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Housing Support Services Booklet

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What is this service?

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Who can have this support?

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What type of help and support is provided?

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Different needs

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What we don’t do

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How quickly can I get support?

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What is Assessment and Support Planning?

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What happens when support is no longer required?

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Confidentiality and record keeping.

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Involving You.

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Office hours and contact details.

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Useful telephone numbers.

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This booklet has been put together by housing support staff and people who use the support service to give you a guide on how our support service works. We have tried to include all the things that you need to know, if you would like to know more about anything in this booklet, please call 01588 676200 and ask to speak to a member of the housing support team.

1. What is this Service? The service is a “floating� support service, which means that the support is provided to people in their own homes for as long as it is needed and then ends by mutual agreement.

2. Who can have this support? The service aims to support any individual or family living in South Shropshire who is struggling to maintain an independent lifestyle. Some of examples why you may need help include: money problems, form filling, reducing isolation, help to access other services in the community, or difficulties with your tenancy.

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3. What type of help and support is provided? The Housing Support Officer can provide support and assistance with the following areas: • Help to find a new home. • Help to budget money; sort out debts, set up water/electricity/gas accounts. • Help with filling in forms, and applying for benefits that you are entitled to. • Helping you to move in safely, such as checking security. • Practical help with getting new furniture, equipment, if needed, and any repairs or maintenance issues. • Help to find new schools for your children. • Emotional support; help to access counselling or self help groups. • Guidance into work (voluntary and paid), training and education courses and accessing childcare. • Support to rebuild social networks and referring to other agencies in your area, such as Homestart, Surestart, Health Services, Community Centres/Day Centres etc. • Helping you to be healthy, enjoy life and meet new people. • How to access a women’s refuge or other appropriate place of safety. • Involving and working with other agencies that specialise with specific areas of support.

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4. Different Needs Generic Support Support for people living in their own homes or with families who need help with some of the issues outlined opposite. The service supports people with a wide range of issues, including those with debts, mental health problems or a learning disability.

Domestic Violence Support with a variety of practical and emotional issues for those people who are experiencing or are trying to leave a violent or abusive relationship. This service can be particularly useful to those that are trying to re-settle into a new area or home, after leaving a violent partner. The support officer who specialises in domestic violence issues is linked to the South Shropshire Women’s Refuge and provides move on and re-settlement support to women moving from the refuge into independent accommodation within South Shropshire.

Homelessness The service aims to work with adults that are vulnerable as a result of homelessness. We have two housing support officers who work closely with the tenants of Ludlow’s hostels. The housing support officers also provide support as people move out of the hostels into permanent accommodation.

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5. What we don’t do Our service is not a registered care service, so we cannot provide personal care, do shopping, handle money, collects benefits or administer medication. We are also not allowed to sign any legal documents or witness wills.

6. How quickly can I get Support? If you think you would like our help you need to fill in a referral form (you can ask at The Gateway reception for help with this, or any other agency that may be already helping you). This form goes to our Housing Support Team Leader who will contact you within three working days to talk about when we can visit you to find out what your support needs are and how we can help you. If you need help immediately, you must put that it is urgent on the form, and we will try to contact you as soon as we receive the form. We will try to give as much help as we can by giving telephone advice or support until we can visit you. Due to high demand the support service operates a waiting list; referrals are categorised as high, medium or low priority. If you are a low or medium priority it may be that you will have to wait some time before receiving support from our service.

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7. What is Assessment and Support Planning? When we visit you for the first time, we need to find out with you what type of support you will need from us and how we can work together to achieve your goals. The result of this meeting will be recorded as a Support Assessment. If we agree that the service would be helpful to you, we will then work out a plan with you so that we can have shared goals and know what we are working towards. This is called a Support Plan. Throughout your support we check that we are achieving the goals that have been set out. Every few months we look at the support provided; you may need us to do things in a different way, or you may want to add new goals. This is called a Support Review.

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8. What happens when support is no longer required? When the support service has achieved the objectives/goals set out in the support plan, or you feel that you don’t need any more visits, a date for ending the service will be agreed with you. You may want to leave by gradually reducing the visits for a while until the support stops completely. On leaving the service we will work out with you what you may need in the future, and provide information on whom to contact if you need further help. You will be given information on how to return to the service should your circumstances change.

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9. Confidentiality and Record Keeping Confidentiality policies for keeping and recording information on service users are based on: The Data Protection Act 1998 Rules and Regulations for Staff Contract of employment Housing Support procedures on keeping, storing and recording information.

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For this service we make sure that: • All staff who work with you are given training and guidance on the confidentiality policy, which applies to verbal and written information. • Your information is kept in a separate file and locked in secure cabinets in our office (The Gateway). • The information kept relates only to ongoing and relevant support work. • You have the right to read the information held on your support file and you are asked to sign and read the assessments and support plans and a visit sheet that is completed after each visit. • Third party information is kept separately, and is only disclosed to a third party after you have given us written permission. • Giving information to third parties without your consent will only occur if failure to disclose such information would result in the Housing Support Officer breaking the law or where it relates to Child Protection and Adult Abuse issues. • When your support ends, the file is kept for 12 months. After that time all information is destroyed except for a brief summary note. • No information of a confidential nature will be given over the telephone.

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10. Involving you Your views are very important to us and are collected throughout your support. Your views and comments about the service you receive will be collected by us at the following times: • After a formal review of your support • Following a formal complaint • Following an informal complaint • From an end of service questionnaire • From the service user panel We welcome all comments and suggestions made by our customers about our services or about the way we provide them. We will consider all comments and suggestions and implement the best ones wherever possible. We want to know if you are happy with the service you receive. Any compliments and complaints will be passed onto the person concerned. If you feel we have done something wrong or we have not treated you in a professional and courteous manner, we recognise that you may wish to make a complaint.

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To do this you can either: • tell your support worker. • fill in a comments, compliments and complaints form. • ring the customer service advisors – who will pass your message on to the Support Services Administrator. • ring the Support Services Manager or Head of Housing and Support. The service also tries to involve you in other less formal ways. Over the past few years staff and clients have organised monthly support group meetings. These provide an opportunity for you to meet other people on support and to engage in various activities ranging from healthy eating courses to tai chi, safety around the home and working with other community activities such as the Community Garden in Craven Arms.

11. O  ffice hours and contact details Support Officers can be contacted at: South Shropshire Housing Association, The Gateway, Auction Yard, Craven Arms Shropshire SY7 9BW Telephone 01588 676 200

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Office hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. However, please ask if you cannot meet with us during these times and we will try to accommodate you by being as flexible as possible. For more information about the service you can contact the Housing Support Team Leader on 01588 676200 or look at the support services section of our website, www.shropshirehousing.org.uk

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12. Useful telephone numbers Age Concern

01743 233666

Benefits Enquiries

0345 678 9001

British Telecom

0800 800 151

Children’s Services

0345 678 9008

Citizens Advice Bureau

01584 876 933

Cleobury Mortimer Sports Centre

01299 271 317

Community Council Shropshire

01743 360641

Community Mental Health Team

01584 878167

Community Substance Misuse Team

01743 255740

Council Tax Enquiries

0345 678 9002

Craven Arms Community Centre

01588 672847

Crime Stoppers

0800 555 111

Educational Services

01743 254 368

Gateway Education Centre

01743 355 159

Homestart

01584 878 532

Ludlow Assembly Rooms

01584 873 229

Ludlow Conference Centre

01584 873 882

Ludlow Foyer

01584 877 111

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Ludlow Leisure Centre

01584 874620

Ludlow Hospital

01584 872 201

NHS Direct

0845 46 47 48

N.S.P.C.C.

0800 096 7719

Police

0300 333 3000

Princess Royal Hospital

01952 641 222

Race Equality Council

01952 270 736

Rocks Spring Community Centre

01584 874 922

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

01743 261 000

R.S.P.C.A.

0870 555 5999

Samaritans

08457 909 090

Shropdoc

0845 020 213

South Shropshire Furniture Scheme

01584 877 726

Sparc (Bishops Castle Leisure Centre)

01588 630 243

Train Enquiries

0845 748 4950

Womens Aid

08082 000 247

Youth Forum

01584 877 782

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Equal Opportunities statement We recognise the damage that disadvantage and discrimination can cause. We are committed to equal opportunities and will take positive steps to ensure that you will not be treated less favourably than anyone else in your dealings with us because of race, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, class or age. Access for all... If you require this document in another format, for example Braille, large type, audio tape or another language please contact us.

SSHA The Gateway, The Auction Yard, Craven Arms, Shropshire SY7 9BW Tel: 01588 676200 Email: info@sshropsha.co.uk www.shropshirehousing.org.uk

54808: 01/10

shire Housing consists of the ng organisations

Shropshire Housing Group consists of the following organisations


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