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New guidance backing a far-reaching initiative designed to improve ...
New guidance backing a far-reaching initiative designed to improve

support services for vulnerable people was issued today.

Housing minister Sally Keeble said the guidance was a major step

towards improving long term care services.

Sally Keeble said:

'Our first aim is to ensure support services for the vulnerable

continue uninterrupted. This is an opportunity for everyone in the

sector to develop services based on local priorities meeting the

needs of vulnerable people in the community.'

Supporting People will make care more flexible and needs-led to reach

vulnerable groups including young people, single homeless, women

fleeing violence, the elderly, people with a mental illness, drug

users and those leaving institutions such as prison.

'We have developed Supporting People in close consultation and

partnership with support providers, local authorities and other

partners. I am impressed by the hard work so far and hope everyone

working in the sector will continue to engage locally and nationally

to ensure that we achieve a smooth changeover in 2003 with better

services in the longer term.'

Ms Keeble said providers, local authorities and other partners in

social services, probation and health should read this guidance and

pass their comments to the DTLR on the Supporting People Knowledge

website. Housing-related support providers

should look at the guidance to determine what local authorities will

be doing, and why.


1. The Supporting People programme launches in 2003 and will

provide housing-related support services to a wide range of

vulnerable people through grants administered by local authorities.

2. The guidance will be issued on CD-Rom, and hard copy, along

with a short guide for support providers. It will give local

authorities and providers a definitive set of instructions for the

run-up to 1 April 2003 with the aim of ensuring open access to

efficient services continues.

3. The Guidance is divided into two parts: interim and steady state.

4. Interim processes are necessary to get the programme

up-and-running for 2003 and the Guidance sets out one-off tasks,

for example, an interim contract template for local authorities and

providers. The interim processes must be completed by April 2003.

5. Steady state guidance covers the main administrative tasks

required for the ongoing delivery of the programme and details

guidance for local authorities on, for example, how to ensure

Supporting People strategies are linked into other local strategic

planning. Many of these processes won't be required until after

2003 and the DTLR is continuing its consultation on some key areas.

6. Comments on the guidance can be registered on (or email The

closing date for comments on the Interim Guidance is 14 December


7. In addition DTLR has produced a short guide for registered

social landlords, agencies and other organisations providing

support services, which can be downloaded from the Supporting

People K-Web (and will be mailed out in November 2001. It is

designed to highlight some key areas of the guidance relevant to

providers in order to assist in their preparations for Supporting


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