COUNCIL staff responsible for finding a home for some of the county’s most vulnerable people have led a plea for more suitable accommodation to put an end to the council’s reliance on bed and breakfasts.

A total of 17 vulnerable young people in Worcestershire were placed in bed and breakfasts last year, a figure already described as far too high by Worcestershire County Council.

The people, all aged over 18, were placed in bed and breakfasts for a variety of ‘complex’ reasons – including heroin and crack cocaine addiction, alcoholism, anti-social behaviour and for having criminal convictions – because there was no suitable accommodation available in the county.

Council officers pleaded with the county council’s corporate parenting board – along with the county’s six district councils – to help provide more suitable accommodation for vulnerable young people leaving care and better mental health support.

Catherine Driscoll, the county council’s director of children and families, said the number of people accommodated in B&Bs was “not okay” and “not good enough.”

She said: “This is something that does really disappoint me that we have not made better and quicker progress.”

Two young people are currently housed in B&Bs in Worcestershire, according to the county council.

Council staff said B&Bs were used as a last resort and the council did everything it could to remove the people from the accommodation as soon as possible but also described the challenges that faced finding young people suitable accommodation in Worcestershire.

Council staff told the story of a 24-year-old man, who was an alcoholic and heroin addict, who had been placed in a B&B in May.

He had been evicted from the YMCA due to anti-social behaviour and was also evicted from a flat for failing to pay his rent and damaging the building and had been homeless. He had also refused appropriate accommodation in Birmingham and was not engaging with drug rehabilitation charity Swanswell.

The county council was told by inspectors Ofsted that is must improve its mental health support for children in care and should be ensuring that children leaving care and young people aged over 18 are not placed in B&Bs.