Presentation on theme: "1 11 Welfare Reform and Localism in the context of young people leaving care Linda Briheim-Crookall NCAS Senior Policy Manager November 2012."— Presentation transcript:
1 11 Welfare Reform and Localism in the context of young people leaving care Linda Briheim-Crookall NCAS Senior Policy Manager November 2012
2 22 Welfare reform and localism Universal Credit Social fund Discretionary Housing Payments Council Tax Benefit (April 2013) Housing benefit in supported accommodation Social housing allocation Suitable accommodation and Private rented sector Commissioning supported accommodation services & careers guidance Implementing the health reform programme Priority groups for National Scholarship Programme at Universities Distribution of bursary in schools and colleges
3 33 ‘Care proofing’ policy Extended corporate parenting - Unique relationship of the state-as-parent Recognition of the need to support care leavers (CL) as they enter young adulthood (18-25) aligning with: –Extended support parents give their own children –DFE policy to support up to 25 if in education and training Central government depts. role in bolstering local authority duties and encouraging local cooperation –e.g bursary 6 areas for action: 1.Explicitly recognise CL in policy documents. 2.Give automatic entitlement for CL to provisions addressing the needs of vulnerable adults. 3.Give priority for CL to discretionary support available. 4.Create or maintain robust systems of information and data sharing. 5.Ensure joint working and protocols at a local and national level. 6.Provide responsive, personalised services for CL.
4 44 Access All Areas Individual Local National Advocate for YP to get Discretionary Housing Payments Explicit recognition in policy Prioritise in discretionary provisions Automatic entitlement Joint working & protocols Information & data sharing Responsive, personalised services Specify care leavers in guidance on Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) Negotiate care leavers as a priority in local DHP arrangement Support young people to research NSP offer and apply for funding Prioritise care leavers and review participation in National Scholarship Programme Negotiate priority for care leavers in NSP at individual universities
5 55 Universal Credit ( ) What is it? UC is a new single payment for people who are looking for work or on a low income. UC aims to: –improve work incentives –smooth the transitions into and out of work, –simplify the system, –reduce in-work poverty –cut back on fraud and error. Will replace: income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance income-related Employment and Support Allowance Income Support Child Tax Credits Working Tax Credits Housing Benefit
6 66 UC - Things to be aware of Payments direct to tenants in social housing Monthly payments Online application systems Stronger sanctions –NB: Under current JSA Regulation 140 (1)(k) a care leaver claimant is accepted as being 'a person in hardship.' HB for supported accommodation will not be in UC Council tax benefit will be locally administered –Pensioners are a ‘protected claimant’ group
7 77 Social fund (April 2013) Crisis Loan alignment payments & Crisis Loans because of benefit payment issues replaced by Short Term Advances – DWP administered Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans for general living expenses (including rent in advance) abolished & replaced by new local provision Budgeting Loans continue UC is fully rolled out. As people migrate to UC they will have access to a new system of ‘Budgeting Advances’ Local Social fund schemes 4 Design options – Align and combine the funding to existing services and duties – Contract with new or existing external partners – A mixture of the above – Create a new service 4 main delivery options: – Cash grants – Goods instead of cash – Vouchers or coupons – Mixture of the above
8 88 Discretionary housing payments - consultation Aug 2012 DHPs = discretionary funds to provide extra help with housing costs in addition to HB LAs have a set budget & decide how to use Assistance can be given for: –Rent –Council tax liability –Rent in advance –Deposits –Other lump sum costs associated with a housing need such as removal costs. Guidance – drafted in relation to UC and impact but also ‘good practice’ guidance which stresses priorities: –“Supporting young people in the transition to adult life” (p.20) Other circumstances which might need to be taken into account, include: –“Is the customer a care leaver who has a reduction in their LHA rate after becoming 22 years old? “ (p30) Final guidance expected towards the end of the year 5b7.pdf
9 99 Other welfare reform Benefit caps (Apr ‘13) –350/week for single people without children, £500 for couples or lone parents –Over occupiers Shared room rate LHA up to age of 35 (Jan ‘12) –Care leaver exemption to 22 Temporary accommodation benefit rates based on LHA Forcing claimants into cheapest areas/away from centres of employment Competition for smaller properties. Additional stressor on families impacting on numbers in care – e.g.16/17 homeless. Use of DHP in relation to shared room rate & temporary accommodation
10 Localism – housing Social housing allocation Commissioning supported accommodation services Managing housing benefit for supported accommodation (not in UC) Homelessness and Private rented sector –Localism Act 2011 enables LAs to end homelessness duty by offering suitable accommodation in the PRS, without requiring the applicant’s agreement.
11 Allocation of accommodation: Guidance for local housing authorities in England Consultation closed March 4.4 In framing their allocation scheme to determine allocation priorities, housing authorities must ensure that reasonable preference is given to … people who need to move on medical or welfare grounds, 4.10 ’Welfare grounds’ would encompass a wide range of needs, including, but not limited to, the need to: provide a secure base from which a care leaver…can build a stable life New guidance - June When deciding what classes of people do not qualify for an allocation, authorities should consider the implications of excluding all members of such groups. For instance, when framing residency criteria, authorities may wish to consider the position of people who are moving into the district to take up work or to escape violence, or homeless applicants or children in care who are placed out of borough
12 Localism - ETE Priority groups for National Scholarship Programme at Universities –Opportunities to use partnerships with local universities to influence use? Distribution of bursary in schools and colleges –Potential for regional criteria or management by Virtual School Heads –Funds similar support as leaving care Commissioning careers guidance –Does provision link with pathway planning Jobcentre plus increased flexibility –Linking with partnership managers Work programme, Youth Contract etc.
13 Case study – North Lincs Local Council Tax Support Consultation submission by 16+ team Welfare Rights Officer Request: Make care leavers a protected claimant group alongside pensioners Care Leavers –Special benefit rules – alignment with LHA & JSA hardship payments Impact on care leavers –Arrears –Loss of income (incl. calculation of %) –Debt potential External factors –Increased fuel & food costs Calculation of cost Advantages of protection –Reduce pressure on vulnerable group –Easy to apply – existing identification system through LHA –Save staff time on reduced enforcement procedures –Aligning with Corporate parenting strategy –Aligning with national commitment to promote care leavers transition to adulthood and economic well being
14 Localism and care proofing Explicit recognition in policy Prioritise in discretionary provisions Automatic entitlement Joint working & protocols Information & data sharing Responsive, personalised services AREAS FOR ACTION
15 Key questions Where local policies are being developed: Have there been local consultation on structures? –Are they closed for submissions? Will there be opportunities to review policies? Where changes are coming in: Are service users and staff aware? How can you support care leavers to navigate the new system? Who are your key partners in delivering support?