Changes to homelessness services which would see the county’s vulnerable residents receive fairer and more consistent support are to be considered during a public consultation.
Kent County Council (KCC) commissions supported housing, outreach for rough sleepers and floating support to enable residents to avoid or recover from homelessness. It also provides help with tenancies, benefits and other issues so clients can lead successful, independent lives.
This is provided through 29 contracts with various organisations across Kent. The current contracts will expire in September 2018 and new contracts will be in place from this date.
KCC has been looking at ways to improve services and end the ‘postcode lottery’ where individuals in certain areas can miss out due to variations in the help available.
At the same time, the authority will be focusing its efforts on young people, care leavers and homeless 16 and 17-year-olds as part of its corporate parenting duty.
One option would be to join up services in neighbouring districts. Alternatively, all provision could be merged into a single countywide service.
Clients would receive the same help wherever they live and this would continue wherever they moved without having to navigate a complex referral process.
Bringing together several services would also minimise costs to KCC in contract management and back-office functions, allowing more resources to be devoted to providing front-line support.
Graham Gibbens, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “Kent County Council works hard to ensure it provides the best possible support for our vulnerable residents.
“We must continue to do more to help people access our services and to ensure we are responding to the changing needs of Kent’s growing population.”
The consultation will close on March 4.
Please visit the consultation page, come along to one of our drop-in consultation sessions or go to http://www.kent.gov.uk/homelessnessconsultation where you can fill in the online questionnaire and make sure your views on these proposals are heard.
Alternative formats may also be made available upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 03000 421553 (text relay number: 18001 03000 421553). This number goes to an answering service which is monitored during office hours.
- The statutory responsibility for housing and homelessness currently rests with twelve district and borough councils across Kent, while National Probation Service (NPS) and the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation company are responsible for the rehabilitation of offenders.
- The council’s corporate parenting duty is the collective responsibility of the council, elected members, employees, and partner agencies, for providing the best possible care and safeguarding for the children who are looked after by KCC.
- A number of drop-in sessions have been planned at which KCC officials will available to discuss the consultation. The next meeting will be held between 2pm and 4pm tomorrow at the GAP Project in Queens Road, Broadstairs, followed by sessions between 10am and 1pm Dover Gateway in Castle Street and Folkestone Library in Grace Hill on Thursday, February 8.
- The full list of drop-in sessions is available on page 13 of the consultation document.
For further information call 03000 422589 or email email@example.com.