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3.2.8 Placements in Semi-Independent Accommodation

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This procedure applies to all placements of Eligible or Relevant Young People in semi-independent accommodation, which includes supported lodgings, and combined accommodation (i.e. independent accommodation with support). 

It should be read in conjunction with Support for Care Leavers – Succeeding into Adulthood Procedure.

AMENDMENT

This chapter was revised in December 2011, to reflect the Care Leavers (England) Regulations 2010 and Planning Transition to Adulthood for Care Leavers Guidance. Section 1.3, Suitability of the Accommodation is, therefore, new to this chapter.


Contents

1. Placements Process
1.1 Placement Request
1.2 Identification of Placement
1.3 Suitability of the Accommodation
1.4 The Placement
2. Ending of Placements


1. Placements Process

1.1 Placement Request

Where the Pathway Plan identifies that an Eligible or Relevant young person requires a semi-independent accommodation, the social worker or Personal Adviser must complete a referral to the Access to Resources team (ART).

It is imperative that at this point the young person's legal status is highlighted, as this will affect the negotiations relating to the young person's financial situation.

The referral form, when completed, should be given to the Designated Manager (Semi-Independent Accommodation) for his or her approval. Once the referral form has been signed by the manager, it should be faxed or e-mailed to the Access to Resources team (ART) for the placement to proceed. Additional information as required by the Access to Resources team (ART) should also be sent, including for example the young person's Pathway Plan and the amount of support provided to the young person per week.

The Access to Resources team (ART) will then register the referral and contact appropriate providers.

1.2 Identification of Placement

It is expected that a normal referral will take a full calendar month to find a placement. An emergency placement will usually be identified within a week.

Once a referral is verified, the Access to Resources team (ART) will contact appropriate providers and send through a summary of the referral. The provider will then check for availability in specific locations and liaise as necessary with the Access to Resources team (ART), in particular about the cost of the package available.

Once the Access to Resources team (ART) has received all quotes, they will be sent to the social worker/Personal Adviser and the team manager. The team manager will decide on the appropriate package and confirm the decision in writing to the Access to Resources team (ART).

The Access to Resources team (ART) will notify all relevant providers of the placement decision.

The Access to Resources team (ART) will confirm the decision in writing to the chosen provider and give contact details for the provider to the social worker/Personal Adviser to organise an initial appointment to arrange an inventory check or introductory meeting as necessary.

1.3 Suitability of the Accommodation

In determining the suitability of the accommodation the following must be taken into consideration.

In respect of the accommodation:

  1. The facilities and services provided;
  2. The state of repair;
  3. The safety;
  4. The location;
  5. The support;
  6. The tenancy status; and
  7. The financial commitments involved for the Relevant Young Person and their affordability.

In respect of the Relevant Young Person:

  1. His or her views about the accommodation;
  2. His or her understanding of their rights and responsibilities in relation to the accommodation; and
  3. His or her understanding of funding arrangements.

1.4 The Placement

The social worker/Personal Adviser will agree with the provider and the young person the details of the arrangements for moving in.

This will include completing an inventory check, a signed copy of which should be sent to the Access to Resources team (ART).

Once the placement has occurred, the social worker/Personal Adviser will inform the Access to Resources team (ART).

Any issues arising in relation to the placement (with the exception of issues in relation to the young person's support) should be referred to the Access to Resources team (ART), for taking up with the provider.

When a young person under 18 moves in, the social worker/Personal Adviser will need to sign the tenancy agreement on behalf of Southwark and send a copy of the agreement to the Access to Resources team (ART). On the young person's 18th birthday, he or she will be required to sign a new tenancy agreement.

The social worker/Personal Adviser should complete the housing benefit claim form for the address.

The social worker should ensure the young person is registered with a GP, Dentist and Optician, either retaining practices known to them or in the area where they are placed.


2. Ending of Placements

All placements are required to give 28 days' notice. If the young person intends to move out, the social worker/Personal Adviser must inform the Access to Resources team (ART)so that notice can be given to the provider.

The social worker/Personal Adviser must ensure that the accommodation is left in a similar condition to when the young person moved in, that all items belonging to the young person are removed and that the keys are returned to the provider.

An inventory check should be completed by the social worker/Personal Adviser and any damaged items reported to the Access to Resources team (ART) and the team manager.

End