It appears that our head idiot recently met with the other head idiots of surrounding boroughs and has come back with a new proposal, well actually it is now unwritten policy. From now on when we are presented with a client who is fleeing domestic violence then we should seek to place them in a refuge rather than take a homelessness application. To quote from a briefing that we had today "Its not just about reducing homelessness applications, but making sure they are safe"
Well excuse me but making people who may have suffered possibly the most traumatic period of their lives having to move miles away from the support of their friends or family how is that helping them? I know that the refuge's do a superb job in helping victims of domestic violence, but they can't do it on their own!
It seems to me that the push for offering "Options" to clients who are threatened with homeless or are actually homeless means that they are basically being mislead, misinformed or even in some cases actually lied to! I'm sorry I recognise that offering "Options" can be a good thing, but not if local authorities are lying to people. Only recently in my work place I was passed a case from our prevention and option team they had been dealing with the case for a number of months but had only now passed it for a Part VII assessment because the applicant had had contacted a solicitor who had written in asking why no decision had been made, the Options staffed wrote back and lied stating that a Part VII application had been taken 3 months ago, but a decision would be made in the next 7 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would say to anyone who represents clients in respect of homelessness applications to ask for a copy of the clients file and check when the client approached the Authority and when the Authority officially took a homelessness application. Willing to bet you'll find many cases where the duty to investigate under Part VII was triggered but was ignored!