Supporting People consultation paper launched

Supporting People could enjoy a closer relationship with social care under proposals unveiled by the government today.

The long-awaited consultation paper on the future of the £1.7billion programme suggests closer integration of care and housing support funding, with social care commissioners taking the lead.

It says there is “little reason” why people who need housing support and care should not receive both from the same provider, particularly when both services are commissioned by a local authority.

The document also proposes the introduction of individual budgets and direct payments to the Supporting People programme, particularly for those with low support needs.

Local Area Agreements are suggested as a model to deliver services for socially excluded groups, with funding attached to agreed outcomes.

The National Housing Federation welcomed the consultation but said the outline strategy had failed to put the programme on a firm financial basis.

The outline strategy was launched together with a consultation on a new distribution formula for Supporting People, which builds on the formula released last year. Any new formula will not begin to be introduced until 2007/8.

Consultation on both plans will end on 28 February 2006 with a full strategy planned for the summer.

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