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6.6 Enfield Process for Homeless Young People (16 and 17 year olds)

RELATED GUIDANCE

This chapter should be read in conjunction with the Government Guidance for Homeless Sixteen and Seven teen year olds.

Click here to view the Provision of Accommodation for 16 and 17 Year Olds Who May be Homeless and/or Require Accommodation


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Single Pathway
  3. Safeguarding Young People
  4. Youth Offending Service Process
  5. Social Care Process
  6. Escalation Process
  7. Further Developments
  8. Strategic Overview

    Appendix 1: Angel-Reconnect Mediation Service for Homeless 16/17 Year Old

    Appendix 2: Escalation Contacts List

    Appendix 3: Steering Group Membership


1. Introduction

1.1 Tackling youth homelessness isn’t easy. It requires an integrated approach involving a range of statutory and non-statutory partners including: Social Care, Parenting Support Service, Education, Community Housing and Supporting People, Connexions, Youth Offending Service, supported housing providers, Housing Benefits, private sector landlords etc.
1.2 Community Housing Services (PSE) the Parenting Support Service (SCS) and Supporting People (HASC) have been working with other partners to develop a single pathway and fully integrated service for young vulnerable people aged 16 /17 who are faced with homelessness. Providing a range of alternatives solutions including supported housing and mediation amongst others, to minimise the need for temporary accommodation or looked after status for these young people.
1.3 The single pathway has now been successfully launched. Enfield has on average 250 young people aged 16/17 presenting as homeless every year to the Homeless Housing Support Service at the Angel Community Centre, Edmonton. The majority of these young people return home, about 70 young people require further support including accommodation.
1.4 Delivering such a package involves tailoring services specific to the young person’s needs. A wide ranging project has been taking place over the past two years in order to develop these alternative options. Supported Accommodation, in particular, a more intensive very short term service with the facilities to provide a “crash pad” for a young person for a few days (maximum of 5) whilst assessments are carried out and alternatives explored was identified as a clear need, not currently being met in Enfield. Teresa House First Steps Centre was opened in September 2011. Thus preventing homelessness and supporting these young people to live independently through enabling the young people to develop skills to manage a tenancy, deal with budgeting and access employment and training and prevent anti social behaviour.
1.5 Enfield’s primary aim is to mediate with young people and their families, to find a solution for the young person to help them remain in the home environment. Young people are no longer being labelled as homeless but are being assessed as vulnerable young people in transition. Preventing homelessness and offering mediation in order to support young people to live with their families is the best outcome for homeless 16/17 year olds. In situations where issues cannot be resolved the young person’s housing needs are assessed holistically. This report outlines the process for accommodating young people.


2. Single Pathway

2.1 A new Homeless Housing Support Service for 16/17 year olds was launched in June 2010. The service is managed within Schools & Children’s Services (SCS) under the umbrella of the Parenting Support Service. Posters and leaflets have been disseminated across the Borough advertising the service to young people. The Homeless Housing Support Service multi-agency team comprise of social workers, Connexion workers, a housing officer and a triage administrator.
2.2 All homeless young people now present to the Homeless Housing Support Service that operates from the Angel Community Centre, unless the young person has an allocated social worker.  In this instance it would be expected that the Statutory Services carry out their assessment of need which will include considering the young persons housing needs.
2.3 All young people presenting to the Homeless Housing Support Service will be seen by a triage administrator/housing officer who will begin to collect information and advise the young person of the respective documentation required.
2.4 If a pregnant young person presents to the Homeless Housing Support Service and they are 24 weeks pregnant or more they will be seen by the triage administrator, who will collect basic information from the young person on the 16/17 Homeless Enquiry Form and then refer them to John Wilkes House for assistance. 
2.5

All young people presenting to the Homeless Housing Support Service will be:

  • Expected to cooperate with the assessment process over a maximum of 5 working days, working in partnership with the Homeless Housing Support Service multi-agency team;
  • Given a copy of the homeless young people’s support pack containing information and advice including a copy of the Homeless Housing Support Service Health Charter and Council Complaints Procedures;
  • Offered a referral to 4YP for a sexual health screening;
  • Assisted to access on site family mediation services during their assessment period;
  • Expected to sign up to a charter outlining the duties and responsibilities of the Homeless Housing Support Service and the expectations of the young person themselves - with particular regard to taking responsibility for their behaviour and with an understanding that, should they be evicted from accommodation provided by the Homeless Housing Support Service because of their or their friends behaviour, they are at risk of not being offered further accommodation.
2.6

In September 2011 Teresa House First Steps Centre opened. The First Step Service provides a short-term placement for 16 and 17 year olds who approach the Homeless Housing Support Service, and meet their requirements for eligibility (Proven Homelessness, Local Connection, Public Funds, Identification, Intentionality).

The service provides 24-hours staffing coverage in order to maintain a safe environment for clients, visitors, staff and neighbourhood. It is not a Direct Access hostel - referral and admission procedures will take place over a 5 day period.

The expected stay is approximately 12- 16 weeks, in which time the service will have used structured interventions to identify, assess, and address gaps in skills and knowledge.

The ‘crash pad’ within Teresa House provides a very short-term placement for a 16 or 17 year old that approaches the council as homeless and needs a place of safety.

The expected stay is up to five days in which time the Homeless Housing Support Service assess their duties and responsibilities to the young person.

The service provides 24-hours staffing coverage in order to maintain a safe environment for clients, visitors, staff and neighbourhood. It is not a Direct Access bed, access to the crash pad is via the Homeless Housing Support Service.
2.7

In order to provide more suitable accommodation under a tighter inspection regime, homeless support accommodation has been reconfigured and will be in place from April 2012. Until then, a private agent has been commissioned through Supporting People, to provide 80 units of low/medium support accommodation for 16/17 year olds, and that contract started in April 2009.

Most homeless young persons go into the low/medium supported accommodation, but there are a significant minority whose needs are too high because of their vulnerability/disability or offending behaviour.
2.8 There is limited specialist accommodation available for these young people offering a high level of on site intensive support. These places (Deborah Tempest House, Rodean Close and Vincent House) have their own admissions procedures. Alongside the Homeless Housing Support Service, statutory services such as CAMHS, YOS and/or Social Care can refer directly to this specialist accommodation if appropriate.
2.9 In some situations, short term emergency accommodation may be required whist assessments are carried out as the crash pad in Teresa House may not be free. This accommodation can be directly agreed by the Homeless Housing Support Service - there is no longer a requirement to seek agreement from colleagues in Social Care to action this.
2.10 Once a young person has been placed in supported accommodation (other than Teresa House) then the Homeless Housing Support Service will no longer directly work with that young person. Ongoing support needs will be met by single agencies or joint agency working, including Connexions PA’s, accommodation link workers, CAMHS and Youth Offending etc.
2.11 DEPaul UK will offer mediation to those young people aged 16 or 17 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The service operates on a daily basis from the Angel Community Centre. Partner agencies can access the mediation service direct for the homeless young people they are working with. See Appendix 1: Angel-Reconnect Mediation Service for Homeless 16/17 Year Old for full details. 


3. Safeguarding Young People

3.1

Sometimes homeless young people may not be offered supported accommodation from the Homeless Housing Support Service because their behaviour or needs require more intensive support examples would be:

  • A history of severe mental ill health or presenting mental ill health;
  • A history of significant self harm or harm to others;
  • Vulnerable by virtue of serious previous abuse, for example sexual abuse;
  • Vulnerable because of significant learning disabilities;
  • Vulnerable because of recent serious physical assault.
3.2 In all of the above situations it is expected that the young person is advised to approach Social Care for further assessment. Social Care will work in collaboration with other statutory agencies such as Children Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Youth Offending Service (YOS) and Joint Service for Disabled Children (JSDC).


4. Youth Offending Service Process

4.1 If a young person has an allocated key worker from the Youth Offending Service (YOS) it is expected where possible that the key worker accesses mediation services to prevent homelessness as soon as the risk of homelessness is identified.
4.2 If a YOS client is homeless where possible the key worker or the YOS housing officer should accompany the young person to the Angel Community Centre. Working in partnership with the Homeless Housing Support Service, YOS will share information in order to identify the most suitable accommodation.
4.3 The Youth Offending Service will be expected to continue to support the young person through the transition. It is important that there is a robust youth offending package of support in place otherwise the young person is unlikely to manage to live independently within supported accommodation.
4.4 Homeless young people may not be offered supported accommodation from the homeless housing support service because they have been recently evicted from supported accommodation as a direct result of their behaviour. In these circumstances the Homeless Housing Support Service may only be able to offer short term emergency accommodation while further assessments are carried out to ascertain the level of risks with particular emphasis upon whether or not living independently is a viable sustainable option.
4.5 In most situations these young people are young offenders with an allocated YOS key worker. It is important that YOS complete further assessments and work in partnership with the Homeless Housing Support Service in order provide these homeless young people with accommodation. In some situations where the young people have been evicted there may be no further long term accommodation offered from the Homeless Housing Support Service.
4.6 In some instances Youth Offenders who are due to be released from a Youth Offender’s institution are deemed to be at risk of homelessness.  The Housing Support Service must be informed, of these cases, as soon as possible, preferably at the point the local agencies, primarily YOS, are informed of the release date.


5. Social Care Process

5.1 The Homeless Housing Support Service will complete thorough assessments and can not accommodate young people immediately unless it is an absolute emergency. Occasionally young people present as homeless out of hours, to the Social Care Emergency Duty Team (EDT).
5.2 Sometimes the EDT may have placed the young person in overnight emergency accommodation.  If the young person does not have an allocated social worker, the EDT officer should advise the young person to present to the Homeless Housing Support Service at the Angel Community Centre the next working day. Information from the EDT should be faxed to the Homeless Housing Support Service at the Angel Community Centre on 0208 351 1625 the next working day, outlining any contact the EDT had with the young person’s carers and why the young person was placed in emergency accommodation. 
5.3 Only in exceptional circumstances would a young person be placed by EDT with foster carers or in a children’s home; nonetheless should this happen the EDT would contact Social Care’s Intake and Assessment Team to follow through on offering further assessments and support.
5.4 If a young person has an allocated social worker it would be expected that Social Care carry out their assessment of need which will include considering the young person’s housing needs. The allocated social worker may contact the Homeless Housing Support Service working in partnership to find appropriate accommodation to best suit the needs of the young person.
5.5 If a young person is thought to be at risk of abuse (see Section 3, Safeguarding Young People) or requests that they are accepted as Looked After, then Social Care must be advised. The young person will be assessed initially by Social Care.


6. Escalation Process

6.1 Tension between services can sometimes occur which result in delays for many young people accessing services or them being sent backwards and forwards between teams. Professional differences should be resolved initially between team managers/service managers. It is expected that most issues will be resolved at this level.
6.2 Occasionally a team manger may need to escalate to the respective Heads of Service or Deputy Heads of Service. In extreme situations Heads of Service may involve Assistant Directors. Contact details for respective services can be found in Appendix 2: Escalation Contacts List


7. Further Developments

7.1 The Enfield single pathway approach to homeless 16/17 year olds is exciting and requires a high level of commitment from all partners, working together to find resolutions and ultimately, safe places for our young people to live. The vision is to support young people in transition, avoiding homelessness wherever possible, helping young people resolve conflict and remain living with their families within their known communities.
7.2

In order to strengthen the pathways approach there have been further developments as follows:

  • Reconfiguration of the young people’s supported housing to be completed April 2012;
  • Opening of the Teresa House First Steps assessment centre in September 2011;
  • Developing social landlords;
  • Exploring the possibility of rent deposit schemes;
  • Developing local Night Stop provision.


8. Strategic Overview

8.1 The Homeless Young People Steering Group meets regularly to oversee the development of the single pathway for homeless 16/17 year olds and to consider homelessness issues for other young people in the Borough. A membership list can be found in Appendix 3: Steering Group Membership.


Appendix 1: Angel-Reconnect Mediation Service for Homeless 16/17 Year Old

The tender was won by Depaul UK. The service began on 1st January 2011 and will be contracted for an initial period of 15 months. The service is independent but accountable to the Head of the Parenting Support Service and to the strategic steering group overseeing local developments for homeless young people.

The mediation service operates from the Angel Community Centre Raynham Road, Enfield, N18 2JF. The service will have a mediation officer available at the centre Monday to Friday from 14:00 - 17:00 hours. The start time of 14:00 hours may vary to meet the flexibility of the service offered. The mediator is Lauren Hills her telephone number is 07917781795.

The Angel-Reconnect Mediation Service will be available to all homeless 16 and 17 year old young people and their families, providing support to young people who:

  • Are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless;
  • Request support to resolve conflicts at home with their parents, carers or family members;
  • Need 1-2-1 support while considering issues in their lives that relate to family conflicts, homelessness, and their domestic stability.

The service will target all young people that present as homeless within the Borough of Enfield. The role of the mediator is to offer support the young person in reducing family conflict in agreement with the underlying principle which is that most young people are best living with their family thus preventing homelessness.

The mediator will provide the young people with the chance to fulfil their potential in the community through education, training and volunteering. In all cases, the young person must have expressed a willingness to engage with Angel-Reconnect Mediation Service. If there is a conflict of interest between parents then mediation service will work with the parent that the young person wishes to work with.

The referral process is simple. The majority of referrals will be made directly from the Homeless Housing Support Service for 16 and 17 year old, however other colleagues may wish to refer by: 

  1. Completing the Angel-Reconnect referral form and fax it to Tara Webb Angel-Reconnect at the Angel Community Centre on 0208 351 1625;
  2. Ringing the homeless support service on 0208 351 1645 before faxing to ensure someone is available to collect the referral form. 

Lauren Hills is happy to take calls and discuss referrals once again her direct number is 07917781795.


Appendix 2: Escalation Contacts List

Housing Support Service

Team Manager
Shaye Long
020 8351 1645

Deputy Head of Service
Mary Murril
020 8351 1610

Head of Service
Anne Stoker
07506 706560

Social Care Intake and Assessment

Team Manager
Linda Helliar
0208 379 2496

Principle Team Manager
Karen Alderton
0208 379 2572

Deputy Head of Children in Need Service Assessment and Safeguarding
Janet Black-Heaven
0208 379 2568

Head of Children in Need Services
Julian Edwards
0208 379 2593

Social Care Leaving Care Team

Team Manager
Ian Langley
0208 379 8262

Service Manager
Jonathan Manson
0208 379 8255

Head of Service
Liz Hill
0208 379 8222

Housing

Access Manager
Rita Foran
0208 379 4346

Head of Housing Needs and Assessment
Neil Harris
0208 379 4348

Supporting People

Contract and Review Officer
Colin Mills
0208 379 1456

Head of Procurement and Contracting, Health Housing and Adult Social Care
Pauline Kettless
0208 379 4725

CAMHS

Senior Family Therapist
Mary Bratley
0208 3799 2090

Head of Service
Denny Grant
0208 379 2000

YOS

Deputy Manager
Samantha Boyce
0208 379 5820

Head of Service
Paul Sutton
0208 379 5840

YSS

Deputy Head
David Barnard
0208 379 1739

Deputy Head
Stefan Cadek
0208 3791738

Head of Service
Lester Vaughan
0208 3793115


Appendix 3: Steering Group Membership

Name  
Anne Stoker Chair (Head of Parenting Support Service and Parent Commissioner)
Mary Murril Deputy Head Parenting Support Service
Neil Harris Head of Housing Needs and Assessment
Pauline Kettless Head of Procurement and Contracting, Health Housing and Adult Social Care
Colin Mills Supporting People
Janet Black-Heaven Deputy Head Children in Need Service
Linda Helliar Team Manager Intake and Assessment Team
Samantha Boyce Deputy Manager Youth Offending Service
Shaye Long Manager/line manager of homeless 16/17 year old housing service
Rita Foran Access Manager
Mary Bratley Senior Family Therapist (SAFE, CAMHS)
David Barnard Youth Support Service - Connexions
Jonathon Manson Service Manger Leaving Care Team
Ian Langley Leaving Care Team Manager

End