Headlines: June 25th, 2007

THIRD SECTOR GETS KEY ROLE IN SUPPORTING VULNERABLE PEOPLE

 

The new strategy for delivering housing related support services to vulnerable people sets out a key role for the third sector. It also provides for people to have a greater say in the support they receive and seeks to reduce the impact of organisational boundaries.

The supporting people programme helps more than a million people a year maintain their independence through housing related support services. It seeks to provide life skills such as cooking and budgeting which vulnerable people need to maintain their independence in a settled home. It also contributes to reducing re-offending, homelessness, rough sleeping and anti-social behaviour.

Charities have long acted as innovators and campaigners and proved themselves adapt at working with most vulnerable in society. The strategy sets out the vital role of the third sector and asks them to help in shaping how the programme will be delivered in the future. It also guarantees that their contribution can continue by ensuring all good service providers can compete fairly when services are tendered. There is also a promises of support for services providers.

The strategy also suggests exploring new approaches that would give service users greater say about the services they receive through the Individual Budget pilots and new ‘Charters for Independent Living’. The charters would provide a clearly set out statement of service outlining what services people can expect to access locally. These measures seek to ensure that vulnerable people have choice and control to ensure the services they use are tailored to their individual needs.

In a move to joining-up services and reducing the effect of boundaries, an integrated assessment process will be introduced so that people can be assessed for health, social care and housing support at the same time. Access to services will be streamlined so that groups of people who tend to be more mobile, such as survivors of domestic violence, will not be disadvantaged because of organisational boundaries.