Introductions and apologies
The Chair welcomed everybody to the meeting and noted apologies as recorded above.
Terms of Reference
The Chair started by asking what is required to be added to the draft terms of reference. A discussion took place that there possibly needs to be a specific reference to scaling up Housing First. As well as “considering what local authorities need in terms of guidance and support” this should be “local authorities and partners”.
ACTION: Amend Terms of Reference to reflect members’ comments and circulate amended TOR to members for comments. (SG Homelessness Team)
Working as a Group
There was recognition of the importance that this group doesn’t work alone. The Chair asked how do we work and network as a sub group and feed into other groups. A discussion took place where it was agreed that it would be helpful for this group to have an awareness of other groups and how they complement each other. Suggested this could be done by a mapping exercise.
Action: Map out organisations that we want to promote joint discussion with and key contacts. (SG Homelessness Team)
Action: HPSG sub-group members to inform homelessness team of their engagement with their stakeholders and Homelessneess team can record in stakeholder engagement plan.
Funding Support for RRTPs
The Chair advised that local authorities need to consider how the plans will be funded and asked if this group has a role to play in where the funding should go. Advised that hubs were still at early stages of the plan and worry that any plan submitted in December will not be robust as it is a short timescale and staff resources were an issue.
The group was advised that a paper is being considered by the Settlement and Distribution Group (COSLA) and clarity on funding should be available later this month on how the £2m will be distributed. Recognition that local authorities are being asked “How much it will cost to reform?” as opposed to how to spend £x. The conversation will then focus on the question of the robustness of the plans. Pointed out that the transition plans are challenging for local authorities and partners to work differently and the funding may not all go directly to homelessness services, for example there might be a requirement for funding to go to Health and Social Care Services. Pointed out that the money that could be saved should also be included in the Plans.
The Chair reiterated that the date for submitting transition plans is 31 December 2018.
How often should the sub group meet?
It was agreed that the group should meet quarterly in advance of HPSG although initially it would be helpful for regular electronic communication between meetings to build pace during the early stages of Plan development. Discussion around using another digital platform such as basecamp or possibly allowing external colleagues to access ERDM.
Group agreed that the next meeting would take place on 6 November at 10am in Atlantic Quay and future meetings would take place in Glasgow (as HPSG meets in Edinburgh), with SG setting up meetings until the end of 2018 two to three weeks before HPSG.
Action: Explore a platform where sub-group members can communicate virtually. (SG Homelessness Team)
Action: Circulate members e-mail addresses to all sub-group members. (SG Homelessness Team)
Action: Future meetings to be scheduled until the end of 2019. (SG Homelessness Team)
Membership of Group
Discussion on any gaps in the membership of the group. Suggested that representation is required from NHS to engage with Directors of Health and Social Care and champion the Chief Officers Group. Also suggested HSCP and possibly a link with housing and support providers such as Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland (CCPS). It was noted that it was difficult to have one rep per provider as everyone uses different local providers. SG confirmed there was a meeting with HSEU next week.
GHN offered to consult with people with lived experience and feed back to the group.
Action: Consider how best to widen health membership. (NHS HIS)
Action: Make an approach to Chief Officers of HSCPs about membership (SG Homelessness Team).
Action: GHN will help support reflecting the lived experience of homeless people into the work of the sub-group. (GHN)
Feedback from local authorities
An update was provided on feedback received to date, all of which noted concerns on how we work with other stakeholders. Confirmed that presentations had been delivered to all hubs and at the recent hubs quarterly event in August. Following Mr Stewart’s and Cllr Whitham’s joint letter the feedback has been received from most local authorities, but still some responses to come in.
Acknowledged that there are concerns that the toolkit is not as useful as it could be. Feedback was received that there were some areas that had technical issues. Some local authorities have started to complete the toolkit and are interpreting it for their own experience and policies. It is important to note that the spreadsheet is just a tool to help inform the development of the plan.
The toolkit and plan were consulted on and tested in 5 local authority areas. Indigo House, who designed the spreadsheet has said that if anything needs to be changed then it could. Recognition that if the toolkit could be amended then it should be as a matter of priority.
Action: Spreadsheet: Maggie Brunjes will work with the Housing Options Hubs to refine the toolkit spreadsheet.
Action: SG homelessness team to send feedback received from local authorities to help facilitate the process.
Action: A refined toolkit spreadsheet and/or guidance to be circulated to LAs by end of September
Following discussions throughout the meeting, enough information has been collected to produce a FAQs briefing and this should be shared with the group and on SG website
Action: SG homelessness team to prepare FAQs to be virtually shared with the sub-group for comment and approval and then sent to local authorities and partners (SG Homelessness Team)
Ewan noted that within the RRTP guidance there was no mention to a need for culture change. Advised that this is included in the HARSAG recommendations and included in implementations plans for HPSG. Agreed it would be helpful to send to sub group once agreed by HPSG next week.
Action: Use implementation plan once approved by HPSG to send to partners of sub-group members together with a note from the group. (SG Homelessness Team)
Engagement with partners
Discussion on how we engage with partners to promote Rapid Rehousing and Housing First, this is being done already with housing and HSCP. Housing encouraged that other areas are being included regarding homelessness, such as social work. Plans should include all groups identified – care leavers/veterans/offenders.
Heads of Social Work are being kept informed of HARSAG but it would be useful if SG issued something that feeds into social work. It was noted there are still discussions with people unaware of HARSAG and the recommendations are not immediate for them.
Action: Feedback to HPSG the need to communicate the HARSAG recommendations at a national level, putting HARSAG on a similar footing to GIRFEC. (ALACHO)
ALACHO issued a survey to all local authorities, to date 28 replies have been received. Feedback received points out that the main challenge is the timeline for plans to be properly underpinned with consultation. Concerns over buy-in in rural areas and the challenge of preparing a full plan by December. Requiring sign-off by Council Committees is also a concern in terms of timescales. Members were reminded that there is support available from SG, COSLA & ALACHO and a full and final Plan is not required by December and plans can be sent with a caveat of being subject to committee approval as happens with SHIPs and LHS.
How will plans be evaluated
Discussion around the suggestion of peer audit being undertaken by the Hubs. Hubs are already sharing information, sharing information should not stop on 31 December, it should be on-going and followed up. It was suggested that it would be helpful to have a clear expectation of what is expected at various dates.
Action: Consideration to a timeline of key dates for RRTPs. (SG Homelessness Team)
All 32 local authorities will have to complete EQIA to support their plans.
Change in culture
It was noted that the LHS have to have RRTP included and embedded for a culture change and not separate.
SFHA confirmed RSLs are being kept informed of HARSAG & RRTP. RSLs will need to be involved and the message will be repeated at various groups. SG asked to be kept informed of RSL engagement on RRTP. It was also noted that talks have started with the private sector.
Attendees and apologies
- John Mills, ALACHO (Chair)
- Nicola Dickie, COSLA
- Katy McBride, East Hub Rep
- Alan Jones, North Hub Rep
- Andrea Elliot on behalf of Janine Barrett, South West Hub Rep
- Martin Smith, Tayside, Fife & Central Hub Rep
- Julie Hunter, West Hub Rep
- Maggie Brunjes, GHN
- Zhan McIntyre, SFHA
- Ewan Aitken, Cyrenians
- Ruth Robin, NHS Health Improvement Scotland
- Paul Hughes, Director of Finance Rep
- Marion Gibbs, Scottish Government
- Lynsey McKean, Scottish Government
- Kevin Wilkie, Scottish Government
- Lindsey McKenna, Scottish Government
- Tim Pogson, SHN
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