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Neighbourhood (Housing) Solutions Ltd
Housing Manager in transition - 4
As a generalisation you can assert that the vast majority of middle aged and elderly adults with a learning disability or enduring mental illness will have been rehoused from the former institutions, and will now be living, and we hope, enjoying life in well run residential care or supported living of some description.
In my role as housing manager I have noticed that an increasing proportion of referrals are either for younger adults leaving home or special needs college, or for adults who display challenging behaviour.  The sector needs to deploy our younger staff for at least some of the support hours for the former and acquire new skills or partners in challenging behaviour for the latter.
Housing and support providers need to have good information about ex offenders (what exactly was the offence, could it happen again, what will the impact be if it does), about people who lash out at staff or who bite others. Anything is possible, but you must be honest about the skills of your staff and risk assess the likely impact on neighbours, many of whom may be very vulnerable people too, for whom you have a duty of care.
How much expertise will be provided by partner and statutory agencies to support an individual in the community, and how much will the provider be expected to cope on their own? Sometimes providers have to be tough and say, ‘the package of support is not enough to cope with this individual; we will not take this on’.
Failure to be honest about the ability to cope can have dire consequences, despite your void KPIs pressures. Partnership working is vital. Supporting the challenging individual in their new home should be a team effort.
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