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Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults (£160,000)

Future Funds

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Contracts will be ended with local providers who support approximately 500 vulnerable adults with their tenancies and in terms of improving their well-being and outcomes.  There is a danger that some of these will deteriorate when the support is withdrawn and go on to have acute housing or social care needs.  Therefore, it is proposed to design a new service which will provide some support for many of these former beneficiaries; support won’t be as much as before or for as many as before but will be there to maintain a service to prevent needs from escalating. There will also be some specialist provision for victims of domestic abuse contained within this budget.

[Reference: Cabinet papers, Item 6, paragraph 52(l)]



Keywords: voluntary sector VCS

Your Say

10 comment(s)

This table lists comments from the public about this proposal


FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

why provide a new service when DISC Support for All are already providing this support and achieving very good outcomes! Why not keep what works rather than reinventing things!
Money distributed to various services would get lost. Using the funding for one service such as DISC would be a more productive use of the money and achieve more valuable results.

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

A large proportion of what housing related support services deliver is financial inclusion work, around maximising income, address debts, affordable credit, budget management. These services also deliver the preventative work to stop people needing more specialist advice in the future. The numbers that are dealt with within these services are significant and therefore it makes sense to consider a housing related support provider to deliver this service.

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

•I work for DISC Support for All with vulnerable adults which includes Mental Health, Substance Misuse, Domestic Abuse, Learning Disabilities, offenders. Referrals come from KPA service managed by Council and First Stop. Service supports people to keep their tenancies through difficult times, to address debts, to apply for benefits, Access training , education and volunteering. manage mental health, access health services, connect with community groups to mention some. If our service ceases people will be left without support which will cause more evictions, crime , people being hospitalised for their mental health. Costs to the council if service ceases i.e. increased rent and council tax arrears, increased court /eviction costs.

Futures Fund – Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults
£160k split between 3 organisations is not enough as we wouldn't be able to provide an effective service as we currently are doing – pot needs increasing!!!
Reduced service would mean we won’t be able to support as many or include any group work. Group work improves isolation for people therefore improving their mental health, self esteem and confidence as well as learning new skills they can then use elsewhere such as cooking.
These cuts will cause an increased cost to council as above

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)
Cut C05 (Cease Vulnerable Adults Floating Support)

I work for DISC with the PSP 16-25yr olds and as a member of this team I totally disagree with ceasing any funding for these type of people. Working in the enviroment I see the struggle vulnerable young adults have every day and how hard it is for them to do normal things we take for granted every day.

All this will do is make a lot more work for emergency services as well as the council itself in the forseeable future.

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)
Core EffR19 (Senior Management costs)

I feel that it is disgusting that senior staff within the council are being paid such extravagant wages whilst essential services for vulnerable adults in the town are being drastically cut or may go altogether. It seems as though cuts are being made in entirely the wrong places and I am very concerned for the futures of vulnerable individuals who without enough support being available to them their standard of living may deteriorate. I am also concerned for the knock on effect this may have on the community if people who would previously have been helped to access support for issues such as mental health or substance misuse by the floating support services you are proposing on cutting/ending are left without support for these issues.

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

My concern about this proposal is that if these services are currently being provided for 500 vulnerable adults in darlington, which evidently will be costing a great deal more than 160000 to run, then how can a reduced service possibly cater for the needs of the most vulnerable adults in our town effectively? just because there is less money available does not mean less vulnerable adults will have less needs.

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

I feel it is absolutely imperative that there is some form of support provided for the most vulnerable members of our community. It's all to easy to concentrate on material issues during times of austerity but a civilized society must be be about more than just money. Surely the well being of our fellow humans, regardless of their status, is paramount and should take precedence over more aesthetic or bureaucratic duties. If no provision is allocated to this cause I genuinely fear for the safety of the current and potential clients of this service, but more concerning is what that decision would say about us as a species if we would rather ensure the bins are collected than prevent people needing to eat from them.

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

I am Support Worker for DISC’s ‘Support for All’ service in Darlington. From first-hand experience working with vulnerable adults I strongly believe that the proposed cuts will have a detrimental impact.

The fact that at best there will only be reduced Outreach Support for vulnerable adults in Darlington in my view means that realistically only those with severe/high needs will be able to access support, meaning that many other vulnerable adults will fail to be supported to prevent an array of issues from deteriorating. I believe this will have the following negative consequences:

-There will be a higher number of ‘street homeless’ individuals within the town. This is due to the fact that many individuals will not be able to access support to maintain their tenancies and address any issues before they escalate. The result will be higher number of people being evicted, many of whom because of the circumstances of their eviction (i.e. choosing not to pay rent top) may be classed as individuals who the council does not have a responsibility to rehome.
-There will be a higher number of people in council properties with rent and council tax arrears due to the reduced availability of support to prevent/address such issues, i.e. by developing budgeting skills and setting up payment plans.
-There will be a higher number of individuals in private-rented properties with rent arrears without the support to address these issues. This could damage even further the already difficult relationship between vulnerable adults and private landlords, making it harder overall for vulnerable adults on low incomes to secure a private tenancy in the first place.
-The many individuals with complex mental health issues who do not meet the strict eligibility criteria (i.e. requiring a large number of hours per week of support, having a diagnosis) of intense mental health services whom instead access general Outreach Support may suffer a deterioration in their mental health. This will be result of the reduced access to support to address other issues in their lives (i.e. managing their tenancy independently, addressing debts to prevent bailiffs from attending the property) and the resultant stress caused by this exasperating their symptoms. Furthermore, without the support of Outreach Support services to be signposted onto mental health services and the GP less individuals will access the support they need.
-The many individuals suffering domestic violence who access generic Outreach Support Services, without support to be signposted/referred to DV services may more often fail to get help. Furthermore, the decreased Support Worker presence in the homes of vulnerable adults could lead to individuals suffering domestic violence being safeguarded less.
-The many individuals that would have been supported by Outreach Support Services to address their debts to develop budgeting skills and access debt support agencies may end up in severe debt that is more difficult to work with.

Not only do I believe that the reduction of Outreach Support in Darlington will have the above negative consequences, I also believe that it will prevent vulnerable adults from achieving their potential and improving their lives; which in my view is the most important aspect of support. For example, an vulnerable adult whose needs may not be considered high enough for a limited/reduced Outreach Support Service may miss out on the opportunity to be supported to access counselling to improve their mental health, move to a more appropriate/affordable home, find work etc. I am very saddened by the thought that Outreach Support in Darlington will be there not to enable people to achieve their potential, but instead to pick up the pieces when preventable issues in a person’s life have become severe enough for them to become eligible for support.

Furthermore, although I understand that cuts need to be made somewhere, I believe the view that cutting Outreach Support will save money is incredibly short sighted for a number of reasons. Firstly, the reduced support will cost the council more money as a result of the increased number of individuals I believe will acquire rent and council tax arrears. These individuals will likely attend the town hall for support in the absence of a Support Worker; a strain that may lead to the council facing the cost of employing more staff. Also, the individuals who would previously have been supported by Outreach Support Services to address issues with benefits will be putting more pressure on the Job centre. Individuals who would ordinarily have been supported by their Support Worker to access the GP regarding physical health problems, or their GP/crisis support for their mental health and particularly suicidal ideations, I believe will put more pressure and accident and emergency services. Moreover, those with substance misuse issues no longer being signposted onto substance misuse services for support and no longer supported with other issues (i.e. rent arrears, debts) that exasperate substance misuse may develop more severe substance misuse problems (something that could have a knock on effect on the wider community).

A final point I wish to make is that it does not make sense that funding is being kept for specific mental health services but cut for generic Outreach Support, considering that in my opinion the vast majority of individuals accessing ‘Support for All’ have mental health issues. When the support is cut I believe these people’s mental health will decrease and there will be a huge strain and long waiting lists for mental health services in the town.

FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: I have a concern about housing related support and how much it will impact on people with tenancies linked to their housing related support. A concern that they may lose their house.

A; We are all worried about the level of support, we all do our best in Darlington to help those less fortunate and vulnerable. That’s why we are going to put so much back in and that will have a focus particular on those with tenancies, to help them keep their tenancies and to ensure those in the private sector are well cared for and to reduce ASB from tenancies

Cut S05 (Public Mental Health)
FF 52l (Housing Related and Outreach Support for Vulnerable Adults)

Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust response