SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER
This chapter was significantly updated in May 2014 as a result of local review. It should be re-read throughout.
The young people requiring supported accommodation will be local authority care leavers/vulnerable young people who are unable to live at home. The priority age ranges will be 16-21. Placements can be extended up to 24 if the young person is in further or higher education.
The Supported Lodgings Service is intended to provide young people with a gradual step between leaving local authority care or their home environment and independent living, and those young people who are homeless or in the Youth Justice System and require support to enable them to develop life skills.
The Local Authority must 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):
The accommodation providers are recruited from the Hull and the bordering authorities. The process of assessment and approval of Supported Lodgings providers aims to achieve a balance between ensuring that placements are safe and thoroughly vetted whilst not being excessive to a level which deters applicants, and that this is in accordance with the level of input which is requested of them.
Good practice would suggest Supported Lodgings providers will be approved for up to four young people. This could be extended in an emergency or for siblings groups.
Upon initial contact with or enquiry from a prospective provider an enquiry will be logged on Liquidlogic, similar to that which is recorded for a foster carer enquiry.
Admin will send scheme leaflets to the prospective provider, together with an application form. This is an important step because all the basic information about the potential provider is obtained, as well as their written consent to pursue the necessary enquires.
The enquiry will be passed to the Recruitment Officer who will contact the applicant(s) within 5 days. The Recruitment Officer will undertake a telephone interview with the applicant to determine motivation and suitability. The applicant(s) will be invited to an information day. Once the applicant(s) have attended the information day and a decision made to progress, an initial home visit will be undertaken by a Supported Accommodation Worker. The decision to progress or not to progress an enquiry is made by a Supported Accommodation Worker and then passed to their line manager for allocation. At the initial home visit stage, all initial safety checks and reference details will be collected from the applicant(s) including Health and Safety, Medical, DBS, Personal References and Employment References. Following the visit information collated will be handed to the Team Co-ordinator to manage and process checks. The Placement and Commissioning Team Manager will quality assure all assessments before presentation to panel.
Applicant(s) are expected to attend Safeguarding level 1 and will be given opportunities for further training and development opportunities whilst approved.
The Line Manager will make sure that a Supported Accommodation Worker is allocated to undertake a full comprehensive assessment. The assessment will follow the fostering network's Skills to Foster framework. Once the assessment is complete and recommendations are made, the full assessment will be presented to the Hull Fostering Panel who meets specifically to approve and review Supported Lodgings Providers.
It will be necessary for the Worker to:
During the assessment process the Line Manager will be responsible to:
The Panel is held quarterly. The Panel confirms registrations, re-registrations and de-registrations.
The Supported Lodgings Worker will:
The Panel Clerk will use a standard letter to send invitations out for the Panel hearing, and a standard listing of the progress of those involved and documents returned.
Applicants will be invited to the Panel, this will not be mandatory.
The Panel makes recommendations which will be recorded in Panel Minutes to be signed by the Chair. Panel minutes must record whether or not applicants are suitable to act as lodging providers and the terms on which approval is given.
Following the panel a decision record will be signed by the Authorised Decision Maker.
If approved, the accommodation providers will receive a letter from the Group Manager and should be informed by visit or telephone by the Supported Accommodation Worker. The written notice of approval will specify the terms of approval e.g. number of young people, types of placements and other circumstances.
If not approved, or if the terms of approval are not as the applicants wanted, the applicants must be visited by the Worker and the reasons discussed with them. They must also be written to by the Panel Chair. This letter will state why the panel decided against approval.
Following approval a Welcome Pack will be given by the relevant Supported Lodgings Worker containing useful information on the roles and responsibilities of providers and support workers, legislation, allowances and procedures. The pack will also include the Supported Lodgings Agreement which the provider will be invited to sign and retain a copy. The Worker will be clear in all areas of discussion and cover.
Support will be provided to accommodation providers by way of regular, individual supervision, support meetings, any additional support provided on a needs basis. Levels of support are as follows high, medium and low.
The Worker will have supervision sessions with the providers and use a Supervision form.
All Placements will be reviewed by the Independent Reviewing Team.
Annually after initial approval and then three yearly.
Three yearly reviews will include the following:
The decision to temporary amend the terms of approval must be made by the Line Manager. The decision should be recorded as a decision record. A decision to temporary amend the terms on which approval is made should be reviewed on a monthly basis. If the child or young person is likely to remain in placement for a period of more than 3 months the provider's approval and terms of approval should be reviewed by the panel.
The provider will present a written resignation and a report from the Supported Lodgings Worker will be presented to Panel. This report must outline the reasons for de-registration and be countersigned by the Line Manager. A copy of which is then forwarded to the provider for their information. Following the panel decision the providers will receive the decision in writing and any necessary follow up support will be identified by the Supported Lodgings Worker.
All referrals for Supported Lodgings will be received by the Placement and Commissioning Team. They will pass this information directly onto the Supported Lodgings Manager and Team.
The young person's needs will be explored and matched to skills attributes and attachment styles of the Supported Lodgings Providers. The vital information of present family dynamics and compositions will also be taken into consideration.
Risk analysis will be undertaken, identifying any risks.
All young people living with Supported Lodgings Providers must be considered.
The views of the young people will be taken into consideration when matching.
When a young person is placed a Planning Meeting will take place within 5 days. This will include the following professionals, Social Worker, Personal Advisor, Supported Lodgings Worker and the Supported Lodgings Provider and any other significant person in the young person's life.
The Planning meeting will explore elements of the Pathway Plan and the input from the Supported Lodgings Providers.
Roles and responsibilities, Safer Caring Policy, Delegated Authority and Roles and Responsibilities for all parties involved.
Formal matching considerations can be waived when the placement is simply changing status from a foster home to a supported lodging.
When a young person requires an emergency placement the referral forms are still required. This information should be shared with the emergency provider prior to the placement or at the earliest opportunity.
When a young person is the subject of a care order it is the duty of their allocated worker, who may be a IYS worker or a Locality Team Social worker to conduct the statutory boarding out visits.
If they are not the subject of a care order the worker or a Locality Team Social worker will also be responsible for seeing that the plan for the young person is reviewed in an equally thorough way, and that the young person receives sufficient personal support.
These are important points and the Supported Lodgings Worker should check that the young person's worker is clear about this at the beginning of a placement.
Also the Social worker or Personal advisor has the responsibility to see that the young person is supported in applying for relevant allowances, benefits, Supporting People Funding, Housing Benefit or any other financial entitlements where eligible.
The young person will be required to sign a Licence Agreement where applicable for the purpose of claiming Housing Benefit.
Only valid for 48hrs