LCS has robust processes in place for receiving referrals from the Placement Coordination Team, or EDT for out of hours emergencies. A Placement Referral Form (PRF) will be submitted to our Referrals and Enquiries Team, detailing the young person’s background/individual circumstances, their assessed needs, and any specific requirements for the placement (e.g. locality). We work closely with the referrer to ensure all relevant information is shared (including any existing plans or assessments), in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the young person’s needs.
A comprehensive risk assessment is key to our matching process, to ensure the safety of the young person being referred, other young people in shared accommodation, our staff and the local community. For our group living accommodation, our referral process requires as much information and history as possible and an up-to-date risk assessment. This is usually reviewed by two managers before a placement is offered. The matching process also takes into account the Locality Risk Assessment for the surrounding area (obtained from West Yorkshire Police), ensuring it is safe to place the young person in the proposed accommodation and that any risks can be minimised/managed.
Where we are able to offer a suitable placement, this will be done using the Council’s Matching Document. Our robust matching process looks at:
- Specified placement type required
- Young person’s behaviours and risks (set out in the PRF)
- Young person’s support needs
- Location of the placement
- Matching alongside other young people in the accommodation
- Any equality, diversity and inclusion needs (e.g. language, cultural, religion/faith, special educational needs and/or disability).
Once a placement is agreed, we ensure a warm and friendly welcome for the young person upon moving in. They are introduced to the staff team, given a tour of the facilities, and introduced to other young people (for group accommodation). Young people are encouraged and assisted to personalise their individual living space, including putting up pictures and shopping for items that will help them feel at home. They are given essential items such as bedding, toiletries, towels, toothbrush and paste upon admission. Emergency food supplies are also available in all group living and individual accommodation, should they be needed.
As we are not a housing association or registered social landlord, registered charity or not for profit organisation, young people will not be asked to sign any licence agreement and/or tenancy agreement for services provided
The IPA received from the Council for each young person will be reviewed, signed and returned within 48 hour of receipt. Where any variation to the IPA is proposed (e.g. weekly costs, support hours, placement location), the Placement Coordination Team will be notified of the request in writing for their review and agreement. All requests to vary an IPA shall be sent in a timely manner, containing appropriate detail, clear plans and expected outcomes for the proposed variation. Under no circumstances will a young person be moved to alternative accommodation without the written authorisation of the Placement Coordination Team.
In the event where there is a need to terminate a placement, this will be communicated to the Placement Coordination Team in writing, adhering to the Council’s required notice periods. In any circumstance where the placement is to terminate (i.e. notice given by either party or the court ordered detention of a young person in secure accommodation), LCS will support this transition in order to make it as smooth and positive for the young person as possible.
We are proactive in driving sector improvements and are currently working with Ofsted, who have conducted site visits to develop understanding of how services operate and challenges for the sector.