The High Support Service is an intensive family intervention project which supports families who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, for causing anti-social behaviour. The service works holistically to support the family to:
- keep their homes, and to understand their responsibilities as tenants
- settle into a community
- nurture and raise their children
- reduce the number of clients not in education, employment or training
- improve their health and well-being
- reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy
This is achieved through a combination of intensive work on a comprehensive support plan. We work with the whole family to tackle the root causes of anti-social behaviour.
The principle behind the service is high support, alongside high challenge, and appropriate use of enforcement action. We work to support families to make positive changes to their communication and behaviour. Where necessary we will also use legal remedies to motivate the family to change.
Any professional can make a referral to the service. All referrals are assessed by a multi-agency admissions panel, and a joint decision is made on whether to offer a family high support. The panel includes representatives from social care services, the police, education, the anti-social behaviour team, area housing offices, the youth offending team, the statutory homeless service and strategic housing. The decision of whether to offer support is based on:
- whether the family pose a manageable level of risk to workers
- if the anti-social behaviour is severe enough to warrant this intensive service
- if there are other services or agencies that may be able to offer more suitable support for their needs
- the capacity of the service at the time
Types of service provision
The High Support Service has three elements:
- The core building – This has accommodation for three families in the same building as the office space. Support workers control access to the building and are able to monitor and support families 24 hours a day.
- Dispersed supported tenancies – These are scattered throughout the city and are managed by the High Support Service.
- Floating support – This offers support to tenants to prevent them losing their accommodation while their tenancy remains with their original landlord. This enables us to work with non-council tenants.
Clients have access to telephone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Key workers work evenings and weekends and spend several hours each week with each family, and are flexible with visit times in response to the needs of the families.