Sunday 19 May 2024
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Nottingham

Nottingham City Council announces funding to support accommodation reforms for young care leavers

Nottingham City Council will accept a grant from the Department for Education (DFE) to aid in the implementation of reforms for supported accommodation.

The grant, valued at £246,279, is aimed at enhancing the quality and standards of accommodation for looked-after children and care leavers aged 16 and 17.

Key Highlights:

  • The grant will be used to support the implementation of new requirements introduced by the government for providers of supported accommodation for the aforementioned age group. These providers will now be mandated to register and undergo inspections by Ofsted based on new national quality standards. The registration process will commence from 28th April 2023 and will be obligatory from 28th October 2023. New inspection protocols for supported accommodation will be rolled out in April 2024.
  • The Supported Accommodation (England) Regulations 2023 will enforce new criteria for local authorities when placing children aged 16 and 17 in specific arrangements. From 28th October 2023, local authorities will be prohibited from placing children in provisions that are not registered with Ofsted as supported accommodation, barring a few exceptions.
  • The grant’s primary objective is to assist local authorities in managing the expenses related to the implementation of these changes. This includes supporting both internal and external providers in meeting the new registration and inspection criteria.
  • Nottingham City Council plans to recruit an Assistant Manager for Supported Accommodation, a move deemed crucial to ensure compliance with the new inspection framework. This role will focus on leadership and management, ensuring that the local authority meets the requirements of the new Ofsted inspection framework for supported accommodation.
  • The majority of children in supported accommodation currently reside with providers who are unfamiliar with Ofsted’s rigorous standards. The proposed activities aim to assist these external providers in fulfilling their new obligations, ensuring children receive quality support and are housed in legal and registered accommodations.

Other Considerations:

The council did consider other options, including declining the grant funding or not undertaking any activities to comply with the new regulations. However, these were not preferred due to the financial and operational implications they would have on the local authority.

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Financial Implications:

The grant for the fiscal year 2023/24 will be disbursed in two instalments in April and October 2023. While future funding is anticipated for FY 2024/25, the exact amount has not been confirmed by the government. The council has been advised to ensure adherence to grant conditions to maximize grant spend and minimize any potential clawback risks.

Decision Makers:

The decision was made by Catherine Underwood, the Corporate Director for People, on 22nd August 2023.

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