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Benefit cap – joint working Kate Robertson and Sally McTernan Striving for excellence.

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Presentation on theme: "Benefit cap – joint working Kate Robertson and Sally McTernan Striving for excellence."— Presentation transcript:

1 Benefit cap – joint working Kate Robertson and Sally McTernan Striving for excellence

2 Discussion points One model doesnt fit all – depends on current organisational structure and size of problem Joined up communication, assessment and interventions has made the biggest difference Real value in informal sharing of information within council, still issues with data sharing with government Proactive briefings for voluntary sector, landlords and wider staff/partners worthwhile as are joint events Need for flexibility – risks of predicting behaviour change and peoples circumstances months in advance RSLs proving difficult to engage

3 Enfields story Last summer expecting over 2000 families (6000 children) to be capped – now looks like 1400 families (but possibly 300 on incapacity benefit) Large numbers of lone parents on income support living in private rental sector. Significant variation between scans with large numbers coming off and on again Cross council steering group on welfare reform chaired by Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services supported by a Taskforce steering group with reps from voluntary orgs Agreed a MoU with local Job Centre Plus to provide 2 staff focusing on mitigating impact through housing, employment and money management support

4 Enfields story continued Ongoing data matching/sharing within council – adult social care, mental health teams, childrens social care, troubled families, Revs and Bens, housing, ALMO, childrens centres, free nursery places team Virtual cross council team – JCP & Benefits together, others remain in current location but regular meetings and shared case management Use shared EDMS system to record interventions, progress and outcomes Access to DWP/JCP data Proactive communications and outreach programme – combination of face2face, telephone contact and events Referral routes in JCP support and debt counselling from CAB

5 Other models Haringey – co-located team (the Hub) including money advisors, support workers, housing, Benefits staff, JCP staff (up to 5). Joint interviews with named other services - mental health, social workers, health visitors. Targeted outreach campaign with personal interviews Croydon – co-located JCP, Benefits and Housing staff. Successful events with voluntary sector, employers, credit union. Dedicated JCP job search pcs in libraries and face2face centres Bromley – not co-located but named contacts in JCP for liaison and information sharing with joint weekly surgeries and interviews. Worked well on identifying & prioritising vulnerable. Smaller numbers affected – under-occupation a bigger problem. Worked well within the Council in joining up support.

6 Learning points Know your organisation and what would work for you Very clear messages and plain speaking often said in person rather than by letter – if you want to stay in London you have to work Relationship with JCP improved significantly – enhanced mutual understanding Many unaware of JCP funding and information - still issues with relationship with work programme providers and complex referral routes into employment support and training Depends on quality of JCP staff and their management – often pulled back to do DWP priorities Still many barriers to work but council can give a more proactive and joined up support package now Resolution of issues much quicker Use of DHP as a carrot and stick to ensure people take responsibility for devising their own plan Understand legislative conflicts re: housing – effective monitoring and record keeping will be key

7 Learning points continued Co-ordination of communication and intervention and joint assessment/resolution of issues key to success Landlords have been difficult to engage – want to know whos affected but little evidence this is being used to support tenants. Jitters in private rented sector, often unfounded Flexibility – tried to get ahead and got lots of DHP applications in early but priorities and circumstances change and peoples behaviour doesnt always go to plan Pragmatism – not everyone will want to work, discuss alternatives options and how they can be met Take control of the situation yourself – DWP pre-planning has been poor with a lack of shared project plans, risk logs and very few written documents. Their understanding of council services and processes is poor. Funding a monitoring officer & additional staff to deal with housing, DHP applications, rent collection and customer contact

8 Any questions?

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