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Homelessness Review 2021

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8. Partnership Arrangements

There are a myriad of partnership which we attend that operate across Devon and the wider peninsular area relating to housing, homelessness and wider health and wellbeing needs. Details of some of the key partnership forums are provided below. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.

1. The Devon and Cornwall Housing Options Partnership (DCHOP)

The DCHOP comprises of the eight Devon district housing authorities together with Torbay Council and Cornwall Council. Housing and Homelessness Leads from these authorities meet on a bi-monthly monthly basis in order to: share best practice, investigate opportunities for the pooling of resources and promote a consistent approach to homelessness service delivery.

2. The Devon Homelessness and Health Partnership Cell

Initially established in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the group brings together statutory agencies including: Housing and Homelessness leads, Substance Misuse Commissioners, Domestic Violence Services Commissioners, Criminal Justice representatives, Public Health Registrars, Mental Health Services Leads and the Police. The group meets on a bi-monthly basis in order to promote best practice, develop standard operating procedures and protocols and overcome barriers to service delivery.

3. Devon Homelessness Prevention Partnership for 16 & 17 Year olds and Care Leavers (DHPP)

This group meets on a bi-monthly basis and includes Housing and Homelessness Leads and commissioners of services for young people based at Devon County Council. Recent joint working has focussed on developing a Homelessness and Social Care Care Leavers protocol, and updating on the protocol for 16 and 17 year olds. A Care Leavers Housing Action Plan has been developed by Children’s Services and is monitored by DHPP group. The group reports to the Devon County Council Joint Commissioning Group on housing/homelessness issues for young people (16/17 year olds and care leavers up to 25 years).

DHPP group also receives reports on the Devon Youth Homeless Prevention Work provided by Young Devon, Encompass, and several different Local Authorities.

4. The Devon Youth Homelessness Prevention Workers Forum

This provision of Devon Youth Homelessness Prevention workers (HPWS) is a service which is jointly funded by Devon County Council and each district housing authority. The HPWs arrange fortnightly Homeless Prevention Panels (HPPs) with supported accommodation providers present, so local new cases can be considered for accommodation. The Devon Youth Homeless Prevention Workers Forum meets quarterly.

5. The Devon and Cornwall Housing Options Partnership Practitioner’s Forum

The main purpose of this group is to assist DCHOP and is attended by senior Homelessness and Housing Options officers from across Devon and Cornwall. The group meets bi- monthly to discuss their working arrangements, raise problems they encounter relating to service delivery, celebrate successes and resolve cross-border issues.

6. The Refugee Resettlement Governance and Operational Groups

Refugee Resettlement arrangements in Devon are coordinated by Devon County Council’s Communities Team who also commission the support provided to resettled families. It is the responsibility of the district authorities to provide safe accommodation for resettlement, and to oversee the management of the accommodation provided. Governance and operational groups meet on a quarterly basis.

7. The Joint Commissioning Group for the Children and Families Partnership

A The Joint Commissioning Group for the Children and Families Partnership meets on a bi-monthly basis bringing together representatives from a wide array of statutory agencies in order to set commissioning intentions relating to the services provided to children, families and young people in Devon. The group is attended by the Devon and Cornwall Housing Options Partnership manager who represents the interests of the district housing authorities.

8. The Devon and Cornwall Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA) operational meetings and Strategic Management Board (SMB)

These arrangements are established by the Criminal Justice Act 2003, and sections 325 to 327B provide the statutory basis for MAPPA. Local Housing Authorities have a Duty to Co-operate with MAPPA arrangements. MAPPA SMB group meetings are usually held 3 or 4 times per year and there is an expectation that all organisations with a Duty to Co-operate are represented at SMB meetings.

Each Local authority also nominates a single point of contact (SPOC) and deputy, to attend level 2 or 3 MAPPA meetings if invited, to provide housing advice to the meeting group.

9. The Devon Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference Operational Meetings and Steering Group.

This is a non-statuary group which is led by Devon and Cornwall Police and which meets on a bi-monthly basis. The purpose of the MARAC Steering Group is to monitor and assist, where necessary, the local MARAC meetings, monitor attendance at the Steering Group, and generally achieve the requirements of the national Safe Lives organisation. The local meetings are held every fortnight to review (usually) high risk cases, which need more intense monitoring and action, due to the risk associated with the victim, from the perpetrator. There are named single points of contact who represent their District Council at the local MARAC meetings. Case details are sent securely a few days before the meetings, with consideration for privacy of the victim and family.

10. The Devon Domestic Abuse Partnership Board

The Devon Domestic Abuse Partnership Board was established in response to the statutory requirements for collaborative working under the Domestic Abuse Act, in order to support the victims and families of victims of domestic violence and abuse. The group brings together a wide array of agencies from the public and community sectors. Work of the group has thus far focused on developing a Domestic Abuse Strategy for Devon and setting out commissioning plans to support victims and families in safe accommodation.

11. The Community Mental Health Framework Southern Devon Locality Implementation Team

A Community Mental Health Framework Southern Locality Implementation Team has recently been established in Teignbridge in order to develop and implement services due to be provided under the new Community Mental Health Framework. The team is led by the Devon Partnership Trust and involves a wide array of partnership agencies, including Housing and Antisocial Behaviour Team officers from Teignbridge District Council.

12. The Teignbridge, South Hams and West Devon Rough Sleeper Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT)

Led by our Rough Sleeper and MDT Coordinator, The Teignbridge, South Hams and West Devon Rough Sleeper Multi-Disciplinary Team brings together key statutory and community sector agencies who work with Rough Sleepers and former Rough Sleepers. The MDT provides an opportunity to ‘case conference’ for clients with complex needs, and also enables referrals into our Housing First Project.