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Dartford Young Persons Team Workshop Marie Gerald Housing Options & Private Sector Manager Dartford Borough Council Sabine Voigt District Manager Dartford.

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Presentation on theme: "Dartford Young Persons Team Workshop Marie Gerald Housing Options & Private Sector Manager Dartford Borough Council Sabine Voigt District Manager Dartford."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dartford Young Persons Team Workshop Marie Gerald Housing Options & Private Sector Manager Dartford Borough Council Sabine Voigt District Manager Dartford Children’s Social Services

2 Background  R v London Borough Southwark (Southwark Judgement) – changed the way 16/17 year olds were typically dealt with  Since 2007 all Kent housing authorities and children’s services authorities have followed a joint protocol (reviewed in 2010)  In 2010 Brent Council’s Children & Families Team and the Housing department piloted a co-located multi-agency team to assess the needs of 16/17 year olds with Homeless Prevention being a focal point of activity.

3  80% homelessness was prevented within this client group during the pilot period, without accommodating and continues to be a success.  Following a presentation from Brent Council, Dartford Borough Council, Children’s Specialist Services alongside the Adolescence Resource Centre, Dartford YMCA Thames Gateway and Dartford Connexions agreed to initiate a pilot for Kent – this started in October 2011  Would be based on the Brent model and a visit to Brent took place in July 2011 to see how this worked on a practical level  It was agreed that that the pilot would operate outside of Kent’s joint protocol  Phase two of the pilot started in March 2012 and is on-going

4 Aims of the procedure The primary objective is to keep 16/17 year olds living at home with their families to improve their chances of employment, education, health and wellbeing. In cases where families can not be held together, we are encouraging improved communication between young people and their families which will limit ongoing risk of homelessness and isolation (LB Brent March 2011)

5 Who is in Dartford’s Young Persons Team? The ‘Lead Professionals’ are: Senior Homeless Prevention Officer from Dartford Borough Council’s Housing Options Team Social Work Assistant from the Children’s Specialist Services Both based at the Civic Centre that made joint working easier Representative from ARC – covers Wednesday’s and ad-hoc

6 However, there is strong support from:  ARC  YMCA Thames Gateway  Connexions  Other agencies contributions are also key to the schemes success

7 Where should a young person go? Primarily the Civic Centre Can also go: YMCA Thames Gateway Dartford Connexions

8 What happens next? The YP or professional will complete an initial enquiry form The YP is given information about the process – leaflet Information is gathered by Housing & Children’s Specialist Services Any early safeguarding issues are identified

9 What happens next? YP interviewed at Civic Centre – YMCA available if YP wants neutral location The issues at home are identified Home visit to parent or primary carer takes place for responsive mediation if at all possible on the day Joint action plan is put into place Connexions referral is made – Intensive Support Advisor is allocated

10 Further referrals made where necessary e.g. mediation service Cases put onto SKWO (Secure Kent Workforce Online) Regular contact with both YP and primary carer Fortnightly case review meetings – includes lead professionals and their line managers Monthly review meetings – all partners Case only closed when YP and/or primary carer requests it and professionals satisfied that crisis is resolved sustainably.

11 Flow chart process

12 The ‘Crash pad’ An indentified unit at the YMCA Thames Gateway (not funded by SP) Is not advertised Can be used as a ‘breathing space’ Will have it’s own set of rules – more strict CHIN referral if YP in crash pad for approx 2 weeks – this can vary

13 What happens if the YP can’t return home? Expected this to be a minimal number of cases Placed in the crash pad (up to 14 days) Child in Need referral made CSS advises YP of ‘options’

14 What are the options? short IA proceeding straight to COAS in DIAT immediate LAC status and offer of independent legal advice to YP YP chooses Sec 17 CA 89 CHIN or Sec 20 CA89 LAC

15 Options – cont’d If Sec 17 – multi agency CHIN plan is agreed and YP is supported to apply for benefits with the view to step down to TAC. Housing to support with housing options. Section 20 – YP gains LAC status, CSS is lead agency and fully funding and supporting YP – transfer to 16+ service after 13 weeks LAC

16 Phase One of the Pilot - outcomes

17 Success to date (Nov 2011 –April 2012) 24 YP’s accessed the service 9 cases remain open 15 cases closed

18 Who’s referring Housing – 9 CSS – 7 YMCA – 2 Connexions – 4 Schools – 1 YOS – 1

19 Outcomes 13 immediately returned home – minimal or no contact 6 were not accommodated but there is on going high level prevention work 3 YPs became s.20’s 1 was referred back to their own LA 1 failed to engage

20 Reason for approach to YPT Majority is family exclusion One case came in for advice One was incorrectly signposted

21 Did we know them? 13 cases were already known to CSS – this could be more 1 known to YOS 10 cases we are unsure if they had been known to any service Housing – knew a lot of the family history

22 The crash pad 4 YPs accessed the crash pad 20 YPs did not require the crash pad

23 Use of the crash pad 4 YPs have accessed Not used until 2012 Out of 161 potential nights Longest stay 21 nights – exceptional circumstance

24 Feedback from Connexions Reduction in the number of housing enquiries and YPs presenting as homeless Greater clarity for YPs regarding local housing procedures More efficient response to referrals Simple referral procedure Improved inter-agency communication Referrals to Connexions – easier to offer targeted support

25 Costs involved – Housing Covered the rental cost of the unit - £91.27 per week Used Homeless Prevention Fund Cost of pilot for housing - £

26 Costs involved – CSS Identified £10k for the pilot Covered the support costs - £ per week Also covered cost of leaflets for YPs - £36 Total cost of pilot - £

27 What we learnt - phase one Resource heavy – takes up approximately 45% of time for housing, more for CSS Crash pad not cost effective - support Needs to be advertised – County Duty and other agencies such as YOS and schools Need for external referrals Statutory duties – judicial review

28 What we learnt – phase one Monthly review meeting essential – iron out issues SWA – function did not sit well in DIAT Senior supervision is essential No Southwark arguments – new issues arose

29 Pilot – phase two Reviewed end of March by Marie Gerald & Sabine Voigt Agreed the continuation of the project Housing to continue to cover rental costs of crash pad CSS to pay support costs ad-hoc Housing to supply admin support -will help with external referrals

30 Pilot – phase two YPT to be publicised with agencies SWA moving to ARC – clarity re accountability, boundaries and preventative work Reviewed again in three months

31 Joint Stock Homelessness Strategy – offered 20 allocations per year to CMHT and Catch 22 (16+) thorough joint stock Opened out to CSS following Southwark judgement No homeless presentations from Dartford care leavers Never exceeded 20 allocations Will to expand if need arises Essential resource for CSS and Catch 22 when a YP reaches 18 or 21

32 Gravesham BC Looked at Dartford’s pilot at the end of last year Adopted the main principles – some minor changes Now has own successful scheme

33 Any questions?


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