The Care Act, personalisation and the new eligibility regulations: a dsicussion paper about the future of care and support services for homeless people in England

Document type
Discussion paper
Cornes, Michelle; Mathie, Helen; Whiteford, Martin
Social Care Workforce Research Unit
Date of publication
1 February 2015
Social Work, Social Care and Social Services, Housing and Homelessness
Social welfare
Material type

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As funding for Housing Related Support (formerly Supporting People) services continues to shrink, it is timely to revisit the question as to whether ‘homeless people’ are eligible for publicly funded care and support, including personal budgets, organised through the local authority. The Care Act 2014 which was implemented from April 2015 in England, heralds some positive changes which may serve to open the door to this funding stream which has rarely been used in support of ‘homeless people’. As the law currently stands ‘homeless people’ as a service user group are not eligible for community care assessment (though people who are homeless and who fall into one of the ‘eligible groups’ by virtue of having a mental health or drug and alcohol problem may be). The Care Act 2014 removes reference to ‘eligible’ and ‘ineligible’ groups so that any adult with any level of need will have a right to an assessment. Exploring some of the ways in which homeless people have been excluded from care and support in the past, this paper outlines how homeless organisations can work with local authorities to ensure fairer and more consistent access and in so doing, potentially secure their own futures in the face of fewer ‘block contracts’ and more individualised forms of commissioning.

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