Information Pack for Individuals & Referral Agencies

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1 Information Pack for Individuals & Referral Agencies

2 Information Pack for Individuals & Referral Agencies The following information pack has been designed for agencies who work with our service users and specifically those who are likely to make referrals to our services, as well as individuals. The aim of this pack is to give you an insight into the support that we offer and to give you details of how you can refer someone. Page Section 2 What is floating support? 2 Referral Procedure 3 Eligibility Criteria 4 How long will the support last? 4 Monitoring service quality 4 What kind of support do we offer? 6 The Project Board 7 Applying to Bucks Floating 8 Who we can not normally accept 10 Appeals 12 Complaints and other procedures 13 Office locations and contact details 14 Service Promise If you have any queries relating to this pack, our service, or wish to make a referral, then please feel free to contact any member of our team at: Bucks Floating Claydon House, Suite 14, 1 Edison Road, Rabans Lane, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8TE Telephone (01296) Fax (01296) page 1

3 What is floating support? Floating Support is a housing support service designed to help those who need advice and assistance live independently. The support is different from more traditional supported housing accommodation where the service is offered in conjunction with a property. With floating support the service is able to move with an individual, for example from temporary accommodation into permanent accommodation offering greater consistency and stability. Floating support can be offered to people already living in an existing tenancy, they do not need to move into supported accommodation. Once it is felt that the individual is capable of living independently and no longer requires support, the worker floats away and the service user remains in their own home. More detail of the support needs we assist people with and the kind of support we can offer can be found later in this booklet. BFSS Information on Referral Procedure for External Agencies and Self Referrals Bucks Floating (BFSS) is comprised of a partnership of three organisations: Bromford Support, Connection, and PACT (Parents and Children Together) with the aim of creating a central co-ordinated referral point for county-wide floating support, ensuring those in priority need are able to more easily access services. Whilst each of the three organisations has their own recruitment, equal opportunities and induction procedures, this is integrated in partnership with each other to meet the requirements of the service. Through the process of both needs and risk assessment, BFSS will either match service users to the most appropriate support from within the partnership or signpost to other, more appropriate services. (An Allocation Tool has been devised to support this process.) Our caseload capacity is 350 service users. In addition to this we are required to ensure that there is a fair division of caseload capacity according to client categories. There is a fixed figure for each category equivalent to that of the previous service providers. Consequently it may well be that whilst we are holding a waiting list for one client category we will have capacity within another. There is a monitoring process in place to ensure appropriate distribution of the service. page 2

4 Eligibility Criteria 1. To be considered eligible for this service, applicants must be: Aged 16+ Living in the County of Buckinghamshire (Excluding Milton Keynes) In need of support to live independently Willing to engage with the service And have support needs in one of the following areas: Older people with support needs People with mental health problems Learning disability Alcohol and/or substance misuse Physical or sensory disability Single homeless with support needs Offenders/at risk of offending Young people at risk/leaving care Women at risk of domestic violence People with HIV/AIDS Homeless families with support needs Travellers Refugees Teenage parents Rough sleepers Support will also be provided to all persons who have a housing related support need. page 3

5 How long will the support last? The support service is classified as a short stay scheme. The aim of the scheme is to promote independence and/or set up longer term support networks where enduring issues exist. The maximum length of stay on the service is two years. However, many service users will be in a position to move on sooner. Monitoring service quality Supported Housing services within Bucks Floating Support Service use an Outcome Monitoring Tool to measure the success of our support in promoting independence. This aims to objectively measure progress in a number of areas of the service user s life. We also seek feedback on outcomes via Exit Questionnaires and Service User Involvement. What kind of support do we offer? A floating support worker may be able to support a service user in many different ways, including: Providing benefits information and support when completing claims Assisting with managing money, budgeting and debt issues Supporting service users to contact utility providers Assistance with form filling Supporting service users to contact social services if required where they are likely to meet their criteria and if they need longer term support Referring service users to long term or specialist support services or more appropriate housing Helping service users to set up and maintain their home/tenancy General advice, advocacy and liaison with statutory and other agencies and organisations page 4

6 Overall, we aim to provide service users with the necessary skills to live independently, to assist them in setting up links within the community and creating support structures that remain in place once the period of floating support has ended. Each service user supported by our service will have an allocated support worker. The support worker will visit them in their home on average once per week. During these visits a tailor made package of support will be created based upon the original highlighted support needs. Each service user will have an Individual Support Plan and a comprehensive Risk Assessment which enables both their support worker and them to become aware of the risks they face in every day life and assist them to create strategies to minimise these risks. From the initial assessment, support plan and risk assessment, agreed goals will be set and the support worker s weekly visits will focus around working towards attaining these goals. These plans are reviewed a minimum of once per quarter, also as changes occur and on the request of the service user themselves in order to ensure that they address the service user s current needs. Service users are actively involved in the creation of these plans and are encouraged to keep copies of them to refer to when they wish. page 5

7 The Project Board In order to ensure a high quality of service to our service users and to the agencies with which we work, we have established a Project Board to oversee the operation of the service. The aim of the project Board is to ensure that the services are accountable to our service users and key stakeholders. It gives us the opportunity to share information and give updates on progress and new developments within the service. The group focuses on the sharing of good practice and ensuring the involvement of our stakeholders in decision-making processes. The Project Board will be made up of representatives from Bucks Floating, Bucks County Council Supporting People team and representatives from all key stakeholders including service users and carers. We would also invite representatives from Education, Police and other relevant local agencies. This Board will meet bi-monthly to ensure selection and allocation procedures are adhered to and oversee the policy and practice of the service and its future development. If you have any further queries relating to the Project board please feel free to contact the Operations Manager to discuss them. page 6

8 Applying to Bucks Floating Referrals can be accepted from any source including self referrals. The referral form for application to the Bucks Floating can be accessed via request from any of our county-wide offices and is available both by fax or post. applications are also encouraged, Contact details are at the end of this document. We prefer applicants (where possible) to be involved with the process, although referral agencies may complete the referral form on behalf of the applicant with their permission. The applicant will need to sign the referral form to indicate their consent for a referral to the service, to be made on their behalf. page 7 Agency Referrals: All referrals are required to include full information concerning support needs and the reasons for referral. A risk assessment for every applicant will have been undertaken. If required BFSS will contact the referrer for further information either prior to or following the assessment. Referring agencies are requested to indicate whether further information is outstanding. Self-Referrals: The following guidance appears on the referral form: Please include full information where possible about your support needs and the reason(s) for the referral. You can ask someone to help you complete the form if you need to. Please sign the form to indicate you give your consent for the Bucks Floating to request information from other agencies about their contact with you. (where other services are involved) We realise that much of the information requested is of a sensitive nature. All the questions asked are to help us assess what support is needed and how we can deliver it, so please complete the form with as much detail as you can. Bucks Floating is signed up to the Information Sharing Protocol with other service providers, and where appropriate will share information in the best interest of the service user. Confidential information will only be shared with the service users consent. The only exceptions to this are where the health and safety of staff, clients or members of the public are seriously at risk. In this case we will pass on information to other agencies as necessary and as appropriate. Follow Up Upon receipt of all referrals the applicant will be contacted within one working day by telephone and a short telephone assessment will be arranged. This is mainly to establish if there have been any significant changes of circumstances since the referral form was completed, and to establish any additional support requirements the applicant may have prior and during the full assessment i.e. advocacy, interpreter, comfort breaks etc. It is an opportunity for the applicant to obtain any additional information about the support Bucks Floating Support Service can give. If the applicant is not contactable by telephone, a letter will be sent out to arrange a suitable time and venue for the assessment to take place. The referrer (where relevant) will be sent a letter of acknowledgement of receipt of the referral. If they have indicated on the referral form that they wish to be present at the full assessment stage then they will be contacted to arrange a date. Once the full assessment has taken place then a decision will be made whether the referral will be accepted for the service. The decision will be made at the weekly allocations meeting. If an earlier decision is required this will be brought to the attention of the managers who may need to take immediate action - this should only occur where delay in putting in support would be detrimental to the support needs of the applicant.

9 page 8 The decision to offer support will be based on the eligibility criteria for the service, level of assessed risk and support needs, and finally the balance of service users already supported by the service. If the assessment indicates that the applicant would benefit from support from a member of the partnership who can provide specialist skills then where possible this will be accommodated. Priority will be given to service users who are at serious risk of homelessness, threat of eviction, or other imminent circumstances that would threaten tenancy sustainment and compromise their ability to live successfully within the community. Where it is necessary to place applicants on a waiting list, we will signpost to other services if appropriate, and applications will be reviewed on a weekly basis. There is a point system in place to ensure applicants are not waiting indefinitely for a service. Both applicants and referrers will be kept informed. Both the Referral Agent (if permission has been given) and the Applicant will be notified of the outcome of the assessment, and if accepted when the commencement of support will be likely to occur. If the referral is declined, both the referral agent and the applicant will be advised of the decision within 5 working days, and an explanation will be given as to the reason for refusal, Both referral agent and applicant will be given details of the Appeals Procedure. Where possible, information will be given regarding how to access more relevant support services. Referring agents; Can expect a response within 5 working days to acknowledge the receipt of the referral, Must inform the prospective applicant that they are being referred to the service, Must understand and acknowledge that Bucks Floating s may require further information to progress with the referral, Will attach relevant and accurate information to the referral form to assist with the speed and progression of the referral, Will be notified of the outcome of referrals (if permission has been given) and in unsuccessful cases, will be advised why and will be provided, where possible, with information regarding how to access other, more relevant support services. Will be kept informed of changes to the Bucks Floating s and of the referral process. Will receive regular contact from Bucks Floating s if a referral is placed on the waiting list. This document is provided as information of our referral procedure and a guideline to assist with completion of your referral form. If you require any further details then please contact us on or us at : Who we can not normally accept Part of our referral process is to look at the risk faced by a lone worker visiting an individual or family. If it becomes apparent that the level of risk would be too great for us to visit at all or would require joint visits on a regular basis then we may be unable to support the applicant. Having to carry out joint visits on a regular basis places high demands on the support service and reduces the time available for workers to visit their other service users. M ifi ll t ll t li t ith t

10 Referrer makes initial enquiry re possible referral (advise of eligibility criteria and referral process) Referral Received Self referral / agency Administrator logs referral and passes to manager Manager then allocates to Support Worker for full assessment (5 days) Administrator makes initial contact with applicant (within 24hrs) establish any additional support needs at assessment stage and any change in circumstance since referral Manager verifies eligibility to service (if not eligible states why and admin/manager contact referrer Assessment is completed by two persons (can include the referrer) Completed assessment comes back to weekly allocation meeting Assessment Accepted Assessment Rejected / withdrawn Manager allocates appropriately within the partnership ie PACT / Connection / Bromford. Referrer and applicant advised of acceptance Rejected state why, inform referrer and applicant, signpost to other service if possible. Advise of appeal process Accepted placed on waiting list (record date and review weekly) Referrer and applicant informed Withdrawn state why (inform referrer) page 9 Accepted on hold (record why) Referrer and applicant informed

11 Appeals Procedure Following needs and risk assessment, the applicant will be notified of the decision as to whether they have b een selected to receive support services. BFFS will write to both the applicant and referral organisation within seven days (if the applicant consents) giving the following information: Reasons why the application was unsuccessful Signposting information to other appropriate services BFFS s eligibility criteria as described in the Eligibility Policy and the Eligibility Criteria Grid. Information on how to appeal Information on any opportunities for re -application if this applies. The applicant and referrer have a right of appeal against unsuccessful decisions arising from assessments and reviews. Initially this appeal should be made to the team manager responsible for the service. The team manager will review the decision of the team, ensuring it has been made in accordance with BFFS s Eligibility Policy and the Eligibility Criteria Grid. The team manager will notify the applicant and the referrer of the outcome of this review in writing within 7 working days. If the outcome remains unsuccessful, both the applicant and the referrer will be offered an appeal meeting within 14 days. They wil l be given written details of the appeals process which will explain who will be involved, when and where the appeal will take p lace and that the applicant may be accompanied by a friend or relative or other professional or advocate. page 10

12 Appeals will be attended by the team manager and the staff who carried out the assessment or review, as well as one other member of the team. The original assessment will be discussed and any new information taken into account. The decision to accept or not will be always undertaken in relation to BFFS Eligibility Policy and Eligibility Guidance Grid. If the issue remains unresolved, the service user or referrer have the right to contact the operations manager and put their concerns in writing. The operations manager will reply to these concerns in 7 working days. At any stage of the process, BFFS will welcome any new information which might affect the outcome. The applicant and the referrer will be treated in a positive and considerate manner throughout. If there remains a difference of opinion at the end of the process, the applicant and referrer will be advised to contact the local Supporting People Team at: Hampden Hall Wendover Road Aylesbury Buckinghamshire HP22 5TB Tel: (01296) All correspondence and minutes concerning this process will be held in a file, Unsuccessful Applications, and will be subject to appropriate monitoring and audit measures. page 11

13 Complaints If you would like to complain about the service please complete the attached complaint form and send to: Operations Manager Bucks Floating Claydon House, Suite 14, 1 Edison Road, Rabans Lane, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8TE Other policies and procedures Bucks Floating Support has other policies and procedures covering all of the major areas you would expect for a support provider. Please contact our office if you wish to receive further information on any of the above policies or procedures or if you wish to discuss specific issues relating to the provision of support. page 12

14 Office Locations & Contact Details Aylesbury Office Bucks Floating Claydon House, Suite 14, 1 Edison Road, Rabans Lane, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP19 8TE Telephone : Fax : Chesham Office Bucks Floating 60 High Street Chesham Bucks HP5 1EP Telephone : Fax : High Wycombe Office Bucks Floating Priory Centre 11 Priory Road High Wycombe Bucks HP13 6SL Telephone : Fax : Chalfont St Peter Office Bucks Floating The National Centre for Epilepsy Eleanor House Chesham Lane Chalfont St Peter Bucks SL9 0RJ Telephone : Fax : page 13

15 SERVICE PROMISE (to all- including service users, carers, advocates and referral agencies) We are committed to achieving high standards from our service. We aim to offer all who use our service a consistently high quality of service, which is professional, fair and friendly at all times. Every time we are in contact with you we will :- treat you with courtesy and respect deal with your enquiry promptly and efficiently give our name respond clearly and honestly treat you fairly, consistently with others, and without unlawful discrimination in line with our policies and procedures take account of any special requirements, you may have such as sign language interpretation and translation respect your right to privacy and confidentiality at all times When you contact us by telephone we will :- answer your call as quickly as possible ensure you speak to or are able to leave a message for the right person to deal with your enquiry return all messages by no later than the end of the next working day When we visit your home we will :- respect your home and culture keep our appointments unless we have informed you that we need to cancel carry and will show identification visit you outside of normal office hours if there are special circumstances When we receive a letter or from you we will :- reply within five working days, giving the name, job title and contact details of the person replying When we write to you we will :- be concise and easy to understand We will make various information available, including :- a range of up-to-date leaflets copies of our policies a welcome pack a Referral pack publications in various formats, large print, pictorial, various translations etc (where possible) Access to service user personal information :- we recognise that personal information is confidential and we are committed to and support the principles of data protection law. on request you may see personal information that we hold about you where there is third party information recorded involving service users, consent will be sought before access is given If we have made a mistake or you are unhappy with our performance, we will :- tell you about our complaints procedure and how to use it acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 5 working days view your complaint as an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and provide a better service in the future Your opinions consultation and feedback :- we are committed to involving and listening to everyone who accesses our service on all aspects of we will carry out regular surveys and reviews and use the information gathered to improve our service We ask you to :- be polite to the person dealing with your query or offering support report any concerns to us as quickly as possible tell us how you think we could improve our service. page 14

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