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Borough of Poole on the way to Gold Standard rating

Borough of Poole's Housing Services Team has successfully achieved the first step on the way to becoming a Gold Standard authority.

The council is going for gold after a successful peer review of the homelessness service by colleagues from Bristol City and Swindon Borough councils.

The government's ‘Gold Standard’ national improvement programme is designed to help local authorities improve their housing options and advice services to prevent homelessness.

Bronze Award

Local authorities must complete and successfully pass a peer review, which involves a week long assessment of a range of services on offer, to be able to go on to make an application to reach Gold Standard status. There are ten steps a council must achieve to become a Gold Standard authority and Poole has successfully completed the necessary steps to achieve the Bronze Standard.

Cllr Karen Rampton, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Borough of Poole, said: “I would like to congratulate the team for this achievement. Having achieved the Bronze Standard we can now build on this as we continue towards becoming a Gold Standard authority. We have demonstrated that tackling homelessness effectively is a key priority for Borough of Poole and the quality of the services on offer to prevent homelessness occurring in the first place by our staff and partners has also been recognised."

To reach Gold Standard status, Poole will now need to meet the remaining key commitments including offering a comprehensive housing options service for all, with advice and support for single people as well as families in need and verifying the delivery of a local No Second Night Out scheme to help prevent new rough sleepers from becoming entrenched into a street lifestyle

Areas tested during the peer review process include:

  • the effectiveness of the council's homelessness strategy
  • the quality of the content, navigation and ease of access of the relevant webpages
  • the quality of advice provided to households using the service
  • the quality of customer interviews and home visits

A spokesman on behalf of the National Practitioner Support Service said: “The National Practitioner Support Service is delighted with the outcome of the peer review and Bronze standard achievement carried out on Borough of Poole's front line housing services recently. Borough of Poole's services scored highly when assessed by officers from two other councils, confirming that they have a good baseline threshold of services with an emphasis on preventing homelessness whenever possible. 

The council is now working toward achieving the ten Local Challenges which, like the peer review process, is part of the wider Gold Standard Programme. The Gold Standard  Programme is funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government, based on the ten ‘local challenges’ set out in the second report from the Ministerial Working Group on Homelessness, “Making Every Contact Count: A Joint Approach to the Prevention of Homelessness” and it has been designed to support local authorities to deliver effective and efficient services that prevent and tackle homelessness effectively.

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