Super Sponsor Scheme and Homes for Ukraine: guidance for local authorities

Guidance for local authorities on the Scottish Government’s Super Sponsorship Scheme and Scotland’s responsibilities under the UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.


Person Checks (Disclosure Scotland)

All hosts providing accommodation, whether in their own homes or in a separate property, will need to apply for an enhanced disclosure when they register for both the Super Sponsor scheme and Homes for Ukraine scheme. Where providing accommodation in their own homes, all members of their household aged over 16 years will need to apply for an enhanced disclosure. This helps to ensure guests have welcoming and safe accommodation in Scotland. Hosts will do this together with the local authority who is responsible for matching the guest(s) as part of the initial housing checks referred to above.    

An enhanced disclosure application needs to be submitted for each host providing the accommodation. Where the host is offering a room in their own home, any other individual over the age of 16 years also residing in the household with that individual, should also be subject to the same level of check. . 

Disclosure checks should be carried out before a displaced person from Ukraine is accommodated, regardless of whether the sponsor is a private individual or is the Scottish Government under the Super Sponsor scheme.  However, checks can be carried out retrospectively where needed, for example if a host already has a displaced Ukrainian living with them.

Disclosure Scotland will prioritise these enhanced disclosure applications. Local authorities do not have to pay a fee for these applications.

An enhanced disclosure includes:

When to apply for an enhanced disclosure

Homes for Ukraine

When the local authority receives notification that an individual host has been matched through the Homes for Ukraine scheme to a guest / guests, an enhanced disclosure application form should be fully completed for the host providing the accommodation and, where the guest is residing in the same property as the host, each adult (over the age of 16) who also resides in that property. The application form(s) should be sent to Disclosure Scotland via a counter signatory within the local authority. This data will pass to local authorities from the Scottish Government under the relevant data sharing agreement.

When Disclosure Scotland has completed its checks, it will issue an enhanced disclosure certificate to both the counter signatory within the local authority and the individual host or adult within the host accommodation.

Where there is no information to disclose, the countersigning officer within the local authority will receive email notification of this.  Where no email is sent and there is information to disclose, this should not be taken as an inference that the host or individual in the host accommodation is automatically unsuitable. Instead, counter signatories should wait for the paper certificate and assess the information at that stage

If the counter signatory has not received an email notification or paper certificate within 4 working days please contact Disclosure Scotland via DSCEDutymanagermailbox@disclosurescotland.gov.scot.

The local authority should then consider any information disclosed on this certificate and determine whether the host/household members are suitable

Super Sponsor

When the local authority receives information providing the details of potential hosts, they should request the host (and any adult aged over 16 in the household who will be living in the same accommodation with the displaced person) to complete an enhanced disclosure application as part of the necessary suitability checks for the scheme. This should be done before approved host details are passed for matching Scottish Government sponsored guests to accommodation.

Identity checks

The counter signatory within the local authority is responsible for ensuring that identity checks have been completed in line with Disclosure Scotland’s Code of Practice.

Three pieces of information should be requested from an individual to support identification.  Where possible, one should be photographic (for example, a current passport, driving licence, a Young Scot card or a National Entitlement Card, etc.), one should confirm the name and address of the individual and one should confirm the date of birth of the individual.  There is detailed advice about identity checking on the UK Government website which should be followed: Identity Checking Guidelines.   

A Stakeholder Toolkit providing step by step guidance on the application process for local authorities is available upon request to DSCEDutyManagerMailbox@disclosurescotland.gov.scot

How to apply for enhanced disclosure for hosts

Local authorities must use the email application available on the Disclosure Scotland website – criminal record checks for hosts of displaced Ukrainian people page.

The host or other adult in the host accommodation should complete the first part of the form (questions 1 to 6) and send it to the counter signatory in the local authority, who then completes the rest of the form. The ‘position applied for’ field is already filled in and must not be amended.  

Completed applications should be sent to dsoperations@disclosurescotland.gov.scot, noting KURT in the subject line of the email.

You should send no more than five applications per email. If you have more than five applications, send these in another separate email. 

Assessing enhanced disclosure information

Local authorities are responsible for determining a person’s overall suitability to host. Disclosure checks are one part of this process. Disclosure checks should be considered alongside other information relevant to suitability. This includes information about the accommodation and other safeguarding considerations as set out in the public protection guidance.

A template (attached in supporting documents) is available to help local authorities record their decision-making process.

Enhanced disclosure checks will contain limited information about the circumstances of a conviction. Local authorities may wish to consider whether any further information from other sources would help their assessment.

Local authorities may also wish to consider whether they need to have a discussion with the person(s) to whom the information relates. This can help them understand the circumstances surrounding the behaviour. It can put it into context or clarify any information that may be relevant to their assessment. This may also include considering whether the information the person provided needs to be independently verified.

Find more information about assessing criminal convictions on the Scotland Works For You guidance page

Factors to consider

Offending behaviour

A local authority may consider that if a person has shown offending behaviour listed in the ‘Person checks’ guidance, then they’re unsuitable to be a host and provide accommodation in their home. This would apply to all adults living in the home. 

Types of conduct

An enhanced disclosure check may include information about other types of conduct that may be relevant to a person’s suitability to host. The type of conduct may include, but is not limited to: 

Violence

Examples include:

  • any physical injury caused to another person either with or without use of a weapon
  • domestic abuse including violence
  • any use of force or coercion for personal gain or to achieve another person’s compliance
  • violence towards animals

Inappropriate or harmful sexual harmful conduct

Examples include:

  • inappropriate or unwanted touching, kissing, fondling, masturbation or oral sex
  • possessing, creating, or distributing child abuse images
  • establishing inappropriate relationships
  • sending inappropriate text and/or photo communications via telephone or social media platform to another person
  • engaging in grooming behaviours towards another person
  • using sexualised or suggestive language towards another person
  • forcing or enticing another person to undress
  • forcing or enticing another person to have sexual intercourse or engaging in other penetrative activity
  • forcing or enticing someone to engage in prostitution

Dishonest conduct

Examples include:

  • stealing money or personal property from another person
  • fraud
  • misappropriating money
  • extortion or bribery

Other abusive, harmful or inappropriate conduct

Examples include:

  • any form of threatening or violent behaviour targeted at someone because of their gender or affects one gender disproportionately including physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse and violence
  • domestic abuse
  • bullying or intimidation
  • discrimination or hate based on race, religion or belief, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity
  • aggressive or threatening language or behaviour
  • stalking, harassment, manipulation or coercive control
  • physical neglect or failing to provide basic care and welfare needs
  • being involved in the trafficking and/or supply of drugs
  • recklessness
  • people trafficking
  • exploitation for personal gain

There might be more than one area of concern depending on the facts and circumstances of each case. It also depends on the amount and nature of information contained on a check.

For further information see:

Relevance and proximity

It may firstly be helpful to identify what the local authority is concerned about happening in the context of providing accommodation under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme. For example, if a person has shown a capacity for violence this may indicate they could resort to violence in other circumstances.

Identifying and weighing up factors relating to a person’s past behaviour with factors which may be relevant in the context of hosting arrangements (including whether the hosting arrangements may present opportunities for a repeat of the past behaviour) may help local authorities in making a decision on whether the past behaviour is relevant and proximate in each case.

Factors relevant to the hosting arrangements may include, for example:

  • whether the arrangement involves hosts (or other adults within the host accommodation) living in the same accommodation as guests or in separate accommodation. Certain types of behaviour may be more relevant and proximate if the host (or other adult within the host accommodation) will be living in the same accommodation as the guest(s)
  • whether the guests include children or vulnerable adults
  • whether the host (or other adults within the host accommodation) will be involved in providing support or assistance to guests such as driving them, or helping with the care of young children or elderly guests

Factors relevant to the past behaviour may include, for example:

  • the seriousness of the behaviour. Behaviour that is not seriously harmful may be less proximate. The sentence imposed by the court who convicted the individual can be helpful as a guide to the seriousness of the offence. However, sentences should be treated with caution as it’s possible that serious offending may be dealt with by the court with a low-level penalty due to the specific circumstances of a case. Considering the facts and circumstances of each case will be important and further information may be necessary
  • whether a child or vulnerable person was harmed or exposed to risk of harm as a result of the behaviour
  • whether the behaviour occurred a long time ago or is recent. Behaviour that occurred a long time ago may be less proximate due to the passage of time. However, this is not true of all types of behaviour. For example, in relation to sexual offenders, the passage of time may not be a reliable predictor for future behaviour. So for sexual offending, the passage of time on its own should not overcome a high level of caution about sexual offending in potential hosts, even sexual offending as an adolescent
  • whether the behaviour was a ‘one off’ or whether it has been repeated. Behaviour that involved an isolated incident may be less proximate, although this factor may weigh less where the behaviour was of a serious nature. A pattern of behaviour may indicate a person has difficulty in desisting from such behaviour. Desistence from offending should also be treated with caution where the past conduct was of a very serious nature, such as serious violence or sexual misconduct where:
    • the person has lived abroad since and there may be no information on convictions they got while in another country
    • the person has been serving a long period of imprisonment or has been under the requirements of a supervision order
    • the person has been incapacitated for health reasons for a prolonged period
  • whether the behaviour happened when the person was a child or adolescent, or whether they are now an adult who has not committed a crime for a number of years. Serious harmful offences in a person’s past should always be considered carefully

Support for local authorities

Disclosure Scotland have established a dedicated team in Disclosure Scotland to support local authorities in handling disclosure checks for individuals hosting displaced Ukrainians in their homes.

If you have any questions about enhanced disclosure checks for Hosts and those adults aged over 16 years within the host accommodation:

Guidance and links

If you are going to consider hosts or other adults within the host accommodation who are providing accommodation within their own homes whose enhanced disclosure contains criminal convictions, other relevant information or prescribed court orders, you may want to consider the following types of offending behaviour unsuitable for a host:

  • anyone barred from doing regulated work with children or protected adults under the Protection for Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act
  • any offence that would result in the individual being automatically listed/barred with working with children or vulnerable adults or considered for listing (links to the relevant offences at the bottom of this page)
  • anyone subject to sex offender notification requirements
  • anyone subject to prescribed court orders in relation to:
      • sex offender notification requirements
      • sexual harm prevention order
      • interim sexual harm prevention order
      • sexual offences prevention order
      • interim sexual offences prevention order
      • foreign travel order
      • sexual risk order
      • interim sexual risk order
      • risk of sexual harm order
      • interim risk of sexual harm order
  • anyone ever convicted of the following offences, or Other Relevant Information is provided relating to conduct of this nature:
      • sexual offences
      • violent offences (more than simple assault)
      • any offence involving stalking and harassment
      • any offence with a domestic abuse aggravator
      • any offence involving human trafficking and exploitation
      • any offence involving prostitution (sections 7, 11 or 12 of the Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995
      • any offence involving serious organised crime
      • any offence involving vulnerable persons
      • any offence that was committed against a child
      • any offence which indicates that it included a sexual element

For further information on assessment process for enhanced disclosure checks see the section: Assessing enhanced disclosure information.

For further guidance see:

Contact

Email: ceu@gov.scot

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