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					 Proposal to develop alternative emergency accommodation for homeless 16/17-
                             year-old young people

Background

WDC along with its statutory and vol partners have worked over the last year in
developing and extending housing options for young people. In 07/08 there were 24
acceptances for 16/17 year olds. In the same year 44 young people were placed in
B&B of which 18 stayed longer than 6 weeks. This equates to on average a rate of 4
applicants per month and 48.55 days in B&B

Prevention Activity

      Work with Great Yarmouth Borough Council and the Mancroft Advice Project
       on the development of a housing advice/options toolkit- to be piloted
      Working with JUMP Peer Monitoring Group to deliver the toolkit into schools
      Norfolk Family Mediation Service
      Joint Suffolk Connexions/Housing Options Surgery

Increasing housing options to reflect the housing and support needs of young people
that need to secure alternative accommodation

      Development of Avenue Mansions as move-on accommodation 8 units
      Supported Lodgings in conjunction with YMCA and St Edmunds bury (10
       placements)
      Agreement with Social Care to act as guarantor in the event of a young person
       being ready to move into mainstream housing and floating support

All the above have been developed in line with the Spirals research proposals

Service Provision Gaps

      The mediation service has had limited success as young people are either
       already estranged from their parents and have been ‘sofa surfing’ for some
       time, or parents do not want to engage in mediation etc. Home Visits have
       been minimal because of the demand caused by the above scenarios. It is both
       value for money and government best practice to reorientate services to earlier
       prevention methods e.g. home visits
      Suffolk has had a detailed Joint Protocol in place since 1998 however its
       implementation has been uneven in parts of the County, which has affected its
       delivery on the ground. Some Housing authorities are using the CAF process
       to address the holistic needs of the young person-but response times and
       notification of assessments has been limited or not evident. This has to be set
       within the local context of 10 referrals to every one between West Suffolk and
       Waveney. Both Ipswich and Waveney are ‘hotspots’ in terms of youth
       homelessness because of the heavy demand and deprivation in both Districts.
      WDC is still relying on the use of Bed and Breakfast accommodation-most
       recently over 50% of all B& B placements have involved 16/17 year olds.




Angela Haye 09th June 2008 Proposal for Emergency Accommodation                       1
Proposals to address the above issues

    Mediation
   Using mediation in a different way. SCDC work with 15/16 year olds and they
   have trained staff employed within the Housing advice and Options Team to
   mediate (training is for one year). They have the same caseworker throughout in
   terms of continuity of service delivery. If the mediator identifies further service
   needs within the family they refer onto the ‘The Fast Team’. This Suffolk County
   funded Service already has capacity issues and there doesn’t appear to be a
   presence in Waveney as yet. It would be extremely beneficial, following it success
   in other areas, for the operation of the fast team to be extended to Waveney.

   Where mediation is an option WDC will adopt the following approach

       If the parent is willing to reconcile and the young person does not want to
       participate WDC may take a view on whether it is reasonable to occupy or
       there is a possibility of intentionality in terms of ‘omission’-not agreeing to
       the mediation. (numbers)

      Home Visits
       There may be a need for short-term additional help in resourcing the
       reorientation of the team’s work
       Further mediation training in terms of home visits (4 day course identified).
       The training could be delivered locally in conjunction with other authorities
       e.g. GYBC and St Eds.

     Multi-agency Assessment process/linked to alternative emergency
      accommodation and greater sharing of information
   Current arrangement

                              Advice and Information
          (Suffolk Connexions/Youth Offending/Leaving Care/Vol Agencies)


                                    Joint Housing Protocol


                  Housing                                        Social Care


       Whilst the protocol is being activated young people are placed in B&B. In the
       vast majority of cases Social Care do not provide information on the results of
       assessment Section 17 and 20. Without such information it can lead to the
       inevitable assumption that the person has been assessed as being not in need
       under the terms of the Children Act. Without practical information sharing,
       WDC through the Young Persons Housing Options Advisor inevitably ends
       up working in isolation .The effect of this is the young person is moved out of
       B&B into alternative accommodation. This is difficult to achieve because of
       the high numbers placed in B&B and supply not meeting demand



Angela Haye 09th June 2008 Proposal for Emergency Accommodation                          2
Issues for the Group to address:

Role of emergency unit

     Emergency accommodation for young people with chaotic/complex needs and
      associated risks from being placed in B&B. Multi-agency Case Conference
      whilst placed in emergency accommodation
   And/or
    Cooling off/respite for young people who may be able to return home with the
      assistance of mediation and support-turnover could be higher-depending on
      success of initial home visit/mediation.

Examples of possible emergency units:

In the short term St Johns could provide one extra unit to be operational within a
relatively short period of time. This would provide an opportunity to gauge demand
and throughput in terms of alternative move –on accommodation.

In the longer term

St Johns Extra Room-the difficulty with this option is that it only provides one room
and the costs associated with operating one unit is proportionately higher than a
number of units e.g. 3. To investigate the possibility of adding two further crash pad
units depending on availability of land site and resources. Because of the smaller
demand in other market towns consideration could be given to guesthouse/ supported
lodgings arrangements

Nightstop provision using host families-there is no guarantee of where these families
will be recruited from e.g. will they cover other towns. WDC would need to
commission an organisation to deliver it and there will be similar cost to the scheme
above due to the small numbers


Joint Assessment/Referral Routes


Hard to place young people

It is proposed the respite unit will be initially funded as a pilot through the remainder
of the LSP Performance Grant. As these funding cuts across different strategic
services the referral/nomination rights to the unit would have to be agreed and
established.
It is suggested that an Initial Referral form is completed by the Social Care/Housing
Options or statutory service that the young person has contact with (the decision to
allocate an emergency placement rests with St Johns Housing Trust). A multi-agency
assessment would then need to be conducted within a specified time frame to consider
move-on accommodation plus appropriate support. This would of necessity require
information sharing



Angela Haye 09th June 2008 Proposal for Emergency Accommodation                         3
Hertsmere District Council have a multi agency providers/assessment panel
whereby all supported accommodation is allocated (meetings are every two
weeks)-this may not sit well with each organisation’s allocations policy but it will
provide a sense of supply and demand and move-on within Waveney-this may
become more appropriate relevant in terms of Local Government
reorganisation.

16/17 year olds low-level relationship breakdown

It is proposed that the respite unit could be used to accommodation young people
whilst mediation/support is organised. Turnover in the unit would probably be higher
but it may address the expectation by young people they will automatically be placed
in Abigail Court (where their mates are) or other B&B. A referral to CAF could also
be part of this process in terms of either sustaining the person in the family home or
negotiating a housing pathway for the young person.

A temporary Supported Lodgings Scheme (1-3 nights) maybe more appropriate
for this group. This may also be appropriate for young people coming from the
market towns and outlying areas. Further costings on the Nightstop scheme to be
provided once meeting with Ed Vaughn has taken place.
Funding

It is proposed The LSP grant would fund the set up cost and the employment of an
extra worker. Both schemes will involve considerable expenditure but there may be
scope for diverting some of the general fund to fund a proportion of the scheme
(subject to senior management agreement). If both schemes are to be used by statutory
agencies other funding sources could be identified in terms of match funding which
would be beneficial if the number of short-term units were extended.

Housing Benefits
Housing Benefits would be willing to fund both schemes. HB can be paid on a nightly
basis as long as the arrangements are similar to that of placements in B&B i.e. signing
in sheets on a nightly basis. B&B Accommodation Costs are currently £18.00 per
night –occupancy at 66% of the year £4339-+top up which the resident is charged for
(utilities breakfast). The above income could be incorporated into the projected
budget.

Inland Revenue Funding

Under the Rent a room scheme the host will get the equivalent of another single
persons tax allowance.

Supporting People-initial response
In principle SP would have no objection to a change of use for one room at
Pheonix House but only once Avenue Mansions was operational

They have suggested the proposal comes from St. John's with a
reference to WDC's support. At this stage More detail would need to be
provided about precisely what is proposed so that SP can make an informed
decision - at this stage SP have no idea if the proposal involves a change


Angela Haye 09th June 2008 Proposal for Emergency Accommodation                          4
of use for one room or more; an additional room; or whether or not more
funding would be requested.


Emergency Unit at Pheonix House-costings*

Phoenix House - Crash Pad
                                         £         £
Income
Income LSP Grant                               11,073
HB 35 weeks @ £20                              4,900
Per night
Total Income                                   15,973

Expenditure
Equip Room
Additional radiator             (est.)   350
and wash basin                           200
Bed                                      150
Wardrobe
Drawers
B/side cabinet                           150
Curtains                                  15
Foldable chair                            10
Bedding
Duvet & pillow (x2)                       34
Waterproof bed set (x2)                   30
Duvet & pillow cover (x2)                 50
Towel (x4)                                35
Soap (guest bars approx 365)              50
Toothbrush (disposable approx 365)       365
Shampoo (guest sachets approx 365)        62
Alarm clock                               10
Sub-Total                                         (1,511)

Salary Costs

Annual salary, 28 hrs/week @
£7.99 /hr                                         11,633
On costs                                           2,679
Recruitment Costs                                    150
Sub -Total Gross Salary                           14,312

Total Expenditure                                 15,973
   Costings would be higher if there were two or three crsahpads but the costs t
   would be proportionately cheaper for each one.




Angela Haye 09th June 2008 Proposal for Emergency Accommodation                5
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