Agenda item

Report of the Director of Children and Young People's Futures (CS/22/7) on the commissioning for supported accommodation and housing-related support for 16/17 year-olds and care experienced young people, attached.

 

An Impact Assessment has also been prepared for the attention of Members at the meeting, attached, and available online at https://www.devon.gov.uk/impact/published/

Decision:

RESOLVED

 

(a) that Option 4 (Multi-provider Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS); as

outlined at section 3.5 of the Report, as a procurement approach to the

provider market be approved;

 

(b) that the preferred option for contract partners, as outlined in 3.8 of the

Report, enabling District Council’s to be named as potential users within the

new Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) arrangement be further approved;

 

(c) that a tendering process to be undertaken during August 2022 – January

2023 for the provision of supported accommodation and housing-related

support to:

(i) young people aged 16/17 years at risk of homelessness, who do not

need to come into care under section 20 of the Children Act; and

(ii) care experienced young people aged 18-25 years.

 

(d) that the Chief Officer for Children’s Services, in consultation with the

Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools be given delegated

authority to the to agree non-material changes within the overarching strategy

detailed in section 4 (proposal); and

 

(e) that the Chief Officer for Children’s Services, in consultation with the

Cabinet Member for Children’s Services & Schools, be given delegated

authority, to approve contract award recommendations for supported

accommodation and housing-related support for 16/17 year olds and care

leavers.

Minutes:

(Councillors Adams and Biederman attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Children and Young People's Futures (CS/22/7) on the commissioning for supported accommodation and housing-related support for 16/17 year-olds and care experienced young people.

 

The Report had been circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

The Report sought approval on the proposed retendering of supported accommodation and housing-related support services for 16/17-year-olds and care leavers. The services would support young people aged 16/17 years at risk of homelessness who did not need to be accommodated by the Council (DCC) as a child in care, as well as care experienced young people aged 18-25.

 

The services would be delivered by support providers offering support in settings including, but not limited to:

 

    i.       Supported lodgings with host families.

   ii.       Foyers.

  iii.       Training flats or shared houses.

 iv.       Private sector accommodation.

  v.       Social housing or social landlords.

 vi.       Specialist services.

 

The proposals had been developed in consultation with District Councils (Local Housing Authorities) in Devon. Both this Council and District Councils had responsibilities towards the young people accessing support via this contract. Accommodation and Intensive Housing Management costs for young people supported through this contract would be met through Housing Benefit via the District Council to which they had a local connection, subject to eligibility, with the County Council contract covering support elements of the contract. Although Devon County Council funded the support and not the accommodation, access to suitable accommodation for young people was a key qualifying criterion for providers to successfully be able to bid for this contract.

 

The availability and provision of supported accommodation and housing-related support for young people enabled both DCC and District Councils in meeting statutory duties under social care and housing legislation. It also supported in delivering strategic priorities as outlined in:

(i)              A Place Called Home; and

(ii)              Devon’s Corporate Parenting Strategy.

 

In developing the proposed commissioning and procurement arrangements for supported accommodation and housing-related support services for 16/17-year-olds and care leavers, several options (outlined in full in section 3 of the Report) and approaches to the market had been considered.

 

The recommended approach was to tender for a multi-provider Dynamic Purchasing System with a number of block contracts called off from the agreement for a minimum period of 3 years, with an option to extend for up to a further 2 years. This option was being recommended as it would allow sufficient stability to ensure sufficiency for young people and to engage strategically with providers around the development and delivery of services. 

 

Section four of the Report outlined the elements that would be contained within the new arrangement as well as the proposed contract design.

 

There had been extensive consultation to inform the Report which was outlined in full at section 5 including a table with examples of themes, ideas and feedback that had emerged through engagement with young people, providers and other stakeholders.

 

The Council’s overall budget for Homelessness Prevention Services for 2023/24 was £919,000, which included £158,000 outside of contract through the contribution to the Homelessness Prevention Worker function which was joint funded with District Councils.

 

An Impact Assessment has also been prepared for the attention of Members at the meeting, attached and available online at https://www.devon.gov.uk/impact/young-peoples-supported-accommodation-08-07-2022/ which considered the impact of decisions on the health and well-being of young people, including the groups currently supported by the contract and those that could be supported in the future. It also considered the potential positive impact of the recommendations being made on outcomes for young people, including improved health and wellbeing outcomes from having access to suitable accommodation, improved access to family and support networks through improved options for young people to remain within their geographical hub, where possible.

 

The Cabinet noted that the proposals gave the best option to ensure sufficiency as well as allowing for economies of scale and to use available resources effectively. The overarching DPS with core blocks drawn off to meet the majority of need provided a sustainable service within available resources and allowed flexibility to respond to areas of emerging need. It would also allow the Council to work with partners and providers on market development of key areas, which allowed for management of the quality and costs of services.

 

It was proposed that the new arrangements would go live from the 1st April 2023.

 

The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability (including carbon impact), risk management, equality and legal considerations and Public Health impact) set out in the Directors Report and/or referred to above having been considered:

 

it was MOVED by Councillor Leadbetter, SECONDED by Councillor Hart, and

 

RESOLVED

 

(a) that Option 4 (Multi-provider Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS); as outlined at section 3.5 of the Report, as a procurement approach to the provider market be approved;

 

(b) that the preferred option for contract partners, as outlined in 3.8 of the Report, enabling District Council’s to be named as potential users within the new Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) arrangement be further approved; 

 

(c) that a tendering process to be undertaken during August 2022 – January 2023 for the provision of supported accommodation and housing-related support to:

 

(i) young people aged 16/17 years at risk of homelessness, who do not need to come into care under section 20 of the Children Act; and

 

            (ii) care experienced young people aged 18-25 years.

           

(d) that the Chief Officer for Children’s Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools be given delegated authority to the to agree non-material changes within the overarching strategy detailed in section 4 (proposal); and

 

(e) that the Chief Officer for Children’s Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services & Schools, be given delegated authority, to approve contract award recommendations for supported accommodation and housing-related support for 16/17 year olds and care leavers.

 

(NB: The Impact Assessment referred to above may be viewed alongside Minutes of this meeting and may also be available on the Impact Assessment Webpages).

Supporting documents: