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5.7 Recruitment, Assessment and Monitoring of Supported Lodgings Providers

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter describes the Supported Lodgings Scheme which enables young care leavers aged 16-21 to be offered accommodation in a home environment. The accommodation is provided by people who are able to offer some degree of support to a vulnerable young person as well as a room in their house

RELATED CHAPTER

Provision of Staying Put Arrangements and Supported Lodgings

AMENDMENT

This chapter was updated in March 2014 as a result of local review.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Supported Lodgings Scheme
  3. The Supported Lodgings Providers
  4. The Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator
  5. The Supported Lodgings Panel
  6. Procedure for Recruitment, Assessment, Monitoring of Providers


1. Introduction

Caption: Introduction table
   
1. The Supported Lodgings Scheme enables young care leavers aged 16-21 to be offered accommodation in a home environment. The accommodation is provided by people who are able to offer some degree of support to a vulnerable young person as well as a room in their house. Supported lodgings are a stepping-stone to independence, with the aim of allowing the young person to gain independence whilst living within a caring and supportive environment.
2.

The principles underpinning the Supported Lodgings Scheme are:

  • The objective of supported lodgings is to encourage, support and empower young people as they mature and develop
  • The young people will be treated with respect and dignity in all aspects of their lives - this will be demonstrated by listening to their views, encouraging them to make choices and upholding their right to have a private life.
  • Young people will be encouraged to maintain existing relationships and develop new ones, whether this is with neighbours, friends or peers at work or college or within their social life
  • Young people will be encouraged to develop day to day living skills which will facilitate them achieving a greater degree of independence, and enable young people to make choices and take control of their own lives life.


2. The Supported Lodgings Scheme

Caption: The Supported Lodgings Scheme
   
1. The Supported Lodgings Scheme operates within the Equal Opportunities Policy of East Riding of Yorkshire Council. Applications will therefore be welcomed from all sections of the community and no prospective provider will receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, political or religious belief. However the Council will always consider that the welfare of young people must take precedence in any circumstances where the identified needs and best interests of an individual child may conflict with policy.


3. The Supported Lodgings Providers

Caption: section 1, Key Points
   
1.

Matters to which the Local Authority is 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 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.

Supported Lodgings providers will be recruited and approved on the following basis:

  • All providers and adult members of their household will undergo an enhanced check with the Disclosure and Barring Service;
  • Enquiries will be made of the children's social care (Social Services) department in the area where the provider lives;
  • The Provider's GP will be asked to provide a reference;
  • The provider will be asked to provide two personal references;
  • Information will be obtained from other relevant statutory agencies depending on the individual circumstances of each prospective provider; 
  • All providers must be able to demonstrate their ability to work within the principles outlined above;
  • A minimum of 2 visits will be made to the prospective provider's home to:
    • Check the standard of accommodation (i.e. safety, cleanliness) being offered to the young person;
    • Explain the expectations of the local authority in relation to the role of supported lodging providers, and explore the prospective providers understanding of this;
    • Assess the prospective applicant' ability to work within the principles outlined above;
    • Interview all members of the household and seek their views regarding proposal that young person join the household.
  • Prospective providers will be invited to training /information meetings as considered appropriate;
  • A written report will be prepared summarising the outcome of the enquiries made and the assessment of the applicant's suitability to become a supported lodgings provider;
  • The written report will be submitted to the Supported Lodgings Panel, who will make the final decision whether or not to accept the application.


4. The Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator

Caption: The Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator
   
1. The Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator will maintain contact with all approved supported lodgings providers, including making home visits at a frequency agreed with the provider.
2.

The approval of supported lodgings providers will be reviewed at least annually, and in the following circumstances:

  • If any allegation or complaint is made against the supported lodgings provider
  • If there is any significant change in the personal circumstances of the provider, the composition of the provider's household or accommodation.
The Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator will arrange to meet with the provider to conduct  the review. Following the review the co-ordinator will prepare a written report for submission to the Supported Lodging Panel, who will decide whether or not approval should continue.


5. The Supported Lodgings Panel

The Supported Lodgings Panel will undertake the following functions:

  • Consider applications from prospective supported lodgings providers, and decide? whether the application should be accepted;
  • Consider reports submitted by the Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator following review meetings with providers, and decide whether approval should continue;
  • Receive information about placement disruptions;
  • Quality assure the assessment process, ensuring consistency of approach, thoroughness and fairness to all applicants;
  • Monitor the supply of placements in comparison with the needs of young people;
  • Monitor the provision of training;
  • Receive reports from the Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator, and provide advice and recommendations on any matter referred to the Panel.

The Panel will comprise 8 members, and include:

  • Area Manager
  • Pathway Team Manager
  • A representative from Youth services
  • A representative from Health
  • A representative form Housing
  • A representative from Adult Services
  • A supported lodgings provider
  • One other member, preferably a person with past experience as a user of the supported lodgings service.

The Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator will attend meetings in an advisory capacity.

The Panel will meet bi- monthly. The Panel must be quorate to conduct business. At least 4 members of the Panel must be present for the Panel to be quorate, including the Panel chair or vice chair and 2 members independent of Children's Social Care.

All prospective and approved providers will be given the opportunity to attend, and address the panel meeting at which their application, or review of approval is being considered.

Minutes of each Panel meeting will be taken. Reasons will be recorded for each decision made by the panel. A copy of the minute relating to the approval or review of approval of each provider will be retained on the provider’s file.

The Panel Chair will endeavour to encourage panel members to reach consensus on recommendations. If after a full discussion, all members of the Panel are not in agreement, the recommendation will reflect the view of the majority of Panel members. Where the views of Panel members are evenly divided the chair will hold a casting vote.  

See also Supported Lodgings Panel: Terms of Reference


6. Procedure for Recruitment, Assessment, Monitoring of Providers

  1. The Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator will develop and implement a strategy to recruit supported lodgings providers in general and for specific young people;
  2. Enquiries will be given a positive and welcoming response and within 2 working days information will be sent to the enquirer;
  3. Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks will be undertaken on all members of the household, aged 18 years or over. See also Applications to Disclosure and Barring Service for Disclosure of Information Procedure. The Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator should give careful consideration to any record of convictions and discuss these with the Area Manager. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 Exception Orders apply to these checks;
  4. All applicants will be required to obtain a reference from their GP and send this to the Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator;
  5. The Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator will arrange for Children's Social Care records to be checked with respect to the applicant and other members of the household, for the area where the applicant lives. Information will also be obtained from other relevant statutory agencies depending on the individual circumstances of each prospective provider;
  6. All applicants will be required to provide the names of two personal referees. The Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator will contact the referees for a written reference and if required meet the referees as part of the assessment;
  7. The Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator will visit the applicant on at least two occasions, interview all members of the household and check the standard of accommodation;
  8. A written report will be prepared on the assessment of the applicant, taking into account the outcome of all the above checks and references;
  9. The Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator will present the assessment report to the Supported Lodgings Panel and the applicant will be invited to attend the Panel meeting during consideration of the report;
  10. The applicant will be notified in writing of the Panel decision together with reasons. In the event of a refusal of the application, the applicant will also be informed of the right to make written representations to the Panel within 28 days of the receipt of the decision;
  11. The Supported Lodgings Co-ordinator will arrange to meet with the provider to conduct the review of his or her approval. Following the review, the Co-ordinator will prepare a written report for submission to the Supported Lodging Panel, who will decide whether or not approval should continue;
  12. All reviews of approval will be presented to the Panel and the provider will be invited to attend during consideration of the review. The provider will be notified in writing of the Panel decision together with reasons. In the event of a termination of approval, the provider will also be informed of the right to make written representations to the Panel within 28 days of the receipt of the decision.

End