About the NHP/LA Relationship
With young people central to everything we do a psychologically informed practice framework takes them on a journey to interdependence. A group work approach develops skills, knowledge and confidence. Young people become friends and support each other through the experience of leaving care together. They make their houses into homes and stay part of the House Project community which reduces the feelings of isolation and loneliness.
1. Young PeopleLocal House Projects are co-designed and co-created with young people at the heart of the decision making process.
2. Trauma Informed Practice FrameworkStaff are trained and supported by psychologists and work in a trauma informed and responsive way. This enables them to tailor support to each young person. ORCHIDS underpins practice and provides a framework that enables staff to plan for young people in a consistent and informed way.
3. CommunityOutcomes for young people are improved; they learn to take ownership and responsibility and experience an improvement in their health and wellbeing. Young people join the LHP as part of a group and therefore have a community of support that is developed and continues beyond the move into their own homes.
4. House Project Programme and PracticeYoung People engage in the House Project Programme and are counted as being in Education, Training or Employment (ETE) and achieve certification through AQA. LHPs commit to ensuring that all young people are on a long-term ETE pathway.
5. HomeYoung people work with the Housing Provider to ensure that they have some choice in where they live and can do up houses that became their homes. They can remain in these homes for as long as they want – for ever if that’s what they choose to do.
6. Outcomes and CostsThe House Project approach was designed and remains an outcomes model but is also delivering significant savings to the Local Authority social care budgets. The approach also reduces demand on wider Local Authority and partner agency budgets with fewer tenancy breakdowns, improved emotional, physical and mental health and less contact with criminal justice services.
The House Project approach has been developed with young people, House Project staff and other professionals. The framework identifies key fidelity elements that define a House Project and enables young people to leave care well.
These fidelity elements form a 'framework' rather than a ‘model’ and with no two local authorities being the same it supports a flexible approach according to local need.
How does the House Project Work
Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide accommodation and care for young people that are looked after until 18 years, and to provide support to care leavers up until 25.
The cost of accommodation represents one of the highest challenges to local authority social care budgets and often with little evidence of achieving good outcomes for young people.
Improved outcomes and reduced costs
The House Project approach provides intensive support and with the development of a community of support, it replicates the principles of 'staying close’. With skilled and experienced staff, the LHP provides a planned safe step down from residential/foster care/supported accommodation allowing improved support to be provided at lower cost.
House Projects deliver improved outcomes and with no tenancy breakdowns or evictions to date, improved emotional, physical, and mental health and less contact with criminal justice services it reduces the demand on wider local authority and partner agency budgets.
My role of a corporate parent is to support our young people into independence. The House Project will help me do that... in my view the house project will have many direct benefits for the young people, not least the fact that they will own and drive the project.
Emma Bennett - Director of Childrens Services, Wolverhampton Council
How does the LHP save money?
The principal cost to the local authority is the establishment of the team. In the first year staff are recruited to the LHP and work with young people on the House Project Programme. During this time young people remain in their placements.
When young people are ready they move in to their own home. This can be at any point after their 17th birthday. They continue to be supported by LHP staff, the wider team and other young people from their LHP. This means that placement costs for these young people are avoided and the cost avoidance is greater than the LHPs costs resulting in a significant reduction in expenditure by the Local Authority.
The outcomes for young people are improved and the local authority avoids the placement costs that would otherwise have been incurred.