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Making the difference for young people moving on from care

Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Communities and Local Government Department will also be responsible for delivery. Central Government will be monitoring progress through Regional Government Offices.

Supporting People

Supporting People is the name given to the Government’s programme for the funding, regulation and strategic development of non-statutory housing- related support services. It was introduced in April 2003 and is administered by local authorities who plan, commission and monitor housing related support. The Communities and Local Government department (CLG) receives a specific ‘pot’ of money from the Treasury from which it allocates Supporting People Grants to local authorities. Local authorities, in line with their Supporting People Strategy, commission (in-house, third sector and private) providers through contractual arrangements to deliver housing related support.

Contracts for services that provide short term (under 2 years) support services are usually referred to as block gross contracts. In these contracts the whole service is commissioned, for example a voluntary agency is commissioned to provide 20 units in accommodation based services for young people. Longer term services are usually referred to as subsidy contract. Individuals accessing the service are assessed to identify if they are eligible to receive a Supporting People subsidy for their housing related support. From 2009 the Supporting People Grant is likely to be amalgamated into the area based grant (see below). Care leavers under the age of 18 are the responsibility of Children’s services and so currently not eligible to receive Supporting People funded services directly. They can live in SP accommodation but providers/Supporting People teams have to recharge Leaving Care or Children’s Services for the support. In addition, most people living in Supporting People services have their rent paid through housing benefit. Leaving care and Children’s services would therefore also have to cover rent for those young people under 18 who are not eligible for housing benefit. Some local authorities Supporting People Teams and Children’s Services have jointly commissioned services for young people which include services for care leavers.

The services provided by Supporting People are monitored through the contract which relies on the provider completing returns (often referred to as workbooks) and a review of the service, usually by the local authority Supporting People team. In May 2007 CLG introduced a national outcomes framework based on the DCSF’s Every child matters outcomes. Data is now captured every time a service user departs from a Supporting People funded

7

A home not a safety net

www.leavingcare.org

October 2008

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