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6.1 Housing Options - Procedure for the Fostering and Adoption Scheme

This chapter was added to this manual in March 2014


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Portsmouth City Council Allocations Policy
  3. Procedure for Nominations to the Fostering and Adoption Scheme
  4. Managing Expectations


1. Introduction

As part of the Council's Allocations Policy, Housing Options and Social Services operate a direct nominations scheme to award a high priority to families who wish to adopt or foster children, but whose existing accommodation is not adequate to enable them to do this. As per the Allocations policy, 10 properties per year are available for this purpose.


2. Portsmouth City Council Allocations Policy   

The Fostering and Adoption Team are entitled to use their nominations according to the needs of that Service. However requirements must be achievable within a reasonable space of time, and affordable for the family.

In order to be eligible to join the waiting list, customers must be eligible for public funds, be over 18 and have a local connection to Portsmouth or meet the qualifying armed forces criteria.

Prior to approval on the waiting list, consideration must be given to a customer's financial situation and a thorough financial assessment will need to be carried out. 

The Allocations Policy stipulates that approved foster carers are entitled to one extra bedroom for use by foster children. Housing Benefit rules state that one bedroom only is allowed no matter how many foster children the customer has in their household. In order to be eligible for an extra bedroom through this route, customers must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Approved foster carers who have a child/children placed with them;
  • Approved foster carers who are between placements but only for a period of up to 52 consecutive weeks from the date of the last placement;
  • Newly approved foster carers but only for a period of up to 52 consecutive weeks from the date of approval, if no child is placed with them during that period;
  • Where a child is placed with the customer prior to an adoption order being made.

Suitable evidence must be supplied to verify that one of the above conditions has been met. Evidence can be in the form of a communication from the Fostering and Adoption Team.  

Where a customer requires more than one additional room for foster children, they can apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment to cover the shortfall. Housing Options would require evidence that Discretionary Housing Payments had been agreed prior to registration on waiting list as future housing must be affordable and sustainable.

Should a family who has been allocated a property under this Scheme cease to foster, it is anticipated that the Fostering and Adoption Team will notify Housing Options, a review of the suitability of that accommodation will be conducted, and future housing alternatives explored where necessary.


3. Procedure for Nominations to the Fostering and Adoption Scheme

Referrals must be approved by the Fostering and Adoption Team Manager.

An email can then be sent to Housing Options to include the details of the applicant (current address, contact details any relevant background and required accommodation).

Housing Options will then contact the applicant to conduct an assessment and register them as an X1 code in the high band.

A confirmation letter will then be sent out to the applicant.


4. Managing Expectations

Demand for social housing vastly exceeds supply particularly in non-estate areas therefore it is important to manage customer's expectations of what can be achieved. Nominations to the Fostering and Adoption Scheme provide customers with a high priority on the waiting list therefore it is important that they are flexible about their choices of areas/types of accommodation so that we can rehouse them within a reasonable time-frame.         

End