Transfer of PAGS (Probation Accommodation Grant Scheme) to

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					                                                                               National Directorate




  PROBATION CIRCULAR
  National Probation Directorate
  Horseferry House, Dean Ryle Street, London, SW1P 2AW
  Switchboard: 020 7273 4000
  Fax: 020 7217 0799
  Direct Line: 020 7217 0773
                                                                    Date: 23 May 2002


To:                     The Chief Officer
                        The Secretary to the Probation Board
                        Regional Managers

PC 29/2002: TRANSFER OF PAGS (PROBATION ACCOMMODATION
            GRANT SCHEME) TO SUPPORTING PEOPLE

Purpose

This circular gives further details of the arrangements for the transfer of PAGS to
Supporting People in April 2003.

Summary

2.       From April 2003 funding for housing support projects funded through PAGS will be
transferred to Local Authorities as part of the Supporting People programme. In preparation
for this, a data reconciliation exercise is taking place in which probation areas are being
asked to identify PAGS funded schemes for 2002/03 and any new schemes being developed
prior to April 2003. This information will be used both to identify the transfer figure at
national level and to inform each Local Authority responsible for administering the
Supporting People programme of the PAGS schemes in their area and the current level of
funding. Local authorities will use these figures to help determine the contract figures for
April 2003.




Enforcement, rehabilitation and public protection
Introduction to SP/PAGS

3. The „Supporting people’ programme goes live on April 1st 2003. This year is the final
run into a new arrangement for NPS involvement in supported housing services. We need
to use this time to ensure we:

                can assess for supported housing need
                can accurately identify current supported housing services
                have built strong working relationships with local authorities and others involved
                 in strategic planning such as Health and Social Services
                have made the local strategic links between MAPPPs and Crime Reduction
                 partnerships
                staff are briefed and we are prepared for the training and staff development
                 aspects of the programme
                have set up adequate information flows on services and exchange of case
                 management information

Level of Transfer

4.      Probation areas will be expected to comply with the requirement set out in
PC77/2000 that “Advice was given to services in PC65/2000 that PAS (PAGS) is to be ring
fenced until 1 April 2003, when it will be transferred in a block grant to the DTLR. Services
must not therefore reduce the level of expenditure under PAGS contracts. If contracts with
providers are terminated upon the grounds of unsatisfactory performance or changes in
patterns of support needs or their distribution, then services will be required to replace the
contracts with ones of equivalent accommodation purpose and value”

5.      Where Probation areas are not spending up to the ring fenced PAGS figure for
2002/03, they will be expected to develop new services prior to April 2003 to ensure that
spending reaches the ring fenced figure. In order to ensure this is possible it is essential that
the need for the planned services is highlighted in the local Supporting People strategy being
developed at present. Probation areas will also need to take note of the guidance on “
pipeline schemes” that DTLR are to issue in the near future. Also, where cuts to funding
have been made to Supporting People eligible services it is expected that further projects to
an equivalent level of funding will be developed in readiness for April 2003.


6.       NPD will be agreeing with DTLR both the overall levels of funding to be transferred
and how that figure is broken down by probation area, local authority and supported
housing provider/scheme. Each area will need to agree this data with their NPD supporting
people adviser (contact details below). In particular, where overall level of expenditure on
PAGS differs from the ring fenced amount (either higher or lower), areas should not anticipate
being able to retain the balance of any underspends or any funding not transferred into pipeline
schemes to cross subsidise other activities apart from those mentioned in paragraph 9 below.




Enforcement, rehabilitation and public protection
PAGS Funded Services Ineligible for Supporting People Funding

7.     At present, PAGS may be being used for services that are ineligible for funding
through Supporting People. Some or all of the following services may ineligible for
Supporting People funding;

     Referral & Placement services
     Housing Advice
     Rent Guarantee/Bond Guarantee schemes
     Training
     Probation Housing Co-ordinator posts
     Furniture schemes

8.      Where this is the case the first step should be to establish whether the funded
projects are offering an element of housing related. That is support aimed at assessing the
service user to sustain their housing. Where this is the case these projects may be eligible for
funding through Supporting People. Discussions need to take place now with the relevant
Local Authority Supporting People lead officer in order to clarify eligibility.

9.      Where PAGS funded projects are ineligible for funding through Supporting People it
has been agreed with DTLR, in England, that it may be possible for probation areas to retain
funding for housing advice and rent/bond guarantee schemes in particular. In the first
instance areas need to identify such schemes with the relevant NPD Supporting People
Adviser, Helen Cash for London or Derek Kettlewell for the rest of England & Wales,
making the case for retention of the funding, highlighting the use made of the scheme and
its importance to the provision of housing and support for offenders locally. Probation areas
are asked to identify such schemes by June 28 in order that an early decision on possible
retention of funding can be made.

10.   Where it is not agreed by NPD that such funding is not retained it is expected that
new Supporting People eligible services will be developed prior to April 2003.

11.     In Wales NPD is meeting with the National Assembly with to discuss the issue of
non Supporting People eligible PAGS funded projects. Further advice will be circulated
following this meeting.

12.      PAGS training monies will not be eligible to transfer to Supporting People. It is
expected, in Supporting People, that the cost of the service will include the cost of ensuring
that staff receive a level of training that ensures the delivery of a quality service to the client
group. To ensure continued development of staff in supported housing services resources
for training being funded through PAGS should be distributed to funded projects on a pro
rata basis.

PAGS Schemes & Interim Contracts

13.    Probation areas should be working with providers to ensure that current PAGS
contract specifications reflect the service required and/or currently delivered. The service

Enforcement, rehabilitation and public protection
specification from the PAGS contract will be appended to the Interim Contract issued to
providers by the Supporting People team locally. It is vital that the PAGS specification is
clear on issues such as:

     Eligibility
     Referral routes + access arrangements
     Expectations of project working with offenders
     Information sharing
     Joint Working

It is vital that the specification is clear and agreed between both partners now to avoid
misunderstanding and service alterations at handover. In future local Authorities will have
responsibility for administering the contract and probation will contribute to service
development through the Core Strategy Group.

Involvement in Supporting People

14.     It is essential that Probation areas continue to play a full role in Inclusive Fora, Core
Strategy Development Groups and Commissioning Bodies in the run up to implementation
of Supporting People in 2003. Thereafter NPS will be an equal member in all these groups
and will provide the public protection and crime reduction dimension to supported housing.
Supporting People teams should be encouraged to ensure that the Prison Service and their
interests are included on Inclusive Forums and in service planning and development.

15.     It is particularly important that the Supporting People strategies being developed
now recognise the needs of the whole range of offenders including short sentence prisoners.
Probation areas should be working with Prison Service colleagues to ensure that such needs
are adequately reflected in the developing strategies.

16.    It is also important that any concerns you have about the operation of the
Supporting People programme in your area are fed back to the relevant NPD Supporting
People adviser in order that they can be raised with the DTLR implementation team.

Contact for queries

17.        NPD Supporting People Advisers are


Helen Cash (London) Tel 020 7 217 8681

Derek Kettlewell (England & Wales except London) Tel 01422 340211 Mobile 07764
243020




Enforcement, rehabilitation and public protection
FELICITY HAWKSLEY




Enforcement, rehabilitation and public protection

				
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