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1 Bad housing wrecks lives Shelters Childrens Service Improving Joint Working between Housing and Childrens Services How can Scrutiny help? Peta Cubberley.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Bad housing wrecks lives Shelters Childrens Service Improving Joint Working between Housing and Childrens Services How can Scrutiny help? Peta Cubberley."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Bad housing wrecks lives Shelters Childrens Service Improving Joint Working between Housing and Childrens Services How can Scrutiny help? Peta Cubberley Regional Childrens Coordinator (London/SE)

2 Aim To inform Scrutiny Officers in London of Shelters Childrens Services in London and nationally. To highlight the issue of childrens homelessness in London and the impact on childrens well-being and life chances. Objectives: To encourage scrutiny and overview functions to consider local authorities joint working between their housing and childrens services. To urge that childrens housing (homelessness, bad housing, overcrowding) is considered as a cross-cutting issue across all policy areas. Aims and Objectives

3 3 Principal areas of work: Childrens Centre Work To coordinate the delivery of Shelters housing advice services to children s centres in England Good Practice Work To facilitate the wider take up of more effective models of service delivery to children Policy Influencing Work To influence policy and implementation at national, regional and local levels where they relate to children and housing Regional Childrens Policy Coordinators

4 4 The extent of the problem in London As at end September 2008, CLG reported statistics (P1E data) from Local Authorities in London show: 49,955 households living in temporary accommodation. Of these, 39,568 had dependent or expected children. The total number of dependent or expected children in these households was 76,429. (This is 2/3 of the total figure in England - 104,635). Overcrowding: Over 200,000 households are living in overcrowded conditions in London – the majority of whom are social sector tenants.

5 How the ECM outcomes are undermined by bad housing Being healthy Increased risk of ill health, disability, mental and emotional health problems and a wide range of respiratory problems. Staying safe Increased risk of accidents in the home; higher risk of isolation and fear in community. Enjoying and achieving Higher risk of lower educational achievement, as homeless children miss more days of school through lateness, truancy, exclusions, bullying. Making a positive contribution Increased instances of behavioural problems such as aggression, hyperactivity & impulsivity, also impacting educational & social outcomes. Achieving economic well-being Increased risk of family being caught in a cycle of poverty, unemployment and social exclusion, due to lower levels of educational achievement and poorer heath. Every Homeless Child Matters?

6 6 Guidance for strategic managers in Housing Services, Childrens Services and their partner agencies. Published May 2008 Thematic areas: 16 & 17 year olds Care leavers Children of families living in temporary accommodation Children of families found intentionally homeless Shelter involved in development of document. Government guidance

7 Where are the Interfaces between Childrens Services and Housing? Inter Agency Governance Clear commitment from DCS, Housing, Childrens Trust Boards, LSPs, Lead Members, LSCBs on joint up working. Integrated Strategies CYPPs & Homelessness Strategies - thorough involvement in development, implementation and monitoring of policies. Opportunities for joint funding identified & shared resources. Integrated Processes Joint Protocols & Pre-action protocol arrangements Use of CAF by housing officers. Information Sharing – housing department informs CYPS where families in TA have been placed. Integrated Front Line Delivery Co-location of staff between housing and CYPS. More outreach, more shared training, more understanding in schools & childrens centres of risks to outcomes for homeless children.

8 8 Opportunities to consider housing issues Example: Provision of 0-5 Services in Hackney Report included a section on housing which identified the formal and informal links between housing and childrens centres. However, the report also identified gaps, and made two recommendations to the commission: Involvement of housing providers on children's centre steering groups to foster mutually beneficial working relationships between them. Undertake analysis of where and when a housing advice surgery might be offered to parents as part of the universal services provided to childrens services. This report provides an excellent hook for my engagement with Hackneys CYP and Housing services on this, and ultimately other, areas of joint working.

9 Other opportunities….housing is a cross-cutting issue Joint working between housing & childrens services – Using the checklists in the joint CLG/DCSF guidance, to scrutinise to what extent is your authority meeting these recommendations? Information sharing/partnership working – To what extent are arrangements in place to share information across housing and CYPS (childrens centres, schools, youth services, health services)? Links to child mobility; child protection; no child slipping through the net. Child Poverty Agenda – To what extent are housing and CYPS working together to: Improve access to housing advice/debt/benefits advice?; Mitigate the impact on children of bad housing/overcrowding/TA. What other examples/opportunities can you think of? DISCUSSION

10 10 Outcomes to date – Childrens Centres Childrens Service Advice Line available to all Childrens Centres in England. 575 cases opened by Childrens Service Advice Line Developed partnership with Home-Start providing access of our advice line to further 275 schemes nationally. Shelter Advisers providing Housing Advice sessions from Childrens Centres in all regions – subject to capacity. Shelter Advisers delivering Housing Information Workshops – in London alone over 120 Childrens Centre workers reached. Many Childrens Centres linked in to Shelters local offices and building relationships & improving effective signposting to them. More Housing Departments agreeing to share details of families placed in Temporary Accommodation with Children's Centres.

11 11 Outcomes to date – Policy Influencing Audited a two tier authoritys Joint Protocol on 16/17 Year Olds Promoted pooled funding to provide TA outreach workers in Childrens Centres Influenced bid for DCSF Child Development Grant pilot to be targeted at children in temporary accommodation Influenced planned refurbishment of a family hostel which will provide Childrens Centre and Extended School outreach. Influenced Homelessness Strategies including aims to reduce childrens school moves; introduce 16/17 year old protocol; develop peer education; introduce systems for information sharing; use of Notify by children's service staff. Secured commitments to deliver CAF training to Housing Officers Involvement in Government Offices, JISPs, Child Poverty strategies and local childrens centre networks.

12 12 For more information please contact: Peta Cubberley – London & South East Bad housing wrecks lives

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