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‘Supporting People’

Guidance for the National Offender

Management Service

Reading the Guidance

This guidance is lengthy but is written to allow the reader to either

consider the whole document or to dip into the parts which may be of
particular interest.

Included are two summaries:

• ‘Supporting People’ a brief outline for Prison and Probation staff
• Messages to Regional Offender Managers, Chief Officers &
Prison Governors

The key to the guidance lies in the contents overleaf.

‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service


Page No.
- Purpose of Guidance 6
- Organisation of Guidance 6

Section 1
Brief outline of ‘Supporting People’ for Prison & Probation
- What is ‘Supporting People’ 7
- How is ‘Supporting People’ organised 7
- What sorts of services are provided 8
- What is housing related support 8
- Do services have a cost 9
- What I really need is a bed 9
- How do I find out about local services 9
- How do I make a referral for ‘Supporting People’ services 10
- Does custody mean the loss of supported accommodation 10
- Is there any other Probation funded supported accommodation 10

Section 2
Messages to Regional Offender Managers, Chief Officers &
Prison Governors 11
- What is ‘Supporting People’ 11
- What is NOMS link to ‘Supporting People’ 11
- The consequences of not engaging with the ‘SP’ process 12
- What action needs taking…
~ Regional 12
~ Probation Area 13
~ Prison Service 14

Section 3
‘Supporting People’ Commissioning process 15
- Administering Authorities 15
- Commissioning Bodies 16
- Core Strategy Development Groups 17
- Excellent Authorities 18
- Cross Authority Access to Services 18
- Five Year Strategy 19
- Reviews 20
- Audit Commission Inspections 20

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Section 4
Questions and Answers…
- Why bother investing time in ‘Supporting People’ 22
- Who do Probation represent on ‘Supporting People’ bodies 23
- Financial responsibilities 24
- Approved Premises 25
- Voting rights 25
- Conflicts of Interest 26
- Performance of programme 26
- Mapping and Reviews 29
- Role in other groups 29
- Black & Minority Ethnic communities 30

Section 5
ƒ Local Probation Service Housing Plans
- Purpose of Plan 31
- Local Regional Housing Plans 32
- Target Audience for Plan 32
- Appendix A (5i.) – Outline of Plan 33

ƒ Probation Involvement in Service Reviews

- Purpose of Service Reviews 37
- Review Process 38
- Strategic Review 39
- Review of Quality, Performance & Cost Effectiveness 42
- Further Evidence / Service Review Investigation 44
- Outcome of Service Review 44
- Reviews of Decision Making Process 45
- NOMS contribution to Reviews 46
- ‘Supporting People’ Review Survey 47
- Appendix A (5ii.) – Assessing Value for Money in
Offender linked services. 48
- Appendix B (5ii.) – ‘Supporting People’ Review
Feedback Survey 49

ƒ ‘Supporting People’ Five Year Strategy

- Guidance 54
- Purpose of the Strategy 54
- Probation’s role in the development of the strategy 55
- Providing Data and Priorities 56
- Appendix A (5iii.) – Gathering Housing Support Data
from OASys 62
- Appendix B (5iii.) – Recommendation for Prison Service
collection of housing and housing support data. 66

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

ƒ Eligibility for ‘Supporting People’ Funding

- What services are eligible 68
- Approach of ‘Supporting People’ teams 68
- Focus on offenders 69
- What determines how funding should be spent 69
- Interpretation 70
- Asking Questions 71
- Appendix A (5iv.) – Housing Related Support tasks
considered Eligible for ‘Supporting People’ funding 74
- Appendix B (5iv.) – Vulnerable Groups identified by
ODPM as eligible for ‘Supporting People’ funding 76
- Appendix C (5iv.) – Explanation to Court regarding
‘Supporting People’ eligibility 77

ƒ Cross Authority Arrangements

- What are Cross Authority Arrangements 78
- Designated Services 78
- Cross Authority Access 79
- Cross Authority Groups 80
- Monitoring 81

ƒ ‘Excellent Authorities’ 83
- Appendix A (5vi.) – ‘Excellent Authorities’ in England 84

ƒ Preparation for Audit Commission Inspections

- Audit Commission inspections 85
- Purpose of inspection 85
- Scope of inspection 86
- Inspection process 86
- Probation involvement 87
- Who should be involved from Probation 87
- Request for information 88
- Contact with inspection officer 89
- Interview with inspection officer 89
- Draft report 89
- Action from report 91
- Appendix A (5vii.) – ‘Supporting People’ Audit outline 93

ƒ ‘Supporting People’ in Wales 97

- Funding 97
- Supporting People Operational Plan 97
- Supporting People Planning Group 98
- Regional Supporting People Planning Groups 98
- Cross Boundary Issues 98
- Specialist Advice 98

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Section 6
Directory of staff with ‘Supporting People’

• England 100
• Wales 111
• National Probation Directorate 112

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

‘Supporting People’ - Guidance for National Offender

Management Service (NOMS)1 Staff

Purpose of Guidance

ƒ To inform NOMS staff about the ‘basics, of ‘Supporting People’.

ƒ To suggest action which should be taken by Regional Offender Managers,
Chief Officers & Prison Governors in relation to ‘Supporting People’ (‘SP’).
ƒ To advise NOMS staff about their role in relation to ‘SP’.
ƒ To suggest the type of information that NOMS staff should be aware of to
contribute to the development of ‘SP’ strategy and commissioning.

Organisation of Guidance

Guidance is offered in five sections:

Section 1. A brief outline of ‘Supporting People’ for Prison & Probation staff.

Section 2. Messages for Regional Offender Managers, Chief Officers & Prison

Section 3. An overview of the ‘Supporting People’ Commissioning process.

Section 4. A series of questions and answers exploring various issues in

greater depth.

Section 5. Specialist Advice regarding –

i. Probation / NOMS Housing strategies

ii. Contributing to ‘Supporting People’ reviews
iii. Gathering information for the ‘Supporting People’ Five Year
iv. Eligibility for ‘Supporting People’
v. Cross Authority Arrangements
vi. ‘Excellent’ Authorities
vii. Preparation for Audit Commission Inspections
viii. ‘Supporting People’ in Wales

Section 6. A directory of –
Staff in the National Offender Management Service who hold
responsibilities for ‘Supporting People’

NOMS - National Offender Management Service. From 1st June 2004 the Probation and Prison
Services have combined to become the National Offender Management Service.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Section 1

‘Supporting People’ – Providing Housing Support for Offenders

and Victims

What is ‘Supporting People’?

‘Supporting People’ is a central government programme which began on 1st April

2003. It aims to help vulnerable people, with housing related support needs, live
independently in the community. Without this support, people may not be able to
manage their accommodation and have to live in an institutional setting e.g.
hospital, care or custody.

Housing related support covers a wide range of activities such as assistance with
life skills, budgeting and helping people to understand the consequences of their
behaviour e.g. dealing with neighbours. It also covers the provision of emergency
accommodation for homeless people and those fleeing domestic violence.
Support is available to vulnerable people from all sectors of the community
including those who,

• Are homeless or sleeping rough

• Have served a prison sentence or are at risk of reoffending
• Have mental health difficulties
• Are at risk of violence.
• Are vulnerable through age , both older and young people at risk
• Experience substance misuse problems

How is ‘Supporting People’ organised?

In England the lead central government department for ‘Supporting People’ is the
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. In Wales the programme is led by the Welsh
Assembly. However services are commissioned on a local authority basis. Each
authority has a Commissioning Body which directs the services. These bodies
are equal partnerships between the local authority, health and probation services.
This means that the interests of offenders and prisoners are kept on the agenda.

Services are provided by local authorities, Registered Social Landlords and the
private and voluntary sector through contracts with the ‘Supporting People’
Administering Authorities (County and Unitary authorities & London boroughs).

The Commissioning Bodies are expected to plan for services based on local
needs and priority as outlined in such plans as the Crime and Disorder
Partnership Plan or the Drug Action Team plan. Services are monitored regularly
and all services have to be formally reviewed at least every three years to ensure
that they provide value for money & quality and are strategically relevant.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

‘Supporting People’ also recognises that there are people who either do not have
a home area e.g. transient drug users or are not able to return to that area due to
such things as victim issues or exclusion by court or licence conditions. To
accommodate these people authorities in a region are expected to plan to meet
the needs of these ‘Cross Authority Service Recipients’.

What sorts of services are provided?

Each authority will have its own range of services, based on local need. These
will include such things as,

• Emergency access hostels for homeless people

• Refuges for women fleeing violence
• Hostel based supported accommodation for people needing a medium
level of support
• ‘Floating Support’ for people who live in individual and shared properties in
the community supported by workers visiting regularly.
• Tenancy Support work which helps people maintain their own tenancies
• Specialist provision for high risk offenders e.g. Langley House Trust

One area which is not covered by ‘Supporting People’ are the Home Office
Approved hostels (“bail hostels”). These remain funded by the Probation Service.

What is Housing Related Support?

‘Supporting People’ funding pays for services which provide low / medium level
and intense housing related support for the purpose of developing the person’s
capacity to live independently or remain living independently. It also pays for
specialist supported housing for homeless people, women fleeing violence and
high risk offenders.

What ‘Supporting People’ does not pay for is,

• Rent – this would be paid for by Housing Benefit

• Housing Management costs – this is included in rent payments
• Personal care – assisting with bodily functions such as washing or feeding
• Statutory responsibilities or specific requirements imposed by a court

These may be included in a package of support and care but should be paid for
from the appropriate budget. For example, whilst an offender subject to a DTTO2
may be placed in supported accommodation and provided with a programme of
developing ‘good tenant’ skills – these cannot be counted as part of the DTTO

Drug Testing and Treatment Order. This order requires an offender to take part in a specific
number of hours of structured activity each week.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

The support is generally advice and skills building focussed on managing a

home, paying the bills, linking to local services & managing and preventing
neighbour disputes. Support in finding move on accommodation and support in
establishing a new home is also part of ‘Supporting People’.

Do the services have a cost?

Virtually all offender services are considered to be short term i.e. the work is
planned to be achieved in two years. ‘Supporting People’ pays for short term
services and there is no cost to the individual or referring agency.

Longer term services may have a cost but anyone receiving Housing Benefit is
exempt from paying for long term services. As such most offenders are likely to
be free from paying for their housing support services.

This sounds very helpful but what I really need is an actual bed!

‘Supporting People’ funds certain specialist housing provision – emergency

access hostels, refuges and supported housing for high risk offenders.

Secondly, many of the other services for offenders are based in either hostel type
accommodation or in dispersed properties with staff support.

Thirdly, many housing associations and local authorities are likely to look more
positively on an application from an offender who has a history of housing
management difficulties - if there is a package of housing support arranged.

The overall aim of ‘Supporting People’ is to offer support to help people keep
their homes so support will both help an offender to settle more effectively into a
home or in some cases can help them overcome existing problems which might
have led to the loss of accommodation. If an offender does not need housing
related support then ‘Supporting People’ is not the appropriate route to follow.

How do I find out about local services?

Contact either,

• The probation manager or staff member responsible for ‘Supporting People’ in

your area or the area where the offender wants to move to, and ask what
services are available. A directory of the responsible staff in all probation
areas is included in “‘Supporting People’ - Guidance for National Offender
Management Service Staff” or

• The local ‘Supporting People’ team who will generally be based in the Social
Services or Social Care directorate of the local authority. In some unitary
authorities they may be based in the Housing function. Again should you be

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

looking to find accommodation away from the home area the appropriate local
authority should be contacted.

How do I make a referral for ‘Supporting People’ services?

Many probation areas will have specific application forms to make referrals to
offender focussed ‘Supporting People’ services. These will be able to be obtained
from the person referred to above.

It is important that any referrals are made in the appropriate format as most
offender accommodation is dedicated to probation referrals within their contracts.
Also, it is necessary, for any referrals to other probation areas to be cleared with
the team manager for that area as supervision of orders or licences would have
to be accepted.

Sentenced to Custody – does that mean an offender loses their support?

People who are in receipt of Housing Benefit and receiving ‘Supporting People’
services are able to continue to receive housing support (and rent payments)
whilst they are in prison (or hospital) if they are still in receipt of Housing Benefit.

People in custody are able to claim Housing Benefit if,

ƒ They are remanded in custody for no longer than 52 weeks

ƒ They are sentenced to a period which will mean they are not away from
their home for more than thirteen weeks3

Specialist advice will need to be consulted but, the message is – if it is

appropriate for the prisoner to maintain their supported accommodation during
custody – it can be done.

Is there any other Probation funded supported accommodation available?

Before the end of March 2003, the Probation Service paid for supported housing
through the Probation Accommodation Grants Scheme. This money became part
of the ‘Supporting People’ funding ‘pot’. As such there are no resources in the
service to pay for supported housing other than through ‘Supporting People’.

Whilst there are local interpretations by Housing Benefit Offices this should include prisoners
who are serving sentences of six months, or more with Home Detention Curfew.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service


Messages to Regional Offender Managers, Chief Officers and

Prison Governors

What is ‘Supporting People’?

‘Supporting People’4 is a central government programme which began on 1st April

2003. It aims to help vulnerable people, with housing related support needs, live
independently in the community. Without this support people may not be able to
manage their accommodation and have to live in an institutional setting e.g.
hospital, care or custody.

Offenders and those at risk of offending are identified as important groups within
the ‘Supporting People’ programme, recognising that stable housing with
appropriate support is likely to reduce reoffending and promote community

What is NOMS link to ‘Supporting People’?

i. “We ‘pay’ for it!”

‘Supporting People’ brought together a number of funding streams which paid for
supported accommodation and housing support. These formed the basis of the
‘SP’ budget. One of these sources of funding was the ‘Probation Accommodation
Grant Scheme’ (PAGS). This had previously paid for service contracts with
housing providers for housing support for offenders.

Almost all of the PAGS funding has been transferred to local authority ‘SP’
Administering Authorities who now manage the contracts with housing support

ii. “We are a partner in the ‘SP’ planning and commissioning process!”

In recognition of probation’s contribution to the ‘SP’ budget and our role in

promoting community safety, ‘SP’ Directions and Guidance have made the
Probation Service an equal partner in ‘SP’ planning groups - Core Strategy
Development Groups and the ‘SP’ Joint Commissioning Bodies.5

This provides probation with the opportunity to, not only, influence the overall
direction of ‘Supporting People’ but to maintain an oversight over the review and
future of existing offender linked services and the development of new provision.

‘SP’ - ‘Supporting People’
The Commissioning Body directs the ‘SP’ programme and is an equal partnership between the
Local Authority, Health and Probation.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

What are the consequences of not engaging with the ‘SP’ process?

Firstly, any decision to move in this direction would run counter to NOMS
commitment to reducing offending through the “Reducing Reoffending National
Action Plan”.

The action plan emphasises that.

“Appropriate and accessible accommodation is the foundation of successful

rehabilitation and management of risk of harm to others.”

The action plan identifies local attainments to be achieved, including,

ƒ Contributing to the development of ‘Supporting People’ strategies &

ƒ Attending and influencing ‘Supporting People’ Commissioning Bodies.

Secondly, the Audit Commission, which inspects all ‘SP’ authorities, has made it
extremely clear that there is an expectation of an active and committed
partnership between the local authority, Health and Probation in the planning and
management of the programme. Any failure to undertake this seriously is

Thirdly, to fail to take advantage of the opportunities given to probation by central

government, may threaten services for offenders. The ‘Supporting People’
programme is going through a period of enforced ‘savings’ and offender services
have never been viewed as the most popular of provision. Without an active
engagement in the ‘SP’ process we may not only fail to promote additional
services in the future but also lose existing housing support.

What action needs taking…


1. Regional Offender Managers need to understand and promote the

‘Supporting People’ agenda and its implications for the regions.

2. Regional resettlement strategies need to ensure that ‘Supporting People’ is

integral to action plans.

3. National Offender Management Service needs mapping, in relation to housing

support, should be coordinated and consistent across both the region and
prison & community based services.

4. Probation should have an active and committed presence on ‘SP’ Cross

Authority Groups.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Probation Area

1. Each Probation area should ensure that it engages with the ‘Supporting
People’ process through – at a minimum,

ƒ Identifying a manager to take responsibility for ‘Supporting People’ in the

area including the collection, maintenance and dissemination of
appropriate information.
ƒ Ensuring that each Commissioning Body in the Probation area6 has an
identified probation representative and a substitute to ensure regular
attendance. [ ACO plus Specialist or SPO as substitute]
ƒ Ensuring that there is a probation representative on each authority’s Core
Strategy Development Group. [Specialist or SPO]
ƒ Contributing to the development of local ‘Supporting People’ strategies
through the collection, analysis and sharing of needs mapping information.

2. Probation representatives linked to ‘excellent authorities’ should promote a

partnership approach to the planning and commissioning of ‘Supporting
People’ services.

3. The lead manager should ensure that board members, managers and staff
have regular briefings on the nature of ‘Supporting People’ and how it can be
accessed to help offenders gain and sustain accommodation.

4. Each area should produce an annual Probation housing strategy / action plan.

5. Probation staff with ‘SP’ responsibilities should be aware of the timetables of

reviews of offender linked services and contribute to the review process and
decision making.

6. The ‘SP’ lead officer should seek to ensure that staff do not compromise the
funding of ‘SP’ funded services through expecting them to provide services
which are a statutory duty of Probation or a requirement of a court order.

7. In relation to Audit Commission inspections of local ‘SP’ administering

authorities the Commissioning Body representative should ensure that,

ƒ They are aware of inspection dates for authorities in their area.

ƒ Appropriate probation staff engage in the inspection process as fully as
ƒ Information is provided to the probation inspection officer as fully as is
ƒ The inspection provides the opportunity to revise the area’s ‘Supporting
People’ Audit

This would comprise each Unitary Authority, London Borough or County Council in the area.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

ƒ Following publication of the report, the probation commissioner should

draw up an action plan which is agreed by area management and shared
with relevant staff and Commissioning Body.

Prison Service


1. Each prison should nominate a member of staff as the link for ‘Supporting
People’ matters.

2. The ‘Supporting People’ link should ensure that they understand the
benefits of ‘SP’ and how to access services in their area. This information
should be shared appropriately with other staff within the establishment.


1. The Prison service moves to fully implementing OASys as rapidly as


2. Immediate action is taken to collect basic housing and housing support


3. Training is provided to Prison staff and Court Escort staff in pursuing an

accurate and rigorous collection of data.

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‘Supporting People’ Commissioning Process

‘Supporting People’ is a central government programme which enables local
authorities to plan, commission and provide housing related support services
which help vulnerable people either maintain or work towards independent living.

Funding for ‘Supporting People’ is paid by central government and the Welsh
Assembly. Services, however, are administered by local authority ‘Supporting
People’ teams who are directed by local Commissioning Bodies and assisted in
the development and monitoring of the programme by Core Strategy
Development groups7. Whilst the form of these groups may differ, it is expected
that both groups contain a representative of the Probation service.

In relation to the Commissioning Bodies, the ‘Supporting People’ (England)

Directions 2003 requires , at least, one representative of all the local probation
board in whose area the local authority (known as the Administering Authority) is
situated. In reality a single Probation board area often covers a number of
Administering Authorities.

In County Councils the County holds the function of the Administering Authority.
In London each borough is a separate Administering Authority.

Administering Authorities

Administering Authorities are the only legal bodies within the ‘Supporting People’
framework to whom the ‘SP’ grant can be paid. As such they hold ultimate
financial responsibility. Administering Authorities play a key role in:

ƒ The administration and financial management of the programme.

ƒ Maintaining information on ‘Supporting People’ services in their area.
ƒ Ensuring that the ‘Supporting People’ grant is spent on only services defined
as eligible by the ‘Supporting People’ guidance.
ƒ The submission of regular information as required by central government.
ƒ Advising the Commissioning Body on general financial and compliance
issues. Administering Authorities may exercise a veto over any activity or
expenditure which is considered to be outside of the grant conditions.

Every Administering Authority must enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with

the local Commissioning Body, describing how the two bodies allocates and
coordinates work.

These groups may be called different names in some authorities.

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Commissioning Bodies

Commissioning Bodies direct the ‘Supporting People’ strategy and programme.

The Commissioning Bodies are composed of representatives of:

ƒ The Administering Authority i.e. the unitary or county council.

ƒ Each district authority covered by the Administrative Authority
ƒ The local Probation board(s)
ƒ The local Primary Care Trust(s)

Whilst there may be additional members who are part of the Commissioning body
each of the above groups will exercise only one vote each when making
decisions. As such the Probation service holds the same voting powers as the
local authority or any of the other partners.

Function of Commissioning Body

The Commissioning body is required to:

1. Agree a Five year ‘Supporting People’ strategy and Annual plan.

2. Consider any significant changes to the approved ‘SP’ strategy.
3. Consider any significant changes to the approved Supporting People strategy.
4. Review and amend the strategy
5. Consider any guidance or concerns offered by the Administering Authority or
the Secretary of State.
6. Oversee the Monitoring and Review process
7. Commission any new service development.
8. Take the final decisions in relation to decommissioning services or in the case
of significant refocusing of services.
9. Ensure that the objectives of the strategy and annual plan are achieved.

Commissioning Bodies take a number of forms either being separate groupings

which meet to consider ‘Supporting People’ business alone or as part of existing
bodies such as Local Strategic partnerships or other similar meetings. As long as
the partners to ‘Supporting People’ are part of this group and the business is
given appropriate time and focus, these differing models are acceptable.

Level of Representation

It is expected that probation representatives on Commissioning Bodies

realistically represent the Chief Officer. As such, it is normal that the probation
commissioner on the group is an Assistant Chief Officer or above. Similarly other
organisations are expected to be represented at Director or equivalent level. The
reasons for this are to ensure commitment to the ‘Supporting People’ process
from senior management and to make certain that there is a high level
appreciation of cross cutting strategies and needs within the authority. The

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probation representative should also be able to ‘take ownership’ of the strategy

on behalf of their area.

It is important that representation on the Commissioning Body is consistent and,

as such, a deputy should be appointed by the Probation Area in case of the
absence of the normal commissioner. It would seem acceptable to involve a
specialist housing or partnership middle manager in this role – often the staff
member sitting on the Core Strategy Group.

Frequency of Meetings

Commissioning Body meetings vary in their frequency between monthly to

quarterly. A frequency less that quarterly has been viewed as insufficient to
develop effective working relationships and reflect on the progress of the strategy
and plans.

Core Strategy Development Groups (CSDG’s)

Whilst CSDG’s are not contained within the ‘Supporting People’ Directions in the
same way as the Administering Authority and Commissioning Bodies8, they are
seen as extremely important to the ‘Supporting People’ process. The group is
responsible for the main planning activities of the Supporting People Programme
and oversees the work of the Supporting People Team. It is responsible for the
preparation of the local strategy and annual statement which it will then propose
to the Commissioning Body.

Members of the Group are expected to inform and consult other stakeholders on
the work of the Group and to represent their views at these meetings. In this way
the Group can expect to take account of the broadest range of interests in the
course of its oversight of the programme. Membership may include:

ƒ Social Services – including Adult Care and Children’s Services

ƒ Housing
ƒ Health
ƒ Probation
ƒ Representatives of Provider organisations e.g. National Housing Federation
and/or SITRA representing small providers9
ƒ Service user representatives who may be co-opted onto the group

The nature and role of the group is outlined in Guidance – ‘Policy into Practice’
The National Housing Federation is the representative body for England’s independent, not for
profit, housing providers. With 1400 members it tends to represent large and middle sized
organisations. SITRA also provides training, consultancy and information and includes in its
membership of over 850 organisations, organisations which provide housing related support as
well as housing providers. Whilst not a wholly representative body, SITRA is seen as a valid
organisation to reflect the interests of small housing providers and housing support agencies.

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As with the Commissioning Bodies these groups may take different forms in each
Authority but there should be representatives from Probation and Health as well
as the Administering Authority.

Essentially the group exists to advise and support the Supporting Team.

Level of Representation

The level of representation is usually at Middle Manager level, often with Housing
and Partnership Managers taking on the role. Ideally the responsibility should be
one where both knowledge of the area and the subject are present together with
the time and management commitment to playing a full part in the development
of strategy. This is particularly important as the representative is probably the
person who will enable access to information for needs mapping and reviewing

Frequency of Meetings

Meetings are held either every one or two months with some authorities choosing
to meet quarterly.

Excellent Authorities

Those authorities which have been classed as ‘excellent’ in their Comprehensive

Performance Assessment are subject to separate grant conditions. Whilst the
guidance does expect them to undertake a programme of reviews, the manner in
which this is done is a matter for local arrangements. Many SP teams in
‘excellent authorities’ are tending to adhere to the general guidance but there
may be some who choose not to operate such groups as the Commissioning
Body or CSDG.

Cross Authority Access to Services

‘Supporting People’ recognises that for some people there is the necessity to
seek accommodation and housing support in another authority other than their
home area. This may be due to such factors as:

ƒ The need for specialist provision

ƒ The nature of crime and victim
ƒ Exclusion through court order or licence condition
ƒ Fleeing domestic violence
ƒ Homelessness

This area is of particular value to National Offender Management Service for

whom many people need to be supported away from their area of origin.

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Each authority is expected to be part of a Cross Authority Group10 which should

meet no less than every six months. This group should involve at least one
member of Probation staff, possibly more, as a number of Areas may be in a
Cross Authority grouping.

The group is charged with planning strategically for people who need access to
these services.

This is an area where it is strategically vital for Probation staff to be involved. The
group may well be both the springboard for commissioning new services and a
support for local services which could be under threat because of low take-up but
are used by other authorities for cross authority ‘recipients’. This, for example, is
sometimes the case for ‘detox’ services for drug users where the ‘home’ authority
may not feel it appropriate to refer locally.

Five Year Strategy

Every Commissioning Body (other than Excellent Authorities) is expected to

submit a Five Year ‘Supporting People’ Strategy to the Office of the Deputy
Prime Minister by March 2005. This strategy is a working document and as such
should be updated on a regular basis.

If quality services are to be developed to meet the needs of local people, there is
a need to understand both the strategic demand for services and a clear picture
of what provision exists both within the authority and on a cross authority basis.

To achieve this, information will be gained from a number of sources e.g.

ƒ Outcomes of reviews
ƒ Consultation exercises with service users and providers
ƒ Needs mapping research
ƒ Links with existing cross cutting strategies e.g. DAT, Crime & Disorder,
YOT, Homelessness strategies

Probation staff have access to most information regarding offenders and this
provides a strong position for the service to influence priorities – if it can be
demonstrated that there is a, strategically relevant, need then priorities can be
justifiably negotiated. Many authorities are employing consultants to collect and
interpret information but the source of data will be NOMS e.g.

ƒ OASys data
ƒ Prison discharge data
ƒ YOT statistics
ƒ Practitioner and Manager feedback / surveys
ƒ Collated Housing statistics for those with central referral points.
See Section 5v. “Cross Authority Arrangements”

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service


Every ‘Supporting People’ service has to be reviewed by the end of March 2006.

The aim of the reviews is to ensure that services are:

ƒ Strategically relevant to the local needs and priorities

ƒ Services are eligible as housing related support
ƒ Delivered to a high quality
ƒ Representing value for money

ODPM have suggested that authorities may wish to focus on reviewing contracts
which are either high cost or high risk first11. Whilst many of these, particularly
high cost services are not focused on offender type services, Probation staff will
need to be aware of the impact of reviews on services for offenders.

The clear implication from ODPM is that authorities are expected to find services

ƒ Should be paid for from a more appropriate source other than ‘Supporting
ƒ Do not represent value for money or
ƒ Are not strategic priorities

This seeks to release funding which can either meet savings imposed by ODPM
or be used to commission higher priority services.

Probation staff should be involved in the reviewing process as they hold both the
knowledge of the strategic importance and effective outcomes for offenders. This
may not be always appreciated in ‘Supporting People’ teams and will therefore
need to be emphasised when discussing the review process...

The outcomes of reviews are normally shared with CSDG’s and agreed by
Commissioning Bodies. Probation representatives on the CSDG should ensure
that any disagreements raised within the group about proposed review
recommendations are reported to the Commissioning Body. The probation
commissioner should also be briefed on the issue.

Audit Commission Inspections12

The Audit Commission is currently undertaking a programme of inspection of

Supporting People’ Administering Authorities. These inspections are both a

The ‘risk’ relates to the risk of an organisation not providing the service to the expected level. It
does not mean provision for ‘high risk’ client groups e.g. Offenders subject to MAPPA
See Section 5vii. “Preparation for Audit Commission Inspections”

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programme of planned visits and 19 authorities who were targeted for early
inspection because of identified high cost services in their area.

The inspection team comprises of staff from:

ƒ The Housing Inspectorate

ƒ The Commission for Social Care Inspection
ƒ Tenant Inspection Advisers and
ƒ HM Inspectorate of Probation

The inspection team seeks to make a judgment as to both the current level of
service provided and the prospects for improvement. As part of the process the
Probation Inspector, sometimes with colleagues from other inspectorates, will
interview such people as:

ƒ The Area lead for ‘Supporting People’

ƒ The member of the Commissioning Body
ƒ Any specialist Housing staff
ƒ Project(s) representative of services for offenders.

The inspector will also seek information about probation’s engagement in the
‘Supporting People’ process prior to the inspection.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service


“Questions and Answers…”

“Why should the National Offender Management Service bother investing

time in ‘Supporting People…?’

Since April 2003 ‘Supporting People’ has been the government’s long term
programme to enable local authorities to plan, commission and provide housing
related support services which aid vulnerable people to either maintain or help
live independently within the community.

The programme brought together a number of previous funding streams which

paid for the housing support costs of vulnerable people. This included the
Probation Accommodation Grant Scheme which had, up to that time, paid for
housing support and supported accommodation for offenders. The funding was
transferred to a single ‘pot’ administered by local authorities. Whilst the Probation
Service no longer holds the contracts for these services referral procedures and
access to the services remain largely unchanged. In fact the development of
‘Supporting People’ has resulted in increased levels of services for offenders in
many Areas.

The underlying reason as to why the National Offender Management Service –

through the Probation Service – should be involved with ‘Supporting People’ is
that it is our only real source of supported housing for offenders.

‘Supporting People’ seeks to support local services which have been identified as
meeting priority local needs. These may include provision such as -

ƒ Support Services for vulnerable older people who wish to live

ƒ Temporary hostel accommodation including those for offenders and
families fleeing domestic violence
ƒ Support services for people with mental health problems and learning
ƒ Floating support for a range of vulnerable people including returning
prisoners, young people leaving care
ƒ Temporary accommodation and support for people with substance misuse
difficulties and
ƒ Support services for people from black and minority ethnic communities
whose needs have previously not been met in an appropriate or timely

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

All these services, and others offered within the ‘Supporting People’ programme
are highly relevant to the needs of offenders, without which they are more likely
to fail to benefit from interventions and supervision and significantly more prone
to offend.

In recognition of the Probation Service’s expert knowledge regarding issues of

crime and disorder and their contribution to the ‘Supporting People’ funding, the
service has been given, as a right, a seat on all Commissioning Bodies and Core
Strategy groups. Probation Commissioners not only have the ability to exert
influence on the shape of an authority’s overall programme ensuring its relevance
to Correctional Service’s needs but is able to maintain an oversight and influence
on the future of existing and new offender developments.

The ‘Supporting People’ (England) Directions 2003 require that, at least, one
representative of all the local probation boards in whose area the local authority
is situated sit on that authority’ Commissioning Body.

In summary,

ƒ ‘Supporting People’ is Correctional Service’s only significant source of

housing related support for offenders
ƒ The service has been made an equal partner in the ‘Supporting People’
planning and commissioning process
ƒ If we do not actively exercise this role we have only ourselves to hold
responsible if opportunities are missed and service levels reduced for

“Probation staff sit on the various ‘Supporting People’ bodies, who do they

This question needs to be considered at two levels.

Firstly, as an equal partner in ‘Supporting People’, Probation staff should be

engaging fully in the process. At times this may include consideration of areas
which are not immediately connected to Probation’s client group e.g. Community
Alarms or Home Improvement Agencies. However, most offenders have other
needs, for example they may,

ƒ Be older people
ƒ Have mental health needs
ƒ Have substance misuse difficulties
ƒ Have disabilities

Secondly, there has been debate about whether Probation staff should only be
representing those offenders for whom they hold responsibility. It has been
agreed that Probation representatives should be holding a specific role in relation

Richard Taylor – August 2004 23

‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

to all people within the National Offender Management Service remit. This would

ƒ Offenders subject to Probation supervision

ƒ Victims of crime
ƒ Returning Prisoners of whatever length of sentence
ƒ Youth Offending Teams
ƒ General promotion of measures which seek to reduce crime

“Does the Probation service, as a partner in the Commissioning process,

have any financial responsibilities if things go wrong…?”

There have been a number of authorities who have viewed probation as sharing
financial risk with the Administering Authority and Health. Other than in specific
cases where there may be jointly financed services where funding includes
probation, the probation service should not be expected to shoulder any financial
or other risk. ‘Supporting People’ has incorporated virtually all the service’s
funding for housing services. So, for instance, if services are being closed after a
review, probation Areas should not be asked to contribute to the costs of keeping
the services running i.e. The National Offender Management Service should no
longer be paying for any supported housing.

The arrangements between the Administering Authority and the partners on the
Commissioning Body are spelt out in a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’. All
probation members of Commissioning Bodies should ensure that:

ƒ There is a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ in place for their

Commissioning Body and
ƒ The memorandum clearly states that,

• the Commissioning Body is not a legal entity nor a legal partnership

• there is not expected to be any financial risk to be met by the
Probation Service

All authorities are expected to have created a risk register as part of their
strategies and action plans. Again it is important that probation staff ensure these
are in place and that there are no risks which are not acceptable to the service.

It is worth noting that the Guidance to the ‘Supporting People’ Directions states,

…that the Administering Authority is the only body with legal status to whom
Grant can be paid, and has ultimate financial responsibility.”13

Supporting People (England) Directions 2003, Guidance on the Directions para 10

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

“Are Home Office Approved Premises part of the Supporting People


No, Approved premises are part of the Probation service’s statutory function and
as such are not viewed as providing housing support. This applies to both those
hostels provided directly by the service and those of partner agencies.

“There seem to be a lot of representatives from the local authority on the

Commissioning Group; surely I will be outvoted if there is disagreement.”

The ‘Supporting People’ Directions are very clear about the decision making
process in Commissioning Bodies.

The membership of the body should comprise one representative from each of
the bodies below,

ƒ The Administering Authority i.e. the unitary or county council.

ƒ Each district authority covered by the Administrative Authority (County
Councils only)
ƒ The local Probation board(s)
ƒ Each local Primary Care Trust(s)

Additional representatives are able to attend the meeting by agreement and there
are likely to be a number of people attending the meeting in an advisory capacity
e.g. the ‘Supporting People’ lead officer, secretarial staff.

However, the Schedule and Guidance to the Directions make it clear that,

ƒ Each partner body has only one vote on the Commissioning Body14
ƒ The vote of each representative carries equal weight15
ƒ Decisions of the Commissioning Body shall be made by unanimous vote
ƒ Decisions relating to financial or compliance matters cannot be made
which are incompatible with the advice of the Administering Authority
ƒ If decisions cannot be reached the matter may be submitted to the
Secretary of State for determination.

Whilst this process is clear there is the need for Commissioning Bodies to
consider how best to manage disagreements between partners. Good practice
would suggest that the Commissioning Body should develop a procedure for
managing such disputes.

Supporting People (England) Directions 2003, Guidance on the Directions para 7
All other bullet points - Supporting People (England) Directions 2003, Schedule 1

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Whilst there is no formal requirement for this process to apply in the Core
Strategy Group, the decision making process should be outlined in Terms of
Reference and should seek to reflect the spirit of the decision making process for
the Commissioning Body e.g.

ƒ Seek consensus
ƒ Enabling all sectors to have a fair vote
ƒ Have a process for resolving difficulties
ƒ Openly reflect the strength of vote in any recommendation to
Commissioning Bodies

“There are some members of groups who appear to both plan for
services and provide them – are there not conflicts of interest…?”

There may well be conflicts of interest inherent in the make up of both

Commissioning and Core Strategy groups e.g. Housing authorities or
representatives of Voluntary sector housing providers. This is less likely to
occur in relation to Probation although there are still some housing related
support schemes managed by the service.

Whilst most representatives would be sensitive to this, the Audit Commission,

in a number of its inspections, has recommended the development of ‘Conflict
of Interest’ protocols to guide the work of the groups.

“As a member of the Commissioning or Core Strategy groups, how do I

know how well the Supporting People Programme is performing…?”

Probation is an equal partner in developing and managing the ‘Supporting

People’ programme. The service has responsibilities to ensure that the
initiative is kept on course and, in particular, services for offenders are
maintained and developed in line with local and regional need.

The Audit Commission’s inspections of a range of Administering Authorities

see a good ‘Supporting People’ programme as having:


ƒ A clear vision and challenging objectives

ƒ Clear priorities which are ranked and work undertaken to achieve the top
ƒ Strong links between the ‘Supporting People’ programme and local and
national goals and strategies e.g. reducing crime, exclusion,
homelessness etc.
ƒ Sufficient attention being paid to the needs of minority and excluded
ƒ Identification of local and cross authority need

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Business Planning

ƒ A strong business plan including a rigorous review programme with a

commitment to improving services and delivering value for money
ƒ Good information collection and sharing processes
ƒ Sound performance management systems
ƒ Good links between ‘Supporting People’ and social care commissioning
ƒ Efficient administrative and financial systems which ensure payments are
efficiently processed.
ƒ Identification and management of risk, whether this be within the
programme or related to specific service users e.g. high risk offenders
ƒ Clear and fair dispute resolution procedures.


ƒ Ownership and commitment to the programme by senior managers at an

authority, district, health and probation level.
ƒ Efficient, well motivated staff managing and operating the ‘Supporting
People’ programme
ƒ Strong links with providers in the development, delivery and review of
ƒ Well developed user involvement in the development and review of
strategy and services


ƒ Good information about the availability and access to services

ƒ Effective, quality services which are accessible to those who need them.

The most effective way of assessing the quality of the above is probably to go
through the areas asking–

ƒ Have I got information on this area

ƒ What is the quality of the information
ƒ How does the planning relate to reality

For example –


ƒ Do objectives exist
ƒ Are they clear, SMART and challenging
ƒ Have they been prioritised or have they been left in a long list ‘to keep
things flexible’

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

ƒ How do these objectives link to local plans – particularly plans which affect
services for offenders. Do you know what is contained in other strategic
plans regarding offender accommodation and housing related support e.g.

9 Crime and Disorder Strategy

9 Community safety Plan
9 Drug Action Team Plan
9 Youth Offending Team Plan
9 Youth Homelessness Plans
9 Regional & National Resettlement Strategies

ƒ What do the strategies and plans say about diversity

ƒ Has attention been paid to the needs of offenders and returning prisoners
on a regional / sub regional level (Probation staff may have the best
perspective on this particularly in unitary authorities)

Business Planning

ƒ Is there a current business plan – the ODPM may not require a formal plan
to be submitted but all authorities should have some form of plan to guide
their work
ƒ How is information collected and shared – are you seeing it e.g.

9 Do you know the cost of offender linked services

9 Do you know how these compare to regional and national costs
9 Are providers meeting their contractual targets
9 What are reviews saying about the offender services
9 What information are you sharing about these services16
9 What is happening about poor performance
9 Is good practice being shared and promoted
9 Are risks in the programme being identified
9 Are there risk management protocols developed for working with
offenders. Are these effective.
9 Are you aware of how a complaint is managed from,

ƒ a Service User,
ƒ a Provider,
ƒ a Partner Agency.

ƒ Are payments being made to providers regularly and on time

ƒ Are requirements of ODPM being met as laid out in the grant conditions
ƒ Is the ‘Supporting People’ team acting efficiently and transparently

These are all areas where you, as a representative of the Probation Service,
should feel confident in challenging within the group. The ‘Supporting People’
See Section 5ii. “Probation involvement in Service Reviews”

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

team should be able to either provide you with the information or agree to
develop a way of providing it.


Is the Administering Authority taking the programme seriously. Who attends

meetings regularly, what work gets done between meetings.

Is there a chief officer chairing the Commissioning Body and are there
representatives from other agencies at a similar level. Are decisions made or
frequently deferred.

When you hear from members of the ‘Supporting People’ team do they seem
motivated, are they managing the process effectively. There is no doubt that
‘Supporting People’ is a demanding task but all the more reason for good project
planning and organisation.

Should probation representatives feel concerns regarding performance the

matter should be raised tactfully and openly. If the issue cannot be resolved, it
should be discussed with the probation commissioner.

What is fed back regarding the views of providers and users on how they
experience the service. What are the ‘ex PAGS’ providers saying when you meet


At the end of the day, the planning and systems are there to deliver good quality

What feedback are you getting from Probation, Prison and YOT staff about the
services which they are referring offenders to. If you are involved in collecting
information for reviews, share this with the Commissioning Body representative.

What do probation and prison staff think about the service(s) and do they have
any feedback from the users who they supervise.

“What role should I be expected to play in Needs Mapping and Reviews of


These two areas are covered in Section 5.

“Have I a role regarding ‘Supporting People’ in other groups I attend…?”

‘Supporting People’ aims to link closely with other local strategies to ensure that
local priorities are met and that services are delivered in a ‘joined up’ fashion.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Many Probation managers, particularly the ACO’s who will be sitting on

Commissioning Bodies are also likely to attend, if not chair, DAT’s, Crime and
Disorder Partnerships, YOT partnerships. It would create far greater effect if
‘Supporting People’ was linked to these other groups rather than keeping each
area in its ‘own box’

There is also a need for Probation staff involved in the ‘Supporting People’
process to keep colleagues, Area Management Groups, Chief Officers and
Boards aware of developments and difficulties.

“What is our role regarding Black and Minority Ethnic Communities?”

‘Supporting People’ is clear in its aim to meet the needs of minority ethnic groups
and individuals. This aspiration has been reinforced by the Audit Commission
Inspection process which places high priority on meeting the diverse needs of
minority groups.

People from ethnic minorities are likely to be represented in all of the groups
identified by both ‘Supporting People’ and the National Offender Management
Service. The needs of these groups and individuals will differ from one group to
another and from those of the white British population.

There is an over representation of all black and minority ethnic groups in the
criminal justice system, with Afro Caribbean people the most over-represented.
Evidence exists of discrimination at all stages of the system.

National Offender Management Service staff , in their dealings with ‘Supporting

People’ e.g. as Commissioning Body members, should constantly bear in mind
that the needs of BME17 groups, both existing and in the future should be
represented. This will be throughout the ‘SP’ processes e.g.

ƒ Mapping the needs of BME groups and identifying existing services

ƒ Ensuring that during the review of services issues of equality of access are
ƒ In commissioning and purchasing services, ensuring that equality of
opportunity anti-discriminatory practice and valuing and managing
diversity are consistently featured.

If National Offender Management Service staff are to promote these standards

within ‘Supporting People’, it goes without saying that the standards should be
demonstrated in our own services and practice.

BME – Black and Minority Ethnic Groups

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service


i. Local Probation / NOMS Housing Plans

Purpose of Plan

Housing and housing related support is now an integral part of every Probation
and Prison Area. Each Probation Area, at a minimum, is expected to be engaged
with the local ‘Supporting People’ Commissioning Body and Prisons now have an
Accommodation KPI. Many Probation Areas and Prisons are involved in
considerably more activity, often providing direct services or housing advice and
support in conjunction with partner agencies.

Local Authorities have been required to produce plans such as,

ƒ Supporting People Strategies

ƒ Housing Strategies
ƒ Homelessness Strategies

These are expected to link with other cross cutting plans and strategies ensuring
that the identified needs of vulnerable people are met in a coordinated fashion.

In relation to Offender focused services, where do we find our housing support

strategy. There may be elements in such documents as,

ƒ DAT plans
ƒ Crime and Disorder strategies
ƒ YOT plans

However the quality and depth of planning around housing issues is often
covered at quite a superficial level.

At a national level the “Reducing Reoffending” National Action Plan18 has been
developed. The Accommodation Key Action Area provides strategic direction for
such areas as,

ƒ Identification of housing need

ƒ Increasing the number of offenders released from custody with a known
ƒ The creation of Accommodation Coordination Referral units

The plan links national, regional and local action for NOMS.

The complete “Reducing Reoffending” National Action Plan can be found at

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Currently Regional Resettlement strategies are being developed which contain

Accommodation as one of the strategic pathways. Whilst these often provide an
excellent framework for the region, there is little detail of needs and priorities for
individual authorities. ‘Supporting People’ requires information and strategies
focused at both an authority and regional level.

If the National Offender Management Service is to maximise benefit from

‘Supporting People’ there is the need to create a local planning document which
can answer questions such as,

ƒ How many offenders are there in our borough and what are their housing
support needs?
ƒ How many prisoners are likely to be returning to the authority over the
coming year?
ƒ What services are there to meet the needs of these offenders?
ƒ Are there going to be any significant changes to the picture over the
coming year(s)?
ƒ How does housing support link to NOMS / Home Office objectives?
ƒ What are your priorities for work / new services in this borough?
ƒ What issues need to be considered from a Cross Authority perspective?
ƒ What are the service’s plans for the next year?

A suggested outline for the plan is attached as Appendix A (5i.).

Local / Regional Housing Plans

With the creation of NOMS and the organisation of the service on a regional
basis there is the need to create a Regional Housing plan which fits within the
National and Regional Resettlement Strategies. Whilst taking a regional / national
overview the plan will need to address the needs of offenders for each
Administering Authority.

Target ‘Audience’ for Plan

The plan has a number of functions –

ƒ To agree housing related strategy by managers and Boards.

ƒ To inform and support probation ‘Supporting People’ commissioners and
Core Strategy group members.
ƒ To inform local authority ‘Supporting People’ teams of the needs and
priorities of the National Offender Management Service.
ƒ To make the National Offender Management Service aware of the region’s
approach to housing issues.
ƒ To inform housing providers of the needs of the service and service user

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Appendix A (5i.)

Local Probation / National Offender Management Service

Housing Plan

Outline of Plan

1. Executive Summary

The part most people will read so the basic messages need to be contained
ƒ Why housing is important in reducing reoffending
ƒ Difficulties in finding suitable accommodation
ƒ Changes over the past year e.g.
9 Homelessness Act
9 ‘Supporting People’
9 Criminal Justice Act
ƒ Contents of the Housing Support Plan
ƒ Highlighting the main objectives of the service

2. Introduction

ƒ Aims of Probation Service / NOMS

ƒ Research and Practice information which supports the need for

offenders to be suitably housed.

¾ A homeless returning prisoner is twice as likely to re-offend as one

with a stable home.
¾ 32% of prisoners are homeless at the time of being taken into
¾ Nationally, 40% of prisoners have no stable home to return to.
¾ Offenders in the community and who are subject to community
based programmes are significantly more likely to complete their
programme of supervision if they live in stable accommodation.

ƒ Context – outline the impact of housing and criminal justice issues over
the past and coming year. These could include,
• The implementation of the Homelessness Act
• Reducing housing stock availability
• ‘Supporting People’

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

• “Reducing Crime – Changing Lives” including

ƒ Criminal Justice Act
• Regional and National Resettlement strategies
• Any local changes

3. Strategic Linkages

How does the plan link into local and national business targets and priorities.

4. Review of Previous Year

If there has been a previous Housing plan of some form the objectives should
be reviewed drawing out successes, difficulties and any lessons to be
learned. This is a document which is used to best effect if shared broadly with
partners, so the review should not necessarily include internal issues which
are not likely to be understood or relevant to the outside world. Also political
sensitivities will need to be considered.

If there has not been a previous plan outline the work the Area has been
involved in over the year together with achievements or reasons why things
have not gone as well as hoped for.

5. ‘PAGS’ Legacy Accommodation

It may be helpful to list the units of supported housing and housing support
places which passed over to ‘Supporting People’ to which Probation
maintains referral rights.

Also if there is a local application form, central referral unit or other

information about how staff should refer to projects this can be briefly

6. Highlighting Specific Issues / Developments

There may be pieces of work, either completed or in progress which merit

elaboration or issues which need exploring further. This section should have a
purpose e.g. publicise work done or seek to influence the local direction for an

For example, in the Northumbria Plan a Joint Protocol being developed with
the Probation & Prison services, Housing Authorities and the Voluntary sector
was emphasised.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

7. Profile of Local Authorities

This section can outline the features of the local authorities / Administering
Authorities in the Probation Area / Region. Areas for inclusion could be,

ƒ Numbers of offenders worked with over the year

ƒ Estimates of numbers of returning prisoners

ƒ Housing status of offenders

9 NFA /Nightshelter
9 Hostel
9 Supported Accommodation
9 Short term Accommodation

ƒ Who they are living with

ƒ Suitability of housing / Location of Housing

ƒ Other issues which may be associated with managing housing e.g.

9 Mental Health
9 Financial Management

ƒ Perspective of Probation staff – what are the issues, difficulties and

priorities for Probation staff. At best this information can be gained from
surveys, at a minimum by attending managers meetings and exploring
issues. Those Areas with housing services and central referral systems
can also make use of referral statistics and supply / demand measures.

ƒ Offender Housing services – list what is available for offenders within

the borough.

ƒ Objectives – What are the objectives which the Probation service

wishes to achieve in relation to the borough / area.

Separate sections would be provided for each authority together with some brief
analysis of how that authority / London borough compares to others in the Area.

This section may helpfully be summarised by taking an overview of Offender

Housing and support needs by comparing a variety of housing linked features for
the whole Area / region in tabular form e.g.

9 Homelessness
9 Permanence of accommodation
9 Suitability of Housing
9 Risk of Harm linked to accommodation

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

9 Risk of offending linked to accommodation

9 Financial difficulties
9 Interpersonal skills

All this information, and more, can be gained through the use of OASys. Further
information about this area is contained in the Advice regarding “Gathering
Housing Support data from OASys” – Section 5 iii. Appendix A (5iii.)

8. Communication

How are staff, managers and board members going to be kept in touch with
what is going on and what approval does the Area give for housing related

9 Production of quarterly update on local & national Supporting

People issues
9 Staff with SP responsibility to meet with managers twice a year to
gain information on housing issues.
9 Housing support plan to be presented to senior managers and
Board annually
9 Housing ‘link person’ nominated in each team to coordinate

9. “Any Other Business”

Are there any particular areas of work / issues not covered.

10. Summary of Objectives

List the objectives for the coming year with the owner of the objective and
time scale included.

11. Contact Details

It is important to include contact details for those people involved in Housing

and ‘Supporting People’ work in the Area. This may be used for seeking
advice / information by both internal and external staff.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

ii. Probation Involvement in Service Reviews

Service Reviews

Every service funded by ‘Supporting People’ has to be reviewed by the end of

March 2006 and, subsequently, in line with the terms of the contract.

This is in addition to the annual self assessment undertaken by service providers

using the ‘Quality Assessment Framework’ (QAF)

The ODPM19 has issued guidance as to how these reviews will take place which
is available on the ‘spkweb’20.

Important Note!

‘Supporting People’ programmes continue to have to make savings from their

budgets and this seems unlikely to change in the near future. Whilst many
authorities have been able to find savings from other sources, it is expected that
the Review process will be used to identify where reductions could be made
either because,

ƒ The service is not a strategic priority

ƒ Costs are unacceptably high
ƒ Performance is poor

As such, both from the perspective of Commissioners and having an investment

in services for offenders, the Probation service should give priority to engaging in
‘Supporting People’ reviews.

Purpose of Service Review

Reviews are intended to enable Administering Authorities to determine whether,

ƒ A service is meeting the strategic objectives of the local ‘SP’ programme.

ƒ There is continued demand for the service
ƒ The service is performing efficiently and effectively in line with the contract.
ƒ The service is providing good quality services which meet the needs of
service users and potential users
ƒ It is cost effective

In addition the organisation providing the service will need to be accredited by the
Administering Authority. This is a process which satisfies the authority that the
company has a sound business base and operating in an acceptable fashion.
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

Richard Taylor – August 2004 37

‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

The Review Process

1. Review Programme

Each Authority is expected to have developed a programme between April 2003

and March 2006 to review all services. ODPM has suggested that ‘Supporting
People’ teams to begin by reviewing services which they feel,

ƒ Present a high risk of not performing to the requirements of the contract or

to acceptable levels of quality21
ƒ Lack strategic relevance
ƒ Unlikely to comply with grant conditions i.e. should more properly be paid
for from another source e.g. social care or health.
ƒ Have had recent changes or additions to service provision or cost, or
ƒ Seem to be High Cost

Due to a number of reasons, such as difficulty in recruiting staff, a proportion of

Administering Authorities are behind in their review programme. Nevertheless,
the ODPM have made it clear that all reviews must be complete by 2006.

Recommendations for Probation Action

a. Members of Core Strategy and Commissioning bodies should ensure

that they have a copy of the current review time table and be able to
identify those services which are either ‘PAGS legacy’ or offender
linked schemes, including those for young offenders.

b. Any changes to the review timetable should be agreed by the

Commissioning Body. Probation representatives should ensure that
this takes place.

2. Preparation for Reviews

The review should involve service users, providers and stakeholders in the
process and be undertaken in accordance with a common set of criteria and
processes set by the ODPM.

ƒ Providers are expected to complete a self assessment tool which

evaluates them against both quality and performance measures.
ƒ Stakeholders, including probation should be contacted at this point to
provide feedback about the service if it is likely to have any relevance to
the needs of offenders.

Guidance is clear that the risk relates to the organisation not providing the service to the
required level and not to the provision of services for ‘high risk’ client groups.

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Recommendations for Probation Action

Probation staff should have negotiated with Administering Authorities

how they will be involved in the review process for projects which offer
support to offenders – See below ‘The National Offender Management
Service contribution to Reviews’

3. Service Review

This is the point at which all the evidence from the ongoing service monitoring is
brought together with the provider’s self assessment, any input from stakeholders
and local and national guidance on the costs of similar services.

The review takes place in four stages, although not all services will have to go
through each stage. The evidence at each stage must be evidence based.

Stage One – Strategic Review

There are two elements to the Strategic Review

ƒ the Strategic Relevance of the service and

ƒ the demand for the service

This is a desktop exercise which considers all the evidence provided.

Strategic Relevance

To be seen as strategically relevant to the ‘Supporting People’ programme a

service must,

ƒ provide housing related support

ƒ not be intended to meet a statutory duty
ƒ fund only housing related activities
ƒ be meeting key strategic ‘Supporting People’ objectives

This element of the review is essentially addressing two questions,

ƒ Is the service providing input which is eligible for ‘Supporting People

ƒ Does this service meet an objective of the authority to prevent the loss of

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Part of the need for rigorous reviewing and cost saving is a concern by the
ODPM that some authorities may have ‘shunted’ costs from statutory
responsibilities into the housing support budget. ODPM is clear that costs which
should more properly be met by Social Services and Health Departments must
not be met from ‘Supporting People’. This area is explored further in Section 5iv.
– advice on “Eligibility for ‘Supporting People’ Funding”.

In short the areas being looked at are, that services should -

ƒ Be provided to develop or maintain an individual’s capacity to live

independently or gain independent accommodation.
ƒ Not include elements of care
ƒ Not provide specialist counselling as part of ‘Supporting People’ funding.
ƒ Be aimed at vulnerable people
ƒ Not be used to discharge duties under community care legislation or in
respect of section 117 of the Mental Health act.
ƒ Not be providing simply general social care or health services
ƒ Not providing services which area statutory responsibility

Services may be providing such activities as care or supervision but these

elements should be separately funded from the housing support. For instance
some services are composed of funding from a number of sources. As long as
the ‘Supporting People’ funding is proportionate to the housing support task, this
is acceptable.

Recommendations for Probation Action

To ensure that ‘Supporting People’ services, which work with offenders,

are not penalised as being ineligible there is a need to ensure that both
expectations of providers and the way in which this is perceived are not
seen as fulfilling a statutory responsibility of the Probation Service e.g.

ƒ Services provided under ‘Supporting People’ cannot be accredited

as part of reporting standards of DTTO or ICCP programmes.
ƒ Recommendations in PSR’s and directions from courts should refer
to ‘Placement at the direction of the Probation Service’ rather than
offenders being directed to live at named supported accommodation
ƒ Whilst it is appropriate for electronic tagging facilities to be installed
in supported accommodation, it should be clear that housing
support staff do not have any responsibility in relation to the
management of offenders curfew arrangements

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Link to other Strategies

It is expected that ‘Supporting People’ services contribute to local and national

objectives for preventative services and meet the priorities identified in local
’Supporting People’ strategies.

This would include services for offenders meeting the priorities expressed in such
National Offender Management Service plans as:

ƒ Probation Area Housing plans22

ƒ Regional Resettlement Strategies
ƒ “Reducing Re-Offending” National Action Plan

In addition, the housing support needs of offenders are likely to be contained in

local strategies such as:

ƒ Community Safety Plans including Crime & Disorder Reduction

Partnerships and MAPPA plans
ƒ DAT plan
ƒ YOT plans
ƒ Homelessness strategies
ƒ Domestic violence strategies
ƒ Prison resettlement arrangements
ƒ Homophobic and race hate related crime strategies
ƒ Housing and Regeneration plans including - Anti social behaviour plans.

The more effectively the needs of offenders are integrated into a broad range of
local plans, the more effective services are likely to be. The closer the link to local
and national strategies services have, the stronger their position will be in relation
to Strategic Relevance.

Recommendations for Probation Action

a. The housing support needs of offenders should be represented

at all appropriate local groupings attended by Probation staff,
and these needs included as objectives in local plans.
b. Probation staff responsible for ‘Supporting People’ should
collate the objectives in local strategies and plans relating to
housing support and ensure they are included in ‘Supporting
People’ strategies.
c. In ‘Supporting People’ reviews staff completing stakeholder
returns should ensure that the strategic relevance of services is

See Section 5i. Advice on “Probation / NOMS Housing Plans”

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There is a requirement to demonstrate that there is demand for the services

locally and that the factors which effect demand are constantly under review.

Much of this information will be forthcoming from providers and held by the
‘Supporting People’ teams themselves e.g. numbers of referrals, numbers of
acceptances, waiting lists.

However there is likely to be information held by those Probation Areas which

hold centralised referral systems which will enhance this data. Even in Areas
where there is no central system there will be practice information which should
be collected from Probation staff.

Recommendations for Probation Action

Probation staff share information which is held by the area as part of

the strategic reviews of services.

Where the service is judged to be strategically relevant and there is a demand,

the process moves to the next stage to assess performance, quality and cost

Where the service is felt not to be strategically relevant or where there is lack of
demand the process will move to Stage Four where the future of the service will
be considered.

Stage Two – Review of Quality, Performance and Cost Effectiveness

The next stage is a desktop review of the service based on information which is
held in relation to,

ƒ The quality of the service

ƒ The performance of the service
ƒ The cost effectiveness of the service

This stage is carried out by the Reviewing Officers in the local team. The
guidance recommends that Stakeholder information, collected from organisations
such as Probation could also inform this stage. Probation staff may be asked to
clarify or add to information, particularly if there are concerns about the service
under review.

The review is undertaken using common standards produced by ODPM including

the providers self assessment. Teams may visit providers to verify that the
information and ensure that the assessment offered by the provider is correct.

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Cost Effectiveness

Administering Authorities have information on the contract price of each service,

which is, effectively, the cost of the service to the authority. A weekly unit cost is
used to assess cost effectiveness.

The ODPM has published Value for Money tables showing the weekly unit cost
for different types of services in different regions. Comparisons can be made
against these tables using the unit cost of each service. Caution is raised by
ODPM to ensure ‘like for like’ comparisons are made.

Copies of these figures which relate to offender services are attached as

Appendix A (5ii.).

Staff responsible for SP would find it helpful to compare the costs of local
services with the national data. Certainly any services which are in the upper
quartile (the most expensive 25%) are likely to attract the attention of
Administering Authority reviewing officers.

Further information regarding this may be forthcoming from the ODPM.

Copies of these figures have been circulated to all Areas and responsible staff
would find it useful to identify any high cost services which may be vulnerable at

The Stage Two review will result in a recommendation to Recommission the

service or Investigate further.

If the recommendation is to investigate aspects of the review in greater depth the

process moves to Stage Three if not it moves on to Stage Four.

Recommendations for Probation Action

a. Probation staff engage in review process as requested and at a

minimum provide written feedback on services – see later.

b. Probation staff seek copies of unit costs of offender linked services

in their area and ODPM Value for Money tables with a view to
determining whether any services may be at risk due to excessive

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Stage Three – Further Evidence / Service Review Investigation

This stage involves a more detailed assessment of the quality, performance and
cost effectiveness of a service where the Stage Two information has not been
sufficient to inform whether the service should be re-commissioned.

This may be due to minor or more significant issues. The action taken to resolve
the issue should be appropriate for the particular situation and may include,

ƒ Meetings with the provider

ƒ Meetings with stakeholders e.g. probation
ƒ Carrying out a service review investigation to assess the concerns raised
about quality and performance – this may also involve meetings with
service users.

Having gathered the additional evidence, Stage Three of the process will be
completed with a recommendation being made for Stage Four. This may be:

ƒ Re-commissioning the scheme in it present form where concerns can

be addressed
ƒ Renew contract with action plan to improve or change the service
ƒ Temporary extension of contract with an action plan
ƒ Change of provider
ƒ Remodelling of service
ƒ Decommissioning of service

Recommendations for Probation Action

If an offender linked project reaches this stage in a review it is

important that both local probation staff and commissioning body
representative is made aware of the concerns. Staff should feel able
to both offer feedback on the quality of service and possible ways
in which the service could better provide for the need.

Stage Four – Outcome of a Service Review

There are a number of possible outcomes to a review –

ƒ Re-commissioning the existing service with no changes

ƒ Renew contract with changes to a service
ƒ Renew the contract with an action plan – possibly linked to a short term
contract to achieve change.
ƒ Major changes or remodelling of service
ƒ Transfer the service to another provider

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

ƒ Decommissioning a service
ƒ Re-providing of services i.e. essentially commissioning a new service
using the resources released form a decommissioned service.

Obviously each of these actions has consequences for providers, service users
and stakeholders and the processes should be handled appropriately.

There will be a need for Administering Authorities to have clear procedures in

place regarding the final decision making process.

‘Supporting People’ teams are often given the delegated responsibilities to make
decisions regarding re-contracting or remodelling services in line with the
‘Supporting People’ strategy. However, when the recommendation results in
decommissioning or a change of provider, it is recommended that the
Commissioning Body be notified of the proposal and given an opportunity to
advise on it. In reality most Commissioning Bodies make the final decision
regarding significant commissioning decisions.

If a designated ‘Cross Authority Service’ is recommended to be withdrawn, this

cannot be done without the agreement of the Commissioning Body.

Recommendations for Probation Action

Probation commissioners play a full and informed role in any decisions

to decommission, change provider or major remodelling of ‘Supporting
People’ services.

Reviews of Decision Making Process

ODPM guidance allows providers to seek a review of the process by which a

decision has been made by the Administering Authority23 and Authorities should
have procedures in place to for such reviews.

A review can only be based on one or more of the reasons below:

ƒ The Administering Authority has failed to consider all the relevant facts at
a service review
ƒ The Administering Authority has failed to adhere to their published service
review procedures or
ƒ The Administering Authority has not taken account of wider strategic
considerations for the service.

This would seem to relate to the ‘Supporting People’ team

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Where the provider is not satisfied with the outcome of the first stage review of
the decision or the way it was carried out, the provider can ask the
Commissioning Body to review the decision based on the same principles as
above. The Guidance states that the Commissioning Body can only ask the
Administering Authority to look again at its decision and has no authority to
overturn the Authorities decision. There are authorities where this is not the case
and the Commissioning Body has the final say in such matters.

The guidance does make it clear that the process for reviewing decisions is for
local determination.

Recommendations for Probation Action

As a Commissioning Body partner, probation staff should ensure that

their Commissioning Body has a Review / Complaints system and are
aware of their responsibility within it.

The NOMS contribution to the Review Process

The Probation and Prison services can and should be involved in the ‘Supporting
People’ review process. However, realistically the involvement is likely to be fairly

‘Supporting People’ guidance has encouraged the notion of shared expertise and
secondment. At the highest level ‘Supporting People’ teams may wish to buy in
probation expertise or seek direct involvement in the review of offender linked
accommodation support. Whilst this may be the ideal, in the current financial
climate it is unlikely to be an option for many Probation Areas or authorities.

At a second level, probation staff may be able to offer training around offender
accommodation issues. If there are staff who have the blend of knowledge about
offender housing needs and inspection this may be a possibility.

The most likely approach is to gather information from referring staff in a survey
form when asked for it by the Administering Authority. An approach to this is
suggested in Appendix B (5ii).

Offender Linked Accommodation

There are possibly three types of housing provision and support that Probation
should actively seek to offer information to the ‘SP’ review process:

‘PAGS Legacy’ Services – these services were the PAGS contracts administered
by the probation service until April 2003. The services are largely if not
exclusively still composed of probation referrals and there is still considerable
knowledge about the schemes as well as continued good relationships. There

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may also be monitoring information still received from the services on a voluntary
basis. In short there is still considerable knowledge about current and past

Offender Related Schemes – there will be a number of services that, whilst not
designated as offender provision may still be accommodating a large number of
offenders. These would cover such schemes as those providing support for
substance misusers, people with mental health difficulties, foyers etc. There will
be considerable local knowledge amongst probation staff about how they have
found working with these units. Some areas have lists of these schemes in
Accommodation Directories.

Other Schemes – one of the main opportunities presented by ‘SP’ was to widen
access for offenders to a whole range of schemes. The review process offers an
opportunity to challenge the operation of ‘blanket bans’ by some supported
housing providers. Probation needs to convince ‘SP’ teams to use the review
process to promote decision making based on risk assessment rather than
general barring. To seek the views of probation staff about exclusions they have
experienced can be helpful in demonstrating the issue.

‘Supporting People’ Review Survey

As part of the review process ‘Supporting People’ teams need stakeholder

feedback which is both relevant to the client group area and to the ‘Supporting
People’ review process. One way of achieving this is by developing a
questionnaire format which meets both of these needs and use it to gain
feedback from a broad range of probation and prison staff.

The local ‘Supporting People’ teams should be approached and informed that
this is the standard approach of the Probation service to providing review

A suggested process for the Review Survey is attached as Appendix B (5ii.).

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Appendix A (5ii.)

“Assessing Value for Money in ‘Supporting People’ Services” –

Offender linked services

The ODPM sees quartile values as useful for interpreting data as, by definition,
25% of services lie above the upper quartile and 25% lie below the lower quartile.

“The quartile values are therefore helpful because any service receiving SP
funding below the lower quartile value can be said to be apparently particularly
low cost. Conversely, services above the upper quartile are apparently
particularly high cost.

As long as other aspects of a service (quality, performance, user and stakeholder

feedback etc.) are acceptable then AA’s are encouraged not to be too concerned
about services with SP funding rates which lie between the quartiles.

Instead, AA’s are encouraged to focus their attention on those services well
above the upper quartiles or well below the lower quartiles as these may be
ƒ providing poor value for money or
ƒ vulnerable through under resourcing”

(“Assessing Value for Money in Supporting People Services – Technical Appendix No.1, National
Data, Platinum Cut Data – November 2003)

Maximum Mean Upper Lower

Quartile Quartile

Offenders £510.00* £190.55 £213.38 £95.02

Supported Housing

Offenders Floating £492.63 £117.96 £153.43 £41.24


Drug Misuse Supported £633.38 £184.62 £241.44 £93.67


Drug Misuse Floating £261.23 £89.39 £114.89 £50.02


Mentally Disordered £740.57 £235.70 £338.73 £112.28


* Note – Approximate value

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Appendix B (5ii.)

Process for ‘Supporting People’ Review Feedback Survey

1. ‘Supporting People’ team provide appropriate person in Probation Area
with a list of services to be reviewed in the coming three months.

2. Designated person sends “All Area” email:24

“As part of the local ‘Supporting People’ review programme, the Probation
Service has been asked to provide feedback on a number of services which
may provide housing support for offenders.

It is important that we are able to offer our views on these services as they
potentially provide much needed supported housing and advice for offenders.

If you have had contact with any of the service listed below in the last twelve
months could you please either complete the attached questionnaire or email
me your telephone number by return. I can then ring you and fill in the
questionnaire over the phone.

a. ………
b. ………

Please return questionnaires by email or send to… (address / fax)

I would appreciate if the forms could be returned by…

Thank you”

3. Information collated by designated person and returned to authority, with

copy to probation Commissioning Body representative.

Note: Stages 1 and 2 is essentially an administrative task and can be undertaken

by secretarial / clerical staff.

This should include Probation and Resettlement staff in Prisons

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service



Provider Name:

Service Name(s):

Type of Stakeholder: a. ‘PAGS legacy service to which probation
has priority referral access.
b. General referral agency
c. Other (please detail)

Frequency of Contact a. At least weekly
with service: b. 1-3 times a month
c. monthly
d. less frequently than monthly
(please detail)

Does the service contribute to the Probation service’s strategic agenda. YES

If Yes how does it contribute: i.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

In your view is the demand for the service rising, falling or remaining stable.
(Please provide reasons for your response.)

How easy do you find it to refer to this service – Easy
(Please provide details)


Does this service meet its stated objectives in relation to the housing support
needs of offenders referred to the service. (Please provide details) ii.

How would you describe your experience of working with staff in this service.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Are you aware of any areas of unmet support need for offenders receiving this
service. (Please relate to both services provided by the project and in general
terms) iii.

How would you rate the service provided overall. (Please Excellent
provide reasons for your comments) Good

Can you suggest any changes which could improve this service.

Completed by:


Position / Job Title:


Tel. No:



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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Guidance Notes on Completing Review Feedback Form

See Stage One – “Strategic Relevance”, remembering that if a service does not
pass this threshold it will go no further. The type of information you may find
helpful to include would be:

The Probation services strategic aims include:

ƒ Protecting the Public
ƒ Reducing Reoffending
ƒ Rehabilitating Offenders

The strategic priorities for the year …. As contained the Probation areas ‘Housing
Support’ plan / Regional Resettlement Strategy are …. (relate issues to what is
provided by this service)

The services provided are also priorities contained in,

ƒ The Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership strategy
ƒ Drug Action Team plan etc

“Research and practice demonstrates that stable housing is a key factor in

reducing offending and ensuring that offenders comply with community
supervision and programmes. As such accommodation is an important element
in reducing offending and protecting the public through the effective rehabilitation
of offenders.”

Essentially is this service providing what you expected it to in relation to
offenders’ housing and housing support needs. Whilst it would be helpful to
mention how this work complements the supervision / change programmes of the
offender, remember that to say this is part of a programme of supervision i.e. a
statutory function of the Probation Service would probably be extremely
unhelpful. This could result in the service being seen as a statutory function and
become either ineligible for funding or have it reduced.

Include anything which you feel in not being met at the project e.g.
a. There does not seem to be very effective work undertaken on
budgeting skills.
b. It was agreed that applications to Housing Associations would be made
for residents at six months, this is not being done.

& in the wider community e.g.

ƒ There is lack of ‘move on’ accommodation for offenders.
ƒ Offenders find it difficult to get furniture and equipment to set up a
home when they move from the hostel.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

iii. ‘Supporting People’ Five Year Strategy

Administering Authorities are required to submit ‘Supporting People’ Five Year
strategies to the ODPM by the end of March 2005. Whilst there is not the same
expectation on ‘excellent authorities’, it is likely that most, if not all will be
submitting a strategy.

These strategies will update the Shadow Strategy prepared in 2002 for the
implementation of ‘Supporting People’.

National Offender Management Service staff will play a key role in the
development of these schemes in a number of ways,

ƒ As members of Commissioning Bodies directing the process

ƒ As members of the Core Strategy Groups, charged with helping to create
the strategy
ƒ As a partner in the process providing information and priorities regarding
ƒ As a stakeholder organisation which will be consulted on the draft strategy


This guidance addresses two aspects of the National Offender Management

Service involvement,

ƒ As a partner in the development process

ƒ As a provider of data and priorities

Whilst Probation representatives, sitting on ‘Supporting People’ groups will play a

role in relation to all client groups, this guidance focuses on offender related
services, particularly those provided by the Probation and Prison Services and
Youth Offending Teams.

What is the Purpose of the Strategy

The purpose of the five year strategy is to,

ƒ Outline the authority’s overall direction for housing related services

ƒ Report on the effectiveness of existing services
ƒ Analyse what services are currently available and how these relate to
current and future need.
ƒ Identify priorities for service development in line with local need and local
and national strategies.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

1. Probation’s role in the development of the Strategy

The Probation Service is a partner in both authorities’ Core Strategy Groups and
Commissioning Bodies. The Probation commissioner on the Commissioning
Body holds equal voting rights to those of the local authority and Health. As such,
the Probation Service exercises considerable influence, responsibility and power
over the creation of ‘Supporting People’ strategies.


The Administering Authority’s ‘Supporting People’ team will undertake much of

the work in drawing together the information and data required for the preparation
of the strategy. This will include ensuring that any necessary research and
consultation takes place. Normally consultation and feedback from stakeholders
would include the organisation of Provider forums and local mechanisms for
engaging users of services.

Core Strategy Group

This group is responsible for,

ƒ Undertaking detailed assessment and analysis of data and opinion and

making recommendations to the Commissioning Body
ƒ Ensuring there are effective working links between the emerging
‘Supporting People’ strategy and other local strategies and plans
ƒ Making sure that the strategy proposals reflect key stakeholders’ views
and the participation of users.
ƒ Taking responsibility for ensuring that a draft strategy is recommended to
the Commissioning Body
ƒ Responding to any directions of the Commissioning Body

Commissioning Body

The body, on which Probation is a statutory partner, holds responsibility for,

ƒ Directing the strategy development

ƒ Agreeing the strategy and ensuring it contains clear priorities and targets
which reflect local need
ƒ Ensuring the strategy has clear links with related local and national
ƒ Ensuring that the strategy contributes to the growth of Cross Authority
services and working arrangements25

See Section 5 vi “Cross Authority Working Arrangements”

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

The Administering Authority has to ensure that the strategy represents ‘Best
Value’ in the use of the ‘Supporting People’ funding and that the grant conditions
are being met.

An ‘Excellent’ contribution to developing ‘Supporting People’ Strategy

As part of the toolkit prepared by ODPM to help Commissioning Bodies to

develop their strategies26 an ‘excellent’ contribution, by the partners involved in
Commissioning Bodies, is seen as,

ƒ Attending or providing a substitute for all CB meetings

ƒ Having a full understanding and ownership of their responsibilities
ƒ Being of a sufficiently senior status to be able to take decisions on behalf
of their agency
ƒ Providing good quality information as requested
ƒ Providing a named contact who can offer analysis, context and
commentary on information as needed
ƒ To have a real influence on the final strategy

Recommendation for Correctional Service Staff

For Commissioning Body representatives to aspire to the standards

above, in relation to the development of ‘Supporting People’ strategy.

2. Providing Data and Priorities


The strategy is required to be submitted by the end of March 2005. To ensure

that the necessary consultation and political processes are pursued, it is likely
that the final drafts will need to have been completed by the beginning of
December at the latest.

As such, most authorities are in the process of beginning to collect information

already. Probation should be able to offer information as soon as possible with
September / October being the very latest.


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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Strategy Content

The ‘Supporting People’ Five Year strategies will contain information about,

ƒ Supply
ƒ Usage
ƒ Strategic Relevance and
ƒ Need

Much of the first two areas will be gained from existing ‘Supporting People’
databases and the providers of services.

National Offender Management Service staff should focus on gaining information

about the position of offenders and how this relates to the needs of offenders
locally. Staff should also clearly define and rank their priorities for both existing
services and potential developments.

Strategic Linkages

The strategic relevance of housing related support for offenders should be

derived and cross referenced with local, regional and national strategies and

Strategic Relevance

The issue of Strategic Relevance is explored in greater detail in Section

5ii. “Probation Involvement in Service Reviews”

It should be remembered that Probation staff involved in ‘Supporting People’

processes are representing the National Offender Management Service. As such
data should reflect the work of,

ƒ The Probation Service

ƒ The Prison Service
ƒ Youth Offending Teams

Recommendation for Correctional Service Staff

Probation contributions to ‘Supporting People’ strategies should

ensure that the strategic links between the needs of offenders and the
services provided for them, and local, regional and national strategies
are reinforced.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Needs Analysis

It is vital to provided accurate, up to date information about the housing support

needs of offenders living in each authority. Without this, there is a risk of
‘Supporting People’ funding going to services which do not meet current need or
which are not seen as a priority. Offenders, as a less popular client group, could
miss out on much needed support services.

‘Supporting People’ teams will be expected to,

ƒ Collect data on the profile of their authority

ƒ Analyse what is know about different groups’ need for housing support
ƒ Test out their findings with ‘experts’ e.g. Probation staff
ƒ Revise data and conclusions in the light of feedback
ƒ Look for gaps in the information and commission further work
ƒ Determine priorities
ƒ Create the draft strategy

How do we know what to collect?

Some authorities may have developed frameworks for collecting information,

others have employed consultants to do the work. Even if these routes have
been taken authorities will be reliant on the National Offender Management
Service for the information.

The data offered to ‘Supporting People’ teams should focus on,

ƒ What is the offender profile

ƒ What needs exist and how are they being met
ƒ What ‘hidden’ groups are there who currently have few links with agencies
within the community e.g. short term prisoners
ƒ What are future needs likely to be
ƒ What are the service’s ranked priorities

Suggested information to be Collected27

For each Administering Authority the figures should be collected in relation to:

i. Overall Numbers

ƒ Prison - Area of origin28 of prisoner on reception

- Local Authority moved to on discharge
ƒ Community - Local Authority at time of data collection29

A suggested approach to collecting this information is contained in Appendix A (5iii.)
The Local Authority where the offender lived prior to being sentenced to custody, excluding any
very temporary accommodation e.g. Approved Premises

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

ii. Gender

iii. Age Profile - under 18

- 18 to 20
- 21 to 25
- 26 plus
iv. Ethnic Origin

1. Accommodation status

ƒ Prison - on reception
- on discharge
ƒ Community - at time of data collection

By categories:
- NFA (how many times) - Permanent
- Hostel - Temporary
- Supported Housing - Not known

2. Living with…
- Parent / Relative - Partner
- Friend - Lives Alone

3. Living with Children

4. Suitability of Accommodation

5. Substance Misuse Issues

6. Mental Health Difficulties

7. Learning Difficulties

8. Physically Disabled

9. Victim of Violence
ƒ General
ƒ Domestic Violence

10. Risk Linked to Accommodation

ƒ Risk of Reoffending
ƒ Risk of Harm to Other
ƒ Risk of Harm to Offender

Care will need to be taken not to double count prisoners returning to the community under
Probation supervision.

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11. Housing Support Needs

ƒ Financial
ƒ Interpersonal Skills
ƒ Neighbour Relations

All of this information can be derived from OASys30 other than that regarding
Prison Discharge. Some Probation Areas also have access to information from:

ƒ Central Referral systems

ƒ Informally retained PAGS returns
ƒ ‘In House’ Housing Advice projects

This information will provide a further level of detail for ‘Supporting People teams,
particularly in relation to the demand for services and the level of unmet need.
This should eventually be met from ‘Supporting People’ returns but at present in
‘mixed client’ projects there is no way to distinguish between offenders and
others in terms of returns.

Consultation on Creating Priorities

Following collection and analysis of the data this should be shared with local
Team Managers to determine,

ƒ How does the picture created relate to their practice and experience
ƒ What are the areas of unmet need
ƒ What are the priorities for developing existing or new services

These priorities should be agreed by Management at an Area level and used to

determine the Area Housing Strategy.

Prison Service

Currently the Prison Service is not able to provide information in a systematic

fashion on offender housing and housing need at a local authority level.

There are local initiatives which have been able to provide information and a
certain amount of information is able to be gained at a County / Regional level.

Whilst, in the long term, OASys will be implemented in the Prison service there is
a need to ensure that information is accurately inputted by Prison staff and staff
from Court Escort Services.

See Appendix A (5iii)

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Recommendation for NOMS / Prison Service Staff

The Prison Service should develop and implement systems for collecting
data on the housing and housing support needs of prisoners at a local
authority level. A suggested template is attached as Appendix B (5iii)

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Appendix A (5iii.)

Gathering Housing Support Data from OASys


The data outlined in Section 5iii. can largely be gathered and analysed from
OASys data exported into Excel.

This information can be aggregated by local / administering authority to provide a

profile of offender need in a particular authority.

Gaining Information

The Area ICT section should be approached and asked to provide the OASys
data fields as outlined below to be provided as an excel spreadsheet. If there is
any confusion regarding this, the task is achieved by,

ƒ In OASys produce an “Export view”

ƒ Select the required fields
ƒ Transfer this to an Access Database for ease of any ’cleaning’ of data
ƒ Transfer the data to an Excel spreadsheet

This approach should work for either a local OASys system or e-OASys.

The information can then be sorted in Excel by using the Filter function of the
spreadsheet. If this is unfamiliar territory, it is probably best to see if there is
someone who can do the work for you or to seek training in this aspect of Excel.

OASys Fields

Read through the definitions of each field to ensure that you understand what the
information you are collecting means e.g. In ‘Alcohol misuse a problem’ you may
wish to include those who score both 1 & 2. However in relation to ‘Social
Isolation’ you may feel that you should only be counting those who score 2.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

No. OASys Field Nature of Information / Comments

Ref. No.

1. Date of Birth Expressed in age bands

2. Address First part of Post Code (e.g. DH7)

3. 3.1 Accommodation Status ƒ Permanent Independent Housing

ƒ Bail/ Probation Hostel
ƒ Supported Housing
ƒ Transient/Short-Term Accommodation
ƒ No Fixed Abode
ƒ No Information

4. 3.2 Who does the offender live ƒ Family / Relative

with. ƒ Partner
ƒ Friend
ƒ Lives Alone

5. 3.2 Lives with children Yes / No

6. 3.3 Currently of No Fixed Yes / No

Abode / Transient

7. 3.4 Suitability of Collect 1& 2


8. 3.5 Permanence of Collect 1& 2


9. 3.6 Suitability of Location Collect 2

10. Accommodation issues Yes / No

linked to risk of serious

11. Accommodation issues Yes / No

linked to offending

12. 4.7 Reading, Writing & Collect 1 & 2

Numeracy Difficulties

13. 5.2 Offenders Financial Collect 2


14. 5.3 Financial Management Collect 1 & 2

15. 5.6 Impediment to Budgeting Collect 1 & 2

16. 6.1 Relationship with Family Collect 2

17. 6.4 Relationship with Partner Collect 2

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

No. OASys Field Nature of Information / Comments

Ref. No.

18. 8.4 Drug Use Collect 2

19. 9.1 Alcohol Misuse Collect 1 & 2

20. 10.3 Social Isolation Collect 2

21. 10.6 Mental Health Collect 1 & 2

22. 4.8 Has Learning Difficulties Collect 2

23. 13.1 General Health including Yes / No – note this is a very broad field and
disability information should be used with caution.

23. 11.1 Interpersonal Skills Collect 2

24. 11.9 Understands other people’s Collect 1 & 2


25. 12.5 Attitude to Community / Collect 2


Notes on Information Collection

ƒ Beware duplicate records!

Most OASys systems will hold a considerable number of duplicate records. There is
only a need for one record per offender, preferably the most current. Duplicates can
be taken out manually – a long job or using Excel’s Data – Filter – Advanced Filter –
Unique Records feature.

ƒ At the present time OASys information may not be complete, particularly in relation
to accommodation issues. It is advisable to either put a ‘health warning’ on the
information that the data represents the minimum numbers or adjust the figures to
represent the whole picture e.g.

a. Total Number of Offender Records 1000

b. Number with Accommodation ‘type’ Information 800
c. Number of b. living in Supported Accommodation 20
d. Percentage in Supported Accommodation
= [20/800] x100 2.5%

e. Adjust for total number = 1000 x 2.5% 25

These figures need to be judged as to their accuracy i.e. does this system
produce consistent looking numbers.

ƒ This information is useful in its own right but when collected across a number of
authorities can compare the situation across a county / region. The material needs to
be analysed and written in context.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Example of Use of Information

“Not surprisingly, as a regional centre, Newcastle is a magnet for many individuals providing
a far higher number of offenders living alone (555 - 28%), compared to neighbouring
authorities (Gateshead: 17% - 204 or North Tyneside: 23% -230). The city also sees the
highest proportion and actual number of offenders being roofless or living in temporary
accommodation: 22% - 443.

Suitability of Housing:
365 offenders (27%) live in housing which is not considered to be suitable either in relation to
the condition of the property, overcrowding or the proximity to the victim. This is the second
highest level in the region……

Support Issues:
When exploring the financial position of offenders, Newcastle has the highest proportion of
offenders who are facing financial difficulties 49% - 980. The city also has one of the highest
figures for offenders who face severe impediments to their ability to budget: 44% - 880…”

Richard Taylor – August 2004 65

‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Appendix B (5iii.)

Recommendation for Prison Service Collection of Housing and

Housing Support Data.

Collection of Data

Local Authorities are required to plan for the Housing31 and Housing Support32
needs of vulnerable people living in or returning to their authority areas. This
includes the needs of offenders and in particular vulnerable returning prisoners.

Currently, local authority planning is hampered by the paucity of information

about the numbers and needs of offenders returning from prisons to their area.

Whilst a number of prisons have collected local information and some regions
have undertaken initiatives such as ‘snapshot’ surveys or data on sentencing
courts, there is no systematic collection of data for prisoners which can inform
planning at a local level.

In addition some of the information, which is available, is limited in its value due
to the lack of rigour in the collection e.g. if a prisoner claims to be NFA this is
often taken at face value.

Ideally prisons should collect the same information as suggested for the
probation service [see Appendix A (5iii.)]. This is unlikely to be achieved until
OASys is fully implemented, so it is recommended that a minimum data set is
collected until such time.

Housing & Housing Support Data

This information is required as cumulative data with no need for identifying

details. Data would be collected by local authority area.

Data would need to be centrally processed to allow for information on ‘out of

area’ prison discharges to be added to local information.

i. Discharging Prison

ii. Age Profile

iii. Gender

iv. Ethnic Origin

Homelessness Act 2002
‘Supporting People’ Directions and Guidance -ODPM

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v. Probation /YOT Supervision – numbers who are subject to licence

conditions supervised through Probation or YOT and number who are not
subject to any conditions.

vi. Area of Origin on reception – this would not be the court which had
sentenced rather the local authority where the prisoner had resided at the
time of being sentenced or with which they had a significant local

Area of origin could be expressed as the first part of the postcode e.g.

vii. Area of Discharge – again expressed as post code. Even if a prisoner is

claiming to be NFA it would be helpful for them to say which town they
were going to.

viii. Housing Status

Status33 On Reception On Discharge

Permanent Housing
Temporary Housing
Supported Housing
Not Known

ix. Housing Support Needs – Number of offenders who have need for support
in areas such as-
ƒ Managing finance
ƒ Interpersonal skills
ƒ Neighbour relations


3. The Prison service moves to fully implementing OASys as rapidly as

4. Immediate action is taken to collect the data outlined above
nationally, collated at a local authority level.
5. Training is provided to Prison staff and Court Escort staff in
pursuing an accurate and rigorous collection of data.

Definitions should be as defined in the OASys Handbook

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

iv. Eligibility for ‘Supporting People’ Funding

What services are eligible

From the beginning of the development of ‘Supporting People’, there has been
ongoing debate about what types of service should be funded by the ‘Supporting
People’ ‘pot’. This debate continues, fuelled by a concern from central
government that some local authorities have funded services which should have
more properly been paid for from social care or health budgets.

It is acknowledged from the outset that, often, housing related services are
composed of a number of elements e.g.

ƒ Rent
ƒ Housing Management costs
ƒ Personal Care
ƒ Statutory supervision
ƒ Housing support

The ODPM is clear in its resolve to ensure that each element is paid for from the
most appropriate source.

A revised definition of eligibility is being worked on by ODPM. It is

important that this is taken into account when published.34

Approach of ‘Supporting People’ Teams

Most authorities are working on the issue of what should or should not be paid for
from ‘Supporting People’ funding. Two approaches seem to be developing –

i. Those who are seeking precise definitions of what is eligible housing


ii. Those who are developing commissioning models which would look at a
service and come to an agreement with other commissioning partners the
proportion of eligible housing support in a service. For example it may be
seen that a service is roughly composed of 50% Rent, 5% Housing
Management tasks, 35% Personal Care and 10% Housing Support i.e.
‘Supporting People’ funding. The funding would be built up on this basis.

It is probable that most authorities will end up commissioning on the basis of a

combination of both approaches.

This will found on the spkweb – or ask your local SP team to keep you

Richard Taylor – August 2004 68

‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Focus on offenders

This guidance largely explores eligibility with particular focus on the needs of
offenders. However as all offenders have other facets to their lives e.g. being an
older person, part of a family, a substance misuser etc. the broader issues will
need to be born in mind.

What determines how ‘Supporting People’ funding should be spent

The ‘Supporting People’ grant is paid to local authorities (Administering

Authorities) under Section 3 of the Local Government Act 2000. This section
allows grants to be made towards expenditure in,

“…providing, or contributing to the provision of, such welfare services as may be

determined by the Secretary of State.”

The type of service and the amount paid to each authority is outlined in the
‘Supporting People Grant Directions and Conditions’.

The conditions expect that the ‘Supporting People’ grant should provide
low / medium level housing related services for vulnerable people - for the
purpose of developing that person’s capacity to live independently or
sustaining their capacity to do so.

The schedule to the conditions makes it clear that certain services are not eligible
for ‘Supporting People’ funding. These include –

ƒ Care services which require registration under the Care Standards Act
ƒ Nursing or personal care services
ƒ Services which fulfil a statutory duty by the Administering Authority
ƒ Psychological therapy or programmes of therapeutic counselling
ƒ General housing Management services and
ƒ Services to enforce specific requirements imposed by a Court of Law

The conditions also expect that the service is provided as part of a package of
support services agreed between the Administering Authority35 and the service
provider, and that there is a contract in place between the authority and the
Designated Services (See Section 5vi. “Cross Authority Arrangements”)

There are services which are seen as being of regional or national importance by the
Secretary of State. These services cannot have their funding terminated without the
written consent of the Secretary of State.

Of particular interest to The National Offender Management Service are designated

services such as:
In practice
ƒ Thethe ‘Supporting
Langley HousePeople’
trust team - provision for high risk offenders
ƒ Adullam Housing Association ┐
ƒ Stonham Housing Association ├ - housing support for offenders
RichardƒTaylor – AugustHousing
2004 Association ┘ 69
‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service


On the face of it, these definitions may seem relatively straightforward but when
they are applied, in practice, matters can become less clear. Taking an example
of ‘doing the washing’

ƒ Showing a resident in a supported housing scheme how to use the

washing machine, for the first time would be a Housing Management task.
ƒ Doing the residents washing for them regularly would be Social Care.
ƒ Reminding a resident that their washing needed doing and how to use the
machine the first few times would be a Housing Support task i.e.
‘Supporting People’ eligible.

Inevitably ‘grey areas’ appear. Bearing in mind that ‘Supporting People’ exists to
help develop or maintain independence skills, the level of input at the beginning
of a process may be fairly intense but at the end far lighter. This is acceptable.

There are definitions of Care and Social Care laid down in statute under the
National Care Standards but there is no similar definition of Housing Related

The ‘Supporting People’ grant conditions refer to eligible services in the way
outlined below –

“Housing related support is about promoting independence by sustaining

people in the community. This can be by helping people to avoid
homelessness or an undesirable move into an institution. It can also be
about providing immediate refuge to homeless people or those at risk of
violence. It entails enabling, reminding or assisting service users to live
independently and maintain their accommodation.”

If you Touch it- it’s not ‘Supporting People’

Whilst a very rough and ready approach, it has been suggested that if the service provider
touches a person or an object then it is unlikely to be Housing Support e.g.

ƒ Helping a person to wash is personal care – suggesting that they may make friends more
easily if they washed more often is Housing support.
ƒ Taking the rent to be paid is social care – encouraging and reminding someone to pay
their rent regularly is Housing support

A list of what is generally accepted as Housing support tasks is attached as

Appendix A (5iv)

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Asking Questions

A number of questions may illustrate the issue further –

1. What is the purpose of the Housing related support?

The service must help people to live in a more independent environment than
they would without the support.

2. Does the service help someone maintain their accommodation?

The important word is help – housing support is intended to enable a person to

gain the skills to be able to tackle a process or activity in the future. The service
is not intended to be one which does the work for them.

3. Is the person assessed as vulnerable?

Housing support services are not available to the public in general, there is a
need to be assessed as being vulnerable in some way e.g. at risk of violence or
homelessness. A list of vulnerable groups identified by the ODPM as eligible for
‘Supporting People’ funding is attached as Appendix B (5iv).

4. Can the service be considered to be care or therapy?

Neither of these areas can be funded by ‘Supporting People’

5. Is the service a statutory responsibility of the Administering Authority?

If the service is one which the local authority must provide by law e.g. community
care, services for care leavers, section 117 aftercare for people with mental
health difficulties – these are not eligible for ‘Supporting People’ funding.

6. Is the service enforcing specific requirements imposed by a Court of


If this is the case the service is not eligible.

The National Offender Management Service

Whilst having to always bear in mind the general context of ‘Supporting People’
eligibility, it is largely the last three questions which are likely to affect or be
affected by the National Offender Management Service.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Fundamentally, ‘Supporting People’ cannot pay for activity which –

ƒ Discharges a statutory responsibility of the National Offender Management

ƒ Enforces specific requirements imposed by a court or
ƒ Provides therapeutic input

Legacy Funding

The ‘Supporting People’ grant conditions acknowledges that there are other services that are
eligible for funding from 1st April 2003 due to their being in receipt of one of the legacy funding
streams. These may not be providing housing related support alone or at all.

The Probation Accommodation Grant Scheme (PAGS) was one of the ‘legacy funding’
streams. However, it is unlikely that this will apply to many, if any, services as the eligibility of
PAGS services was assessed prior to them being passed to Administering Authorities.

If there are any discrepancies, these are only able to last until the end of the interim contract
and the award of a ‘Supporting People’ Five Year contract. Most authorities with concerns
about the eligibility of a service would regularise this at the first review and prior to awarding a
Five Year contract

To prevent the eligibility of housing support services being compromised National

Offender Management Service staff need to ensure that they –

1. Draw a clear distinction between what is provided by housing linked services

through ‘Supporting People’ funding and other funding streams e.g. DTTO,

2. Ensure that orders made by the court do not name supported housing
services in any programmes, directions or requirements e.g. Orders should
not be made directing an offender to live at “Any street Supported Housing
Project”, rather they should be “Reside at premises as directed by the
Probation Service”.

Offenders are often placed in supported housing projects as part of their bail
conditions. Again by naming the actual project, this may compromise its
funding. This may be queried by courts; an explanation is attached as
Appendix C (5iv) which can be provided to Magistrates or Judges, either
verbally or in writing.

3. Currently, some Probation teams will include work undertaken by supported

housing schemes e.g. life skills work, accommodation seeking support, as
part of reporting standards for such programmes as DTTO, ICCP or
Persistent Offender Programmes. As these programmes are both a statutory
duty of the Probation Service and an order of the court they should not be
considered as part of the work funded by ‘Supporting People’.
Drug Testing and Treatment Order and Intensive Change and Control Programme

Richard Taylor – August 2004 72

‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

There certainly is no difficulty in paying for this type of service from another
funding stream e.g. Drug Action Teams or ICCP funding to run alongside
housing support services and provided by the same organisation.

4. National Offender Management Service staff should not expect that housing
support services should provide formal counselling or therapeutic input to
offenders placed in ‘Supporting People’ funded services unless the financial
support for these more intensive services is provided from elsewhere. This is
of particular note in projects for people with substance misuse or mental
health difficulties.

Recommendations for National Offender Management Service Action

a. The National Offender Management Service staff must appreciate

what services ‘Supporting People’ can legitimately fund and what
it cannot.
b. The National Offender Management Service staff should seek to
ensure that they do not compromise the funding of services by
expecting them to provide services which are a statutory duty or a
requirement of a court order.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Appendix A (5iv.)

Housing Related Support Tasks Considered Eligible for

‘Supporting People’ Funding

Support Planning

1. Work with resident to create, review and update Support Plan

Setting Up and Maintaining a Home

1. Assessing a person’s support needs in relation to managing their home.

2. Undertaking risk assessment in relation to person’s ability to live
3. Providing advice and assistance to help a resident understand and fulfil their
responsibilities as a tenant or towards a mortgage lender.
4. Providing advice and support in gaining essential household furniture and
5. Providing advice and assistance in getting utilities connected and making
arrangements for payment.
6. Providing information and supporting to the resident in claiming benefits to
pay for their housing.
7. Providing advice on household budgeting, particularly in relation to regularly
paying for rent, mortgage and other housing related charges.
8. Providing information regarding how to access local services such as GP,
Post Office, Benefits Office.

Ensuring the Property is Safe and Secure

1. Undertaking a risk assessment of the resident in the particular property.

2. Providing advice and support on how to use equipment in the home safely
and to recognise when equipment is faulty.
3. Providing advice and assistance to residents on developing good safety
routines e.g. locking doors and windows, testing fire alarms.
4. Providing information and advice on how to report repairs and hazards.

Life Skills Development

1. Providing advice and support to residents on how to prevent and deal with
difficulties with neighbours.
2. Providing information and assistance to residents in contacting and dealing
with agencies concerned with housing relate matters e.g. Housing
Department, CAB, Advocacy Services.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

3. Providing advice and assistance to help residents manage their health and
well being e.g. how to access information and services.
4. Providing information and support in accessing local cultural, leisure and
social facilities with a view to aid social integration.
5. Providing information and advice about local services which support the
emotional well being of residents.

Other Eligible services

1. Assisting residents to move on from short term housing into suitable long term
2. Provision of community or social alarms.
3. Advice and support regarding repair work / home improvement work.
4. Providing immediate refuge to homeless people or those at risk of violence.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Appendix B (5iv.)

Vulnerable Groups Identified by ODPM as eligible for

‘Supporting People’ funding

Services are provided for vulnerable people who would otherwise be at risk of
losing their home due to an inability to cope with the demands and requirements
of living independently.

In assessing whether a service is eligible, authorities should consider whether the

service user has any of the vulnerabilities below which may cause them to be in
need of support.

ƒ Previous homelessness or rough sleeping

ƒ Previous imprisonment, or at risk of re-offending

ƒ Mental health problems

ƒ Learning difficulties

ƒ Being at risk of domestic violence

ƒ Teenage Pregnancy

ƒ Vulnerability due to age, including both older people having difficulty coping
and young people at risk.

ƒ Drug and alcohol problems

ƒ Physical and sensory disability

ƒ Having HIV or AIDS

ƒ Being a Refugee

ƒ A previous history of repeated and unplanned loss of tenancy

ƒ Travellers

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Appendix C (5iv.)

Explanation to Court regarding ‘Supporting People’ eligibility

The Probation Service would ask that the defendant be ordered to reside / bailed
to an address ‘as directed by the Probation Service’. That address will be

The reason for not including the name and address of the property in the order is
that it is a supported housing service funded under the ‘Supporting People’ grant

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister which issues the grant conditions has
determined that ‘Supporting People’ funding is not an eligible service if it is the
provision of –

“Services to enforce specific requirements imposed by a court of law.”37

The defendant will reside at the property and receive housing related support
under the ‘Supporting People’ regime. Any supervision or monitoring by the
Probation Service will take place in accordance with National Standards.

The provision of a curfew or electronic tagging is acceptable within the property

and this will be enforced by the Probation Service and the Security Company
managing the electronic monitoring equipment.

“Supporting People Programme Grant Conditions, Schedule para. 6.(e), ODPM, 2003

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

v. Cross Authority Arrangements

The ‘Supporting People’ programme recognises that some people, will need
access to housing related support outside of their home or originating area. This
may be due to such factors as,

• posing a risk to themselves or others

• fleeing violence including domestic violence
• needing to access specialist support services
• live a transient lifestyle

Cross Authority arrangements are the ways in which ‘Supporting People’

Administering Authorities and service providers should work together to ensure
cross authority access arrangements are in place.

This is a field of real interest for the National Offender Management Service as
movement across authorities is a significant feature for many offenders’.
Monitoring and research to date has shown the groups most likely to use cross
authority access are,

• Offenders
• Women fleeing violence
• Homeless people

What are Cross Authority Arrangements

There is no such thing as a cross authority service; there is cross authority

access to services. Therefore, under the equality of access requirement of ‘SP’,
all services may take ‘out of area’ referrals. The ODPM has recognised that there
are some services which cater for regional or national needs and a large majority
of their referrals will be cross authority. These are termed Designated Services.

Designated Services

The funding for Designated services cannot be terminated without the written
consent of the Secretary of State.

The criteria for designation includes,

• services which provide for high risk offenders

• all accommodation based services which provide for women at risk of
domestic violence
• services which cater for a very specialist combination of needs
• services which offer national coverage

Only accommodation based services were considered for designation.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Designated services are of particular interest to the National Offender

Management Service as they contain provisions which meet the needs of many
offenders. For instance, of the 178 services in the most recent ODPM list of
designated services38,

• 40% cater primarily for offenders including mentally disordered offenders

• 25% primarily for people with alcohol problems
• 17% primarily for people with drug problems

With 82% of listed services likely to be directly relevant to offenders this

emphasises the need for priority involvement of the National Offender
Management Service.

Cross Authority Access

Cross authority access is particularly important for offenders. Offenders may

need to move out of their home area because they pose a risk to others or are at
risk themselves. There are also victim and media issues to be considered.
Offenders may also require cross authority access to support services - to move
away from their offending history or because they need to maintain contact with
specialist services which are not available in their home area.

The ODPM emphasises the importance of the informal support of family, friends
and community groups. As such moves for these reasons are recommended to
be facilitated not discouraged.

The needs of refugees and asylum seekers with appropriate status will also need
to be considered in relation to movement across authorities.

Enabling offenders to gain access to these support services, when and where
they need them, is the key task. There are five types of access / referral

Host Authority - Where the user has a local connection

Open Access - Where the user self refers to the service
Structured Referral - Where the user is referred from a statutory agency
e.g. probation.
Multi-lateral - Where there is an agreed protocol between the
Commissioning Bodies, within the cross authority
grouping, to take out of area referrals.
Spot Purchasing - Where the originating authority has specifically
purchased a place ‘out of the area’ for a service user.

This number does not include accommodation based provision for women fleeing domestic
violence for reasons of safety. The list is available on

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Cross authority access is represented by all but the first arrangement.

Offenders moving from their home area are most likely to be referred using the
Structured Referral route, particularly in the case of high risk offenders. This
would largely be to ‘PAGS legacy’39 projects where the referral rights of the
Probation Service are still part of these contracts.

However, offenders will also have cross authority access using other types of
referrals and through self referral.

It would be of value for prisons and probation areas to make themselves aware of
both ‘PAGS legacy’ and other cross authority provisions which may be subject to
local multilateral agreements.

This is where cross authority arrangements will come into effect. Each
Administering Authority will be in a Cross Authority Group (CAG). These groups
are responsible for ensuring that arrangements are in place to enable movement
between local authority boundaries and ensure cross authority access to support

Cross Authority Groups

The ODPM has divided the country into Cross Authority Groups (CAG’s). This
may be a number of unitary authorities or counties or a mixture of both e.g. Tyne
& Wear and Northumberland.

The group is responsible for producing a detailed cross authority statement for
inclusion in local ‘Supporting People’ strategies and which will set the priorities
for cross authority working. The statement must demonstrate a commitment to
monitoring the pattern of cross authority movement and developing and
maintaining access to services for Cross Authority Service Recipients. The CAG
should operate in conjunction with member Commissioning Bodies and Core
Strategy Development Groups, acting in an advisory role on all issues relating to
cross authority access and designated services.


Because of the large number of authorities within a relatively small geographical

area, there is a considerable amount of movement between boroughs by SP
service users. This makes cross authority access an even greater priority.

The Association of London Government acts as the combined Cross Authority

Group and Regional Planning Group for the capital.

PAGS legacy schemes are housing support partnerships which were previously funded under
the Probation Accommodation Grants Scheme prior to this funding passing to LA’s.

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service


The membership of CAG’s may vary but in general should include,

• Supporting People Lead Officers from the Administering Authorities

included in the grouping
• A representative of the Probation Service
• A Health representative

There may be service provider representatives or individuals representing the

needs of those client groups most likely to use cross authority access.

All CAG’s need to have written terms of reference, an elected chair and secretary
and a regular programme of meetings.

Functions of the Cross Authority Group

• To produce a five year Cross Authority statement in conjunction with

members Supporting people strategies.
• To create a cross authority project plan which sets priorities and manages
• To monitor member authorities performance against Cross Authority
Baseline Targets published by the ODPM.
• To identify existing and emerging patterns of cross authority access and
analyse trends.
• To assist individual Commissioning Bodies with their planning for change
and growth of cross authority services.
• To identify where cross authority service recipients may be better served
through the provision of local services in their host authority.
• To plan and propose new services which may be commissioned on cross
authority or multilateral bases.
• To evaluate and assist in the review process of services used by ‘cross
authority service recipients’ and Designated services.
• To liase with other CAG’s at a regional or national level where appropriate
to ensure effective cross authority working arrangements.
• To share good practice amongst partners.


The movement of service users across authorities is mapped through the

‘Supporting People’ Client record Form monitoring. This should be compared with
the expected movement as published by the ODPM. Whilst it is accepted that the
early information was not as robust as it could have been, it is hoped that more
accurate data can be collected and targets set.

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This can be used for local, cross authority and national planning and

Recommendations for National Offender Management Service Action

a. To ensure that all Probation areas represent the needs of

offenders on Cross Authority Groups.

b. To ensure that Probation and Prison resettlement staff are aware

of local designated services and cross authority access

c. To ensure that the interests and needs of offenders and victims

are reflected in Cross Authority statements.

d. To ensure the cross authority needs for new or remodelled cross

authority services for offenders are evidenced and promoted.

e. To ensure that The National Offender Management Service

develop an evidence base to support cross authority
arrangements and Designated services. This would need to
include the best available information on to where prisoners are

f. To ensure the needs of appropriate vulnerable and hard to reach

groups are included in cross authority statements.

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vi. ‘Excellent Authorities’

Twenty two local authorities in England have been classed as ‘excellent’ in their
Comprehensive Performance Assessment40. These assessments relate to the
whole local authority, not specifically the ‘Supporting People’ administration. As
such, the classification should not be used to necessarily view the performance
of the ‘SP’ system.

The impact on the ‘SP’ Administering Authority is that it is subject to separate

‘Supporting People’ grant conditions.41

These conditions expect excellent authorities to undertake service reviews in line

with the guidance and they must ensure that these are,

“…rigorous and disciplined, and take into account the nature, level, quality and
cost of services.”

As with most aspects of ‘excellent authorities’ practice – how the reviews are
carried out is a matter for local arrangements.

‘Excellent Authorities’ do not have to organise Commissioning Bodies and Core

strategy Groups. However, most authorities are following the general guidance.
The Audit Commission, in their Supporting People Inspection of an ‘excellent
authority’ felt that,

• That without some form of Core Strategy Group which included partners
and the non statutory sector, the ‘Supporting People’ agenda will run a
significant risk of failing to adequately represent the collective view of all
• There should be a Commissioning Group which consistently captures the
views of Probation and Health.

It is clear that the Audit Commission sees the value of the formal partnerships in
the planning and commissioning of ‘Supporting People’ services.

Recommendations for National Offender Management Service Action

In ‘excellent authorities’ Probation should promote the value of

partnership working and use their influence to ensure that
Commissioning Bodies and Core Strategy Groups operate effectively.

These are listed in Appendix A(5iv)
The Supporting People Programme Grant for Excellent Authorities (England) Grant Conditions.
These are available on

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Appendix A (5vi.)

‘Excellent Authorities’ in England

(Correct at August 2004)

• Bexley London Borough

• Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council
• Bolton Metropolitan Council
• Camden London Borough
• Cheshire County Council
• City of London Corporation
• City of Westminster London Borough Council
• Cornwall County Council
• Derbyshire County Council
• Dorset County Council
• East Riding of Yorkshire Council
• Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council
• Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council
• Hampshire County Council
• Hartlepool Borough Council
• Hertfordshire County Council
• Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council
• Kent County Council
• Kingston upon Thames London Borough Council
• Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council
• Stockton on Tees Council
• Sunderland City Council
• Tameside Metropolitan Council
• Telford and Wrekin Council
• Wandsworth London Borough Council
• West Sussex County Council
• Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

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Preparation for Audit Commission Inspections

Audit Commission Inspections

The Audit Commission has been required to inspect every ‘Supporting People’
Administering Authority in the first five years of the ‘SP’42 programme. Authorities
were asked where in this programme they wished to be inspected and a
programme for each year drawn up. Recently, the inspection of 19 authorities
whose costs were judged to be higher than expected was brought forward and
have been visited during 2004.43

The inspections are carried out by a joint inspection team led by a Housing
Inspector. The other inspectorates in the team are,

• The Commission for Social Care Inspection44 and

• HM Inspectorate of Probation

The team also includes a Tenant Inspection Adviser.

This guidance briefly outlines the purpose of the inspections but does not seek to
detail the work which is undertaken by the local authority in preparation for the
visit. The guidance aims to make probation staff aware of the role they are likely
to play in the inspection process.

It should also be emphasised that the inspection process is learning throughout

its programme and there will, inevitably, be changes in the inspection format as
further experience is gained.

Purpose of Inspection

The inspections are intended to promote continuous improvement through

identifying areas of strength and concern within an authority, and offer practical
suggestions for development.

The inspectors make two judgements,

1. How good is the service (Excellent *** / Good** / Fair* / Poor)

• Are there clear, challenging aims

• Does the service meet the aims
• How does performance compare with similar authorities

‘Supporting People’
The timetable for inspections is able to be found on – “Supporting People” click on link “2004/05
Supporting People Inspection Programme”
Previously known as the Social Services Inspectorate

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2. What are the prospects for the service improving (Excellent / Promising /
Uncertain / Poor)

• What is the evidence of service improvement

• How good are the current improvement plans
• Will improvements be delivered

Scope of the Inspection

The inspection will be based on a number of areas,

• The authority’s compliance with ‘Supporting People’ grant conditions

• The processes and outcome of the authority’s Commissioning of services
to meet user needs
• User involvement and access to services
• Partnership working
• Quality and monitoring processes
• Value for Money and cost effectiveness of the programme and individual
• Outcomes for service users.

It would probably be fair to say that earlier inspections did not place as great an
emphasis on the final two points which are seen as major elements of future

The inspection is of the administering authority – not just the ‘Supporting People’
team. This will include staff from other linked departments, elected members,
providers, partners, nearby authorities’ lead officers in relation to cross authority
arrangements, users and other stakeholders. This is an inspection of the
operation and impact of the programme, as a whole, in the particular authority.

Inspection Process

Prior to the inspection, ideally twelve weeks before, both the local authority and
the Probation Service will be asked to provide information to the inspectors. This
information is appraised and inspectors will,

• Form an initial impression

• Determine particular issues to be explored ‘on site’
• Identify reality checks to test the quality of the service e.g. particular
providers, stakeholders and service users

These impressions will be presented and checked out in a meeting with the
administering authority and stakeholders.

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On the date identified the inspection fieldwork will commence, a preliminary

report produced which is shared with the authority and, following consultation, the
final report published and placed on the Audit Commission website45.

Probation Involvement

The vast majority of the inspection falls on the shoulders of the administering
authority, although there will be demands placed on probation staff and offender
focused providers to contribute to the inspection.

The minimum involvement of probation staff would be to,

• Submit the ‘paper’ information requested by the Probation Inspector

• Attend an interview with the Probation inspector

At the highest level probation staff with ‘SP’ responsibilities may be involved in
such events as,

• Administering Authorities’ preparation for the inspection

• Briefings by the Inspection team
• Attendance at Core Strategy Groups and Commissioning Bodies which are
observed by Inspectors
• Involvement in feedback and consultation meetings
• Reading the draft report and making any necessary comments

It is recommended that probation staff both make themselves available for the
broader range of meetings and promote this within the authority. This fuller
involvement not only ensures that information regarding the probation service is
accurate but also demonstrates the strength of partnership in an authority.

Who should be involved from Probation

The straight forward answer as to who should be involved is – the most

appropriate people.

There will be a request for an interview with the Commissioning Body

representative, other key ‘Supporting People staff and specialist accommodation
staff. All interviews with probation staff will be undertaken by the Probation
Inspection Officer who may involve other members of the inspection team or not.

It is likely that the middle managers involved in ‘Supporting People’ –

Accommodation and Partnership managers are best placed to prepare the paper
information. It may be felt helpful for the Commissioning Body representative and


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the middle manager to offer themselves for interview together as the broad
ranging questions from the inspector may be more fully answered.

Request for Information

To date the information requested prior to the inspection has included,

1. A copy of the Area’s ‘Supporting People’ audit. These documents were written
in early 2003 and are likely to be well out of date. At a minimum, the audit
should include comments made on any changes. At best, if there is good
notice of an inspection, the audit should be completely revised. An outline of
the audit is attached as Appendix A(5vii)

2. A copy of the Area’s Offender Accommodation strategy or Housing Support

Plan. This area is covered in Section 5i.

3. An analysis of need for housing support services for offenders in the authority.
This should include areas such as,

• Former PAGS funded services

• Other specialist provision for offenders
• General services which accept offenders
• Unmet needs experienced by the Probation Service
• Priorities for service development

4. Information on services for managing high risk offenders and MAPPA.46

5. Local Information sharing protocols, including risk and confidentiality policies.

6. Information on funding arrangements for services not wholly funded by

‘Supporting People’ e.g. DAT, Health

7. An assessment of the financial viability of accommodation schemes47 e.g.

• Are they extremely low cost and insufficiently staffed
• Are they high cost and in danger of being targeted for savings

8. Information about any significant changes in the probation area e.g.

• Increase / Decrease in staff with Housing / ‘SP’ responsibilities
• Change in profile of offenders e.g. increase in younger offenders
• Transfer of local authority housing to ALMO’s and LSVT48
• Closure / opening of significant private or voluntary provision for offenders.
Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements
See Appendix A (5ii.)
‘Arms Length Managing Organisation’ / ‘Large Scale Voluntary Transfer’ – these are the
housing management companies or housing associations to which local authorities are required
to transfer their stock under government legislation.

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9. Comments on the effectiveness of Probation partnerships with local

• Housing
• Health &
• Social Care agencies

These would include partnerships and joint working outside the ‘Supporting
People’ fields e.g. DAT’s, Crime & Disorder Reduction Partnerships.

10. Any other relevant information.

Information will also be requested on

• Key probation ‘Supporting People’ personnel in the area

• Any Specialist accommodation staff
• Key partners and / or accommodation provision

This information will help the inspector decide who they will interview, to both
gain information and ‘reality check’ the information i.e. does the provider have the
same opinion of particular aspects of the ‘SP’ administration as the probation

The probation inspection officer is likely to spend a single day on site so will be
hoping to fit as much as is helpful into this day. As such it would be useful to
provide a bit of information about the people and services above, including what
sort of particular input they may be able to offer.

Contact with Inspection Officer

The probation inspection officer is likely to make telephone contact with the
probation staff member identified as the lead to,

• Clarify items in the information

• Explore new areas
• Ask for advice regarding services to visit
• Make arrangements for the Interview(s)

Interview with Inspection Officer

The interview is likely to last between one and two hours and will cover a broad
range of topics including,

1. Engagement in the ‘Supporting People’ system,

• Attendance at meetings
• Commitment of management / Board to ‘SP’
• Involvement in decision making in the Commissioning Body

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• Information received to enable commissioning and monitoring decisions

e.g. appropriate financial and performance information.
• Provision of needs information and priorities for offenders including
prisons and YOT.
• Communication of ‘SP’ information within NOMS.

2. Links and Partnerships with other agencies in the authority,

• Partnerships e.g. DAT, Crime & Disorder Reduction partnership

• Relationships with Housing providers, particularly the local authority
• Involvement in the development of Homelessness and Housing strategies
• Links with prisons & YOT regarding housing and housing support
• Links with drug and mental health services

3. Offender Accommodation

• Range and suitability of provision

• Needs and gaps in provision
• Priority for service development
• Management of need for very high / high risk offenders
• Outcomes of service provision - how do we measure achievement
- what information is collected (if any)

4. Managing Risk

ƒ MAPPA procedures
ƒ Local risk management agreements
ƒ Information sharing

5. Local links with the Voluntary & Independent sector

ƒ Use of private sector

ƒ Accommodation forums

6. Involvement in Service reviews

ƒ How is area involved in both, contributing to, and receiving feedback about
offender linked services.

7. Needs Mapping

ƒ How does the service map and prioritise need for offender support.

8. Value for Money

ƒ Any areas of concern for Inspection Officer or Probation Area.

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9. Prospects for Improvement of ‘SP’ delivery

ƒ Has ‘SP’ made a real difference to support services for offenders

ƒ Are there areas for improvement

10. Examples of Good Practice

There is a need to be clear about what opinion is and what can be evidenced as
fact. Probation staff may be asked to evidence statements or claims.

Draft Report

A draft report will be circulated to the Administering Authority,

ƒ To check for factual accuracy

ƒ To make any submissions regarding the judgements made by the

Also it can be important that the words and concepts used by the inspectors are
not likely to be misread by others in a different light e.g. seen by elected
members as overly critical when this was not the intention.

Probation Commissioning Body members should ensure that probation has the
opportunity to comment on this draft report and submit their comments.

The most surprising thing to many probation staff is how little probation is
mentioned in the final Audit Commission report. Four or five specific mentions
would be the norm. Additional comments would normally be due to particularly
good practice or something of real concern.

The report should not only be read looking for probation and offenders but also
considering the probation performance as part of such areas as,

ƒ The Core Strategy Group

ƒ The Commissioning Body
ƒ Contributing to the development of strategy

Action from Report

Following the publication of the final report the Probation Commissioning Body
representative should draw up an action plan for improving any areas of concern
or potential development for probation or other National Offender Management
Service staff.

This action plan should be agreed by the area’s senior management and shared
with appropriate staff and the Commissioning Body.

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Recommendations for Probation Service Action

a. Staff responsible for ‘SP’ should ensure they are aware of

inspection dates for authorities in their area.

b. Appropriate probation staff should engage in the inspection

process as fully as possible.

c. When an inspection is announced a lead officer be nominated to

coordinate information and arrangements.

d. Information is provided to the probation inspection officer as fully

as is achievable.

e. The inspection should provide the opportunity to revise the area’s

‘Supporting People’ Audit

f. Probation staff should ensure that they have the opportunity to

comment on the draft inspection report.

g. Following publication of the report the probation commissioner

should draw up an action plan which is agreed by area
management and shared with relevant staff and Commissioning

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Appendix A (5vii.)

Audit of Probation Engagement with ‘Supporting People’

Programme and Linked Offender Housing Issues


Probation Area

Name of Chief Officer

Lead Manager for SP Job Title


Tel. No.



i. How many staff in your area work directly on housing issues?

Please detail number, posts and comment on any changes to this
establishment over the past year.

ii. Do you provide a housing advice service?

If yes, is it provided ‘in house’ or through partnership arrangements. If a
partnership with whom.

iii. What is the estimated staff time spent on ‘SP’ each month?
Include attendance at Commissioning Bodies and other groups.


For each local authority identify the probation representative / grade for the
groups below and please indicate the frequency of attendance at each group.

Key : A = Always, R = Regularly, I = Infrequently, N = Never

Local Core Frequency Attendance Commissioning Frequency Attendance

Authority Strategy of Meeting at Meeting Body of Meeting at Meeting

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i. Are Board members or Elected members represented on any SP


ii. Are offender providers represented on the Core Strategy Group?

(give details)

iii. How satisfied are you with Probation’s position within the ‘SP’
groups (please complete table below)

Key: Very Satisfied / Satisfied / Concerned / Very Concerned

Local Authority Satisfaction with Probation Position


i. Have staff involved in representing Probation on ‘SP’ groups

received training for this role?

ii. What information is provided for Probation staff in relation to

‘Supporting People’

iii. Have you been involved in providing training on offender issues

for ‘Supporting People’ staff and commissioners?


i. Have you any concerns about the implementation of ‘SP’ by local


ii. Have there been any actual benefits for the National Offender
Management Service? Offenders directly from the ‘SP’

iii. Is Probation part of a local Cross Authority Group

How frequently does the CAG meet?

iv. Is Probation part of the Regional Implementation Group

How frequently does the RIG meet?

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Within Probation

i. Does ‘Supporting People’ appear in your annual business plan?

ii. Have you developed a ‘Supporting People’ / Housing Plan?

iii. How frequently do you report to Senior Managers / Board on

‘Supporting People’?
(attach copies of reports)

Within Local Authorities

i. What contributions have been made to the Five Year strategies

(if possible attach contributions to strategy)

ii. How satisfied are you that the ‘SP’ Five year strategy recognises
the needs of offenders?
(please complete table below)

Key: Very Satisfied / Satisfied / Concerned / Very Concerned

Local Authority Offender need in Five Year Strategy

iii. Have links been made with other Community Plans?

(e.g. DAT / Crime & Disorder Reduction / Community Safety / Housing)

iv. Has Probation contributed to the development of local

Homelessness strategies?


i. Are you using an Assessment Tool to identify offender housing

and housing support need?

ii. What methods are you using to gather needs information for the
‘SP’ strategies?

iii. Have you developed links with the Prison service and YOT’s to
help determine offender need locally?

iv. What are the major areas of unmet need in your Probation area?

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i. Have offender outcome measures been included in ‘steady state’

contracts for offender linked providers.

ii. Where do former ‘PAGS funded schemes and other offender

linked services appear in the local authority review programmes.

Service Provider Review Date

iii. Have you an agreed process for contributing to ‘Supporting

People’ reviews of offender linked services?
(please outline)

iv. Have you received information regarding the outcome of offender

linked service reviews?

v. Have any significant issues arisen from the review process?

(e.g. recommendations for decommissioning / refocusing. How were
any concerns dealt with)


i. Do you maintain any formal contact with PAGS legacy providers?

ii. Have you an agreed protocol for working with former PAGS
(if yes append)

iii. Have you an Area Offender Accommodation Forum

(if yes who is invited, what are the terms of reference)

iv. Do you still receive monitoring information from PAGS legacy

(if yes what information is received and how is it used)

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viii. ‘Supporting People’ in Wales

‘Supporting People’ in Wales

Whilst ‘Supporting People’ is a UK wide initiative, the Welsh Assembly has

developed an approach which meets the circumstances in Wales more effectively
and reflects its devolved powers in areas such as, housing health and education.
This includes a closer link between central, local government & providers and the
establishment of two grant schemes rather than the single stream in England.

Whilst the ‘Supporting People’ programme in Wales is distinct, it does largely

follow the same direction as the English programme in the roles played by the
National Offender Management Service staff. Full details of the administration of
the programme can be found on the website .

This section seeks to highlight differences in terminology and operation between

that set out in the general guidance, for probation and prison staff, and for those
working in Wales.


Two grant schemes have been established,

ƒ Supporting People Grant (SPG): which funds supported sheltered projects

for older people and other projects providing community care. This is
administered by local authorities.

ƒ Supporting People Revenue Grant (SPRG): which funds all other types of
housing support as described throughout this guidance. This funding will
be administered by the Welsh Assembly initially and transferred to local
authorities by April 2006.

Supporting People Operational Plan (SPOP)

‘Supporting People’ is driven by a locally created annual plan coordinated by the

Supporting People Planning Group. The plan is intended to act as a revenue
resource planning mechanisms and will aim to,

ƒ Target SPRG resources on a national and local level

ƒ Provide evidence for the allocation of SPG resources
ƒ Ensures consistency at a national level which aids equitable distribution of
resources locally.
ƒ Link the plan to Homelessness strategies
ƒ Promote the ability to live independently and prevent homelessness

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The plan is submitted to the Welsh Assembly in September of each year to

enable resources to be allocated for the following year.

‘Supporting People’ Planning Group

The Welsh model has a single planning group unlike the two tier English
approach. The Supporting People Planning Group (SPPG), is responsible for,

ƒ The development of the Supporting People Operational Plan.

ƒ Overseeing, directing and instructing the Supporting People Team in the
practical development of the plan.
ƒ Assessing need, making judgements on and prioritising information based
on need.
ƒ Agreeing a methodology for the project development process.

Core membership of the group includes local authority, Health and Probation
although other members may be co-opted for specific purposes.

Regional Supporting People Planning Groups

The Welsh Assembly guidance allows for local authorities to work together to
plan for services across a number of authorities, as long as each authority
develops its own plan.

Also an All Wales Planning group is held under the auspices of the Assembly.

Cross Boundary Issues

The need for services to meet the needs of people who cannot be supported in
their home authority are recognised – Cross Boundary issues- and reflect the
same approach as Cross Authority Arrangements in England.

Specialist Advice

Earl H Smith – Joint Probation and Prison service secondment to Welsh


Address: Housing Directorate

National Assembly for Wales
Crown Buildings
Cathays Park
Cardiff, CF10 3NQ

Tel: 02920 825634


Richard Taylor – August 2004 98

Section 6


ƒ England

ƒ Wales

ƒ National Probation Directorate

‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Area Lead Officer Operational Manager

Avon / Somerset: Jill Cotgrove, ACO Bristol:

11 Canon St, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 1SN Nick Gough, Ashley House, Probation Hostel,
Tel: 01823 346411 14 Somerset Street, Kingsdown, Bristol. BS2 8ND
Tel: 0117 924697
South Gloucester:
Garry Holden, Decourcy House Probation,
Upper York Street, Bristol. BS2 8QN
Tel: 0117 9447200
Bath & NE Somerset:
Sue Hull, Bath Probation, The Old Convent ,
35 Pulteney Road, Bath. BA2 4JE
Tel: 01225 460673
Steve Mason, Yeovil Probation, Court Ash House,
Court Ash, Yeovil. BA20 1AG
Tel: 01935 476461

Bedfordshire: John Williams, ACO

3 St. Peter’s Street, Bedford, MK40 2PN
Tel: 01234 213541

Cambridge: Margaret Lowe, ACPO John McGhee, Senior P.O.

1 Brooklands Ave, Cambridge, CB2 2BB 1 Brooklands Ave, Cambridge, CB2 2BB
Tel: 01223 712345 Tel: 01223 712353

Cheshire: Marie Orrell, ACO Liz Garner, Accommodation Manager,

Beech House, Park West, Sealand Road, Chester, CH1 4RJ 6 Parkway , Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 1LS
Tel: 01244 394500 Tel: 01625 530881

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Area Lead Officer Operational Manager

Cumbria: Annette Hennessy, ACO, Mike Quille, Development Manager,

Lime House, The Green, Wetheral, Georgian House, Lowther Street,
Carlisle. CA4 8EW Carlisle. CA3 8DR
Tel: 01228 560057 Tel: 01228 522333

Derbyshire: County: Trevor Williams,

Sarah Winwin Sein, ACO, Sue Parker
18 Brunswood Road, Matlock Bath, HM Prison Sudbury, Ashbourne,
Matlock, DE4 3PA Derby, DE6 5HW
Tel: 01629 55422 Tel: 01283 584073 (direct dial)
City: 01283 584074 (admin)
Paul Yates, ACO 07717 766122 (mobile)
18 Brunswood Road, Matlock Bath,
Matlock, DE4 3PA
Tel: 01629 55422

Devon & Cornwall Cornwall Cornwall

Peter Vallis, ACO Mark Frazer, PDO
22 Lemon Street, Truro, 3 Kings Avenue, St Austell PL25 4TT
Cornwall, TR1 2LS Tel: 01726 72654
Tel: 01872 326262

Plymouth: Plymouth:
Jon Nason, ACO Lucy van-Waterschoot, PDO,
St Catherine’s House, 5 Notte Street St Catherine’s House, 5 Notte Street
Plymouth, PL1 2TS Plymouth, PL1 2TS
Tel: 01752 827500 Tel: 01752 827500

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Area Lead Officer Operational Manager

Devon & Cornwall N.E. Devon: N.E. Devon:

cont… Mary Mitchell, ACO, Rachel Bailey, Partnership Development Officer
3/5 Barnfield Road, Exeter, EX1 1RD 3/5 Barnfield Road, Exeter, EX1 1RD
Tel: 01392 421122 Tel: 01392 421122
Torbay / S. Devon: Torbay / S. Devon:
Kath Morris, ACO, Nariman Dubash, PDO,
Thurlow House, Thurlow Road Thurlow House, Thurlow Road
Torquay TQ1 3EQ Torquay TQ1 3EQ
Tel: 01803 213535 Tel: 01803 213535

Dorset: Murray Shackleforth, Area Manager

7 Madeira Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1QL
Tel: 01202 228000

Durham: Keith Norman, ACO,

Forest House, Aykley Heads Business Centre,
Durham City, DH1 5TS
Tel: 0191 383 9083

Essex: Mary Archer, Chief Officer, Robin Brennan, ACO

Cullen Mill, 49 Braintree Road, Harry Kent, SPO
Witham. CM8 2DD Basildon Bail Hostel, 1 Felmores
Tel: 01376 501626 Basildon. SS13 1RN
Tel: 01268 557550

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Area Lead Officer Operational Manager

Gloucester: Peter Blomley, ACO,

Bewick House, 1 Denmark Road
Gloucester, GL1 3HW
Tel: 01452 426263

Hampshire: Barbara Swyre, ACO,

Friary House, Middle Brook Street,
Winchester SO23 8DQ
Tel: 01962 842207

Hertfordshire: Carole McDougall, Director of Operations Doug Hook, Programme Manager,

Graham House, Yeoman’s House, Graham House, Yeoman’s House,
Ware Road, Hertford, SG13 7HJ Ware Road, Hertford, SG13 7HJ
Tel: 01992 504444 Tel: 01992 504444

Humberside: Brian Siddy, ACO Hull:

21 Flemingate, Beverley, Rupert Sellors, SPO
East Yorkshire, HU17 0NP New Cross Street, Hull. HU1 3DU
Tel: 01482 398255 Tel: 01482 323049

East Riding of Yorkshire:

Adrian Mellor, SPO
“Greenawn”, 1 Airmyn Road,
Goole, East Yorks. DN14 6XA
Tel: 01482 869292

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Area Lead Officer Operational Manager

Humberside cont… North Lincolnshire:

Neill Martin, SPO,
1 Park Square, Laneham, Scunthorpe
North Lincolnshire, DN15 6JH
Tel: 01472 357454
N.E. Lincolnshire:
Les Gordon, SPO,
Queen Street, Grimsby,
North East Lincolnshire, DN31 1QG
Tel: 01472 357454

Kent: Rob Verity, ACO, Robert Clark, Partnership & Mentor Unit Manager
Chaucer House, 25 Knightrider Street 56 College Road, Maidstone, Kent. ME15 8SJ
Maidstone, ME15 6ND Tel: 01622 687521
Tel: 01622 350828

Lancashire: Ian Philips, ACO, Nicola Greenwood, Partnerships’ Manager

99-101 Garstang Rd, Preston. PR1 1LD Albert Edward House, Unit 1, Block B,
Tel: 01772 201209 The Pavillions, Port Way, Preston. PR2 2YB
Tel: 01772 256651

Leicester & Paul Hindson, ACO, Alan Gray, SPO,

Rutland: 2 St. John Street, Leicester. LE1 3BE 38 Friar Lane, Leicester, LE1 5RA
Tel: 0116 2516008 Tel: 0116 2536331

Lincolnshire: Claire Dilley, Acting ACO, Christine Bull, SPO,

7 Lindum Terrace, Lincoln, LN2 5RP 8 Corporation St., Lincoln. LB2 1HN
Tel: 01552 520776 Tel: 01522 510011

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Area Lead Officer Operational Manager

London: Ilid Davies, ACO Housing Development Managers – whilst there are ACO’s
Mitre House, 223-237 Borough High Street who sit on Commissioning Bodies the first point of contact
London SE1 1JD for the boroughs should be with the appropriate manager
Tel: 020 7740 8530 below.

All Housing Development Managers are based at,

Mitre House, 223-237 Borough High Street
London SE1 1JD

Bexley / Bromley
Greenwich / Lewisham
Martin Tully – Tel: 020 7740 8528
- Mob: 077177 66314
Ealing / Hounslow
Hammersmith & Fulham / Wandsworth
Kensington & Chelsea / Westminster
Kingston / Richmond
Merton / Sutton
Paul Mellish – Tel: 020 7740 8560
- Mob: 077177 66315
Barnet / Enfield
Camden / Islington
Harrow / Hillingdon
Lourdes Keever – Mob: 079565 08758

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Area Lead Officer Operational Manager

London cont… Barking, Dagenham & Havering

Redbridge / Waltham Forest
Tower Hamlets
Amanda Tooth – Tel: 020 7740 8514
- Mob: 077177 66316

Gt. Manchester: Sally Drake, Offender Employability Development Manager Karen Hurley
6th Floor, Oakland House, Talbot Road, 6th Floor, Oakland House, Talbot Road,
Manchester, M16 0PQ Manchester, M16 0PQ
Tel: 0161 872 4802 Tel: 0161 872 4802

Merseyside: Peter Murray, ACO, Paul Garner, Housing Officer,

Burlington House, Crosby Road North, 13, North View, Edge Hill,
Waterloo, Liverpool, L22 0JP Liverpool, L7 8TS
Tel: 0151 920 9201 Tel: 0151 281 1245

Norfolk: Stuart McDonald, ACO, Elaine Bellamy

4th Floor, St.James Yarn Mill, Whitefriars, Norwich, NR3 1SU 17 Palace Street, Norwich, NR3 1RT
Tel: 01603 220117 Tel: 01603 723216

Northants: Roger Pearse, ACO, Jim Kellock, Partnerships’ Manager,

Walter Tull House, 43-47 Bridge Street, Walter Tull House, 43-47 Bridge Street,
Northampton, NN1 1NS Northampton, NN1 1NS
Tel: 01604 658082 Tel: 01604 658064

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Area Lead Officer Operational Manager

Northumbria: Hana Knotek, Divisional Director Gateshead & South Tyneside

45, John Street, Sunderland, SR1 1QU Christine Fiddes, Divisional Director
Tel: 0191 510 1859 Warwick Street, Gateshead, NE8 1PZ
Tel: 0191 478 2451

Newcastle & Northumberland

Richard Taylor, Partnership & Accommodation Manager
5-8 Cornwallis Street, South Shields, Ne33 1BB
Tel: 0191 420 6245

North Tyneside:
Jeff McCartney, Divisional Director,
South View, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 9AH
Tel: 01670 520121

Hana Knotek, Divisional Director
45, John Street, Sunderland, SR1 1QU
Tel: 0191 510 1859

Nottinghamshire: Lesley Daly, ACPO, Hilary Hare-Duke - Tel: 0115 840-6520

Marina Road, Castle Marina, Nottingham, NG7 1TP Una Mulrenan - Tel: 0115 840-6524
Tel: 0115 840-6455 Marina Road, Castle Marina, Nottingham, NG7 1TP

Staffordshire: Peter Fieldhouse, ACO (Partnerships Div), Peter Scott

University Court, Staffordshire Technology Park University Court, Staffordshire Technology Park
Beaconside, Stafford. ST16 0GE Beaconside, Stafford. ST16 0GE
Tel: 01785 223416 Tel: 01785 223416

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Area Lead Officer Operational Manager

Suffolk: Martin Garside, ACO,

Foundation House, 34 Foundation Street,
Ipswich, Suffolk. IP4 1SP
Tel: 01473 408130

Surrey: Liz Ball, Director of Operations, Jenny Guven, Manager Court & Comm. Supervision Team
Bridge House, Flambard Way, Woking Centre, White Road Court
Godalming, Surrey. GU7 1JB Woking. GU22 7PJ
Tel: 01483 860191 Tel: 01483 776262

Sussex: Arthur Wing, ACO Chris Shaw, SPO

185 Dyke Road, Hove, BN3 1TL 162 Marine Parade,
Tel: 01273 227966 Brighton, BN2 1EJ
Tel: 01273 622300

Teesside: Lucia Saiger, ACO Sandra Sam Drysdale

Probation House, Longlands Road Nelson House Probation Hostel, 1 Millbank Street,
Middlesbrough, TS4 2JL Southbank, Middlesbrough, TS6 6DD
Tel: 01642 230533 Tel: 01642 456811

Thames Valley: Brenda Ball, ACO, Paul Wiiliams, Housing Development Manager,
2a Wynne-Jones Centre, Walton Road, Magistrates’ Court, 301 Silbury Boulevard,
Aylesbury, Bucks, HP21 7RL Witan Gate East, Central Milton Keynes, MK9 2YH
Tel: 01296 483174 Tel: 01908 679734

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Area Lead Officer Operational Manager

Warwickshire: Ian Henshaw, Partnership Manager

2 Swan Street, Warwick. CB34 4BJ
Tel: 01926 405817

West Mercia: Anthony Brewerton,ACO, 2 Vacant Posts

Stourbank House, 90 Mill Street,
Kidderminster, Worcs., DY11 6XA
Tel: 01562 748375

West Midlands: David Skidmore, Coventry:

1 Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BD Pat Royal, ACPO
Tel: 0121 248-6666 70 Little Park Street, Coventry. CV1 2UU
Tel: 024-7663 0555

Sarah Chand, District Manager,
826 Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham B29 6NA
Tel: 0121 248 6680

Mike Tennant, ACO,
1 Victoria Square, Birmingham, B1 1BD
Tel: 0121 248-6666

Dudley & Sandwell:

Nigel Byford, ACO
Laurel Lane, Halesowen B63 3DA
Tel: 0121 550 1496

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

Area Lead Officer Operational Manager

West Midlands Wolverhampton & Walsall:

cont… John Fenby, ACO
Prue Earle House, Union St, Horsley Fields,
Wolverhampton, WV1 3JS
Tel: 01902 576000

Wiltshire: Philip Smith, ACO, Veronica Franklin, Ex. Services Manager,

Rothemere, Bythesea Road, Trowbridge, BA14 8JQ 2 Prospect Place, Trowbridge, BA14 8QA
Tel: 01225 781950 Tel: 01225 763041

North Yorkshire Peter Hart, Housing Services Manager,

West Yorkshire Pavillion 2000, Amy Johnson Way,
Clifton Moor, York. YO3 4XT
Tel: 01904 698920

South Yorkshire: Brian Kerslake, Director of Finance & Partnerships

45 Division Street, Sheffield, S1 4GE
Tel: 0114 276 6911

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Area Lead Officer Operational Manager

Dyfed / Powys: Jeremy Corbett, ACPO, Charlie Carter

The Limes, Temple Street, Offender Employment and Housing Unit
Llandrindod Wells, Powys. LD1 5DP Glamorgan Street, Brecon. LD3 7DW
Tel: 01597 827700 Tel: 01874 614150

Gwent: Adam Gotley, ACO

Cwmbran House, Mamhilad Park Estate,
Pontypool, NP4 0XD
Tel: 01495 745705

North Wales: Steve Ray, ACO

Alexandra House, Abergele Road,
Colwyn Bay LL29 9YF
Tel: 01492 85083

South Wales: Granville Brunt, ACO

33, Westgate Street, Cardiff, CF10 1JE
Tel: 0292 078 5007

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‘Supporting People’ Guidance for the National Offender Management Service

National Probation Directorate

Area of Work Lead Officer Contact

Accommodation for High Risk Offenders Felicity Hawksley Horseferry House

and ‘Supporting People’ Section Head Dean Ryle Street
London SW1P 2AW

Tel: 020 7217 0773

Resettlement and Implementation of Steve Pitts Horseferry House

‘National Resettlement Action Plan’ Programme Implementation Manager Dean Ryle Street
(Resettlement) London SW1P 2AW

Tel: 020 7217 0682

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