems will keep happening and i will always be in the wrong and cant do anything right. if this helps I'm 16 and will be 17 in march next year. Please help me with advice of what I should do. I would preferably not want to go home though. Thank you
Ask Sam


Hi there

Thanks for getting in touch about how difficult things are with your mum. It sounds like you’ve already moved out of home, but I'm not sure if you are staying with friends or other family members.

It's not always easy to live at home, especially if your relationships with other members of your family are difficult. It would be good to try and get help with why things are so difficult with your mum, to see if you can mend your relationship and deal with the problems. You could call a counsellor at Childline on 0800 1111, send an email or log in for a 1-2-1 chat.

If you are staying with friends or other family members, this is often only a short term solution. You need to think about where you are going to live long term, and where you will be safe and supported. You can't hold a legal tenancy while you are under 18. As well as the difficulties of actually finding somewhere to live, you will also need to think about how you would pay your rent and bills while you are still at school. Claiming benefits is complicated, especially if you are under 18 and still in full time education. There are also other issues to consider such as how you would manage living on your own with things like cooking, shopping and money. It can also be difficult and lonely sometimes, if you don’t have good support around you.

If you think that you are not safe at home and that it is completely impossible for you to carry on living there, then you could go to your council's social services department (children's services) and ask them for help. Their contact details should be on your council's website. Social services can help you with support and accommodation when you are under 18, if the person who has been caring for you is prevented from providing you with suitable accommodation or care. If you are under 18 and homeless, social services can offer you accommodation and support with finances, training, education and personal issues until you are 21 or older. More information about your housing options is on the attached Shelter advice leaflet and you can also look on the Shelter website.

As you can see, the issues involved with moving out of home and living on your own are complicated and it is important that you get help to understand all of your options. If you would like to talk through the information and advice on your different housing options you could call Shelter on 0808 800 4444. (calls are free from UK landlines and from main mobile networks – Vodafone, O2, EE and Virgin Mobile).

Take care, and good luck.


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