Neath Port Talbot Council is creating a new team of youth workers to help tackle homelessness among young people.

The team will involve six youth workers with a primary focus on homelessness, and mental health and wellbeing.

The aim is to improve provision for young people in the county who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and support those with emerging mental health, emotional and wellbeing issues.

The team is being funded by a Welsh Government youth support grant aimed at identifying issues among young people at an earlier stage.

All of the posts are fixed term contracts to the end of March, 2020.

A separate grant, from the West Glamorgan Regional Partnership, is being used to fund a young carers youth worker who will work with schools and various professionals to help identify young carers and support them.

In a report which went before councillors on the local authority’s personnel committee on Monday, May 13, officers said the total grant funding of £314k  would help develop a youth engagement and progression framework.

This involves developing and delivering training to practitioners across a range of local services to increase awareness of youth homelessness and provide help on how to support young people effectively.

One of the new roles is aimed at establishing stronger links across areas such as housing, health, education, social care and the voluntary sectors to ensure a coordinated approach.

Officers said the mental health and wellbeing part of the grant was aimed at developing a non-clinical model of intervention.

This could include digital technology as a means of increasing availability and access of support, and ensuring young people can access youth work, wherever they live.

Councillors approved the use of grant funding for the new team at the meeting on Monday, May 13.