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London Borough of Barnet. SELHP – Workshop. Presented by Shaun Flook (Homeless Person’s Manager) & Shahela Begum (Visiting Team Leader). Introduction. The London Borough of Barnet is highly regarded by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) (previously known as the

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London borough of barnet

London Borough of Barnet

SELHP – Workshop

Presented by Shaun Flook (Homeless Person’s Manager) & Shahela Begum (Visiting Team Leader)


The London Borough of Barnet is highly regarded by the Department for

Communities and Local Government (DCLG) (previously known as the


This recognition has led the ODPM to commend the London Borough of Barnet

for its good practice in visiting homeless applicants before a crisis arises or

before a decision is made. We are quoted about this in an ODPM Good

Practice Handbook called “Reducing B&B use and tackling homelessness –

what’s working?”

Barnet background 1
Barnet Background (1)

  • Largest Borough in London spatially (one of largest in England)

  • 2nd highest populated borough in London (324,000 people – 26% BME)

  • 2400 households in TA – 2010 target!!!

  • Massive regeneration schemes

  • One Visiting & Verification Team Leader

  • Three Officers (soon to be five with two funded by ODPM grant) paid at £24k-£26.4

  • In excess of 1500 visits carried out per annum

Barnet background 2
Barnet Background (2)

  • Problem with unsuccessful visits

  • Homeless visits –prevention /assessment/options (PST, DHP etc)

  • Register visits – CBL shortlisted bidders, highly pointed bidders & non-bidders

  • Audits – e.g. Homeless at Home (50 visits recently carried out which led to 40 cancellations), TA occupancy/options advice

Workshop 1 15 mins
Workshop 1 (15 mins)

What are the advantages of visiting

people in housing need in their own

homes over doing everything from the office?

Workshop 2 15 mins
Workshop 2 (15 mins)

What measures can we take to ensure

staff’s safety when visiting applicants

within their homes?

Feedback on workshop 1

Recognising support needs

Environmental Health Issues

Identifying Abuse (Child, DV)

Detecting multi-agency Fraud

Homeless Prevention with the excluder

Housing Options

‘Mediating’ with the applicant and excluder

Non-bidders – identify the most vulnerable and meet their needs (bid for them), identify non-occupancy, educate the customers.

Promoting the Housing Register as a viable option where applicable.

Homeless at home - agreeing and monitoring

2010 TA target

Feedback on Workshop 1

Feedback on workshop 2

Personal alarms – pros and cons


Accurate & comprehensive referral systems

Pre-visit checks – support worker, CMHT/CPN, file, computer systems

Monitoring – visiting diary, white board

Training – Suzy Lamplugh Trust etc

Procedures – updated regularly

RockSafe ID Card Personnel Safety System

Accompanied visits (2 VO’s or 1 VO and allocated support worker

Violence at work – recording, debriefing, counselling, informing internally and externally

Mobile phones with speed dial buttons – pros and cons

Feedback on Workshop 2


  • Is it worth investing in home visits?

  • If so, how can you fund them?

  • Spend to save against TA budget?

  • DCLG (ODPM) grant?

  • Secondments?

  • Restructure?

Questions answers

Questions & Answers

Other information
Other Information

  • Any borough wishing to know more about Barnet's approach to Discretionary Housing Payments, which is to deal with them solely within the Homelessness Department instead of Housing Benefit, should phone Sheila Meadows (Housing Options Team Leader on 020 8359 4254) or Evelyn Flook (DHP Officer on 020 8359 4577) on a Monday or Tuesday.

  • Any borough wishing to know more about the ID Badges spoken about during the presentation can look at the following website