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5.4 Provision of Accommodation

RELATED CHAPTERS

Provision of Staying Put Arrangements and Supported Lodgings Procedure

Joint Housing Protocol for Care Leavers Procedure

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated in March 2014 as a result of local review. References to Staying Put and Arrangements and Supported Lodgings were added and Section 4 the Procedure for the Provision of Accommodation was rewritten in full.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Suitability of Accommodation
  3. Partnership Working
  4. Procedure for Provision of Accommodation


1. Introduction

  1. Young people living in and leaving care are a diverse group whose needs will vary according to their care experience and individual needs. Accommodation needs will be equally wide ranging. As noted above, the move to independent living is a gradual transition process, and accommodation provision will need to be flexible in order to respond to this;
  2. Wherever possible, young people will be given the opportunity to move to a semi-independent and supported accommodation arrangement when they leave their care placement, so as to have a staged, gradual move to their own tenancy. This may be via a Supported Lodgings or Staying Put arrangement, or by accessing supported accommodation options in the local area. (See Provision of Staying Put Arrangements and Supported Lodgings Procedure);
  3. Stability and continuity of placements is a key factor in successful transitions to adult life. It is of central importance that young people are provided with this stability, and are not expected to leave care until they are prepared and ready to do so, and have suitable accommodation, which provides a level of support commensurate with their needs.


2. Suitability of Accommodation

The Local Authority has to have regard in determining suitability of accommodation (under Schedule 2 to the Care Leavers Regulations 2010 and Schedule 6 of the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review Regulations 2010) in relation to the following matters:

  1. In respect of the accommodation:
    1. The facilities and services provided;
    2. The state of repair;
    3. The safety;
    4. The location;
    5. The support;
    6. The tenancy status; and
    7. The financial commitments involved for the relevant young person and their affordability.
  2. In respect of the Relevant young person:
    1. His or her views about the accommodation;
    2. His or her understanding of their rights and responsibilities in relation to the accommodation; and
    3. His or her understanding of funding arrangements.


3. Partnership Working

  1. The development of accommodation resources will require formal agreements with statutory and voluntary housing providers to ensure access to a range of tenancies, and partnerships or joint ventures to establish a range of accommodation options;
  2. East Riding of Yorkshire Council has in place a Joint Housing Protocol between the Pathway Team and the Housing Directorate, which confirms the process by which all looked after young people and care leavers will have their future housing needs assessed at an early stage. This will be completed for all care leavers seeking accommodation in the East Riding, and will take into account their wishes and feelings about future accommodation. This will be central to the Pathway Planning process, and aims to reduce the need for homelessness presentations;
  3. Where looked after young people in foster care wish to remain with their foster carers post 18 in order to complete their education or training. East Riding of Yorkshire Council has in place a process whereby a conversion of the foster placement to become  a Staying Put arrangement at 18 can be completed. (See Provision of Staying Put Arrangements and Supported Lodgings Procedure).


4. Procedure for Provision of Accommodation

  1. The procedure for identifying housing need is detailed within the Joint Housing Protocol for Care Leavers Procedure and is as follows:
  2. The Pathway team, via the Accommodation Officer, will notify the relevant housing team of any forthcoming applications in their area. The Pathway team will ensure the application form is completed and submitted, with a support letter confirming the details of the young person’s LAC history, their status under the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000;
  3. At this stage the young person’s name will, under usual circumstances, be registered on the waiting list in Group 3. This process can be completed prior to a young person’s eighteenth birthday, and in the event of a property being identified it can be offered on a ‘licence’ basis, and the full tenancy then be offered at 18;
  4. Any allocations will be discussed by the workers involved with the young person, and copies of all correspondence to the young person copied to the Pathway team Accommodation Officer. In the event of a property being allocated, support arrangements will be discussed and agreed by all those involved. This will be done via a 3 way ‘sign up’ meeting between the young person, the local Housing officer and the Pathway team Accommodation officer and / or support worker. Arrangements for tenancy support will be confirmed at this meeting and, if required, an additional support plan drawn up;
  5. In the event of no property being allocated within a six month period a review meeting will be called;
  6. The Pathway team will ensure the young person notifies Housing of any change of address through completion of the Change of Circumstances form;
  7. In the event of imminent or actual homelessness then the young person will be assisted to make a homelessness application, but this should be the exception and not the usual route into housing.

End