We can help you to review the quality of your housing options and homelessness assessment services. We can also recommend ways of embedding good practice and quality assurance systems.
Why choose Shelter's Consultancy Services?
Housing and homelessness have been Shelter's main focus since our foundation in the 1960s. Our Housing Aid Centres are major providers of housing advice to individuals and institutions, so our consultants have a wealth of knowledge and expertise to draw upon.
We have 10 years' experience in developing quality-and-performance frameworks. Our internal Specialist Quality Mark audit programme is accredited by the Legal Services Commission, and we have worked with more than 60 local authorities, reviewing services and improving planning and performance since setting up in 2001.
Our quality audits, 'mystery shopping' exercises and surveys provide real business benefits. They are effective in compiling your Homelessness Review and Strategy, demonstrating progress and highlighting areas for improvement.
We offer two types of Quality Audit: one specialising in housing advice, homelessness prevention and housing options, and the other in the Part VII inquiry and decision-making process. Both include:
sample file assessments
on-site reality checks (including 'mystery shopping' call investigation)
review of policy and procedures
Our housing advice, homelessness prevention and housing options audit assesses the accuracy, effectiveness and appropriateness of advice and looks at standards of case recording and management.
The Part VII audit can be combined with our housing advice audit. It focuses on quality of service, with the emphasis on decision-making and the quality of case recording and file management.
We use anonymous telephone calls to test the standard of call-handling and customer care, and the quality of the initial advice.
Callers cover a range of housing-problem scenarios to test homelessness-prevention strategies and the ways in which statutory homelessness obligations are met. Advice on matters such as Housing Benefit, debt, and landlord and tenant or housing law can also be assessed.
Systems change in homelessness services
Governments and organisations have put a lot of time, money, and effort into solving entrenched social issues such as homelessness. Unfortunately, most issues still exist and many have worsened.
This has necessitated a new way of thinking: systems change.
Systems change, also known as systems practice, seeks to understand the root causes of a complex issue and how they interact with each other. Systems are dynamic and changing. It's not a case of 'fixing' a system but rather working towards making it healthier.
We run a systems change programme funded by London Councils, and the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. We analyse homelessness services and provide tangible action plans to incorporate a systems change mindset. The programme aims to help:
reduce staff burnout
improve staff retention
encourage partnership working
If you are interested in working with us and would like more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Establishing the views and opinions of stakeholder agencies and service users is vital for any agency that is serious about quality and delivering continuous improvement.
Our surveys concentrate on the seven 'A's of service delivery: Awareness, Access, Application, Assessment, Advice, Accommodation and Administration.
The stakeholder survey generally employs an internet-based questionnaire, while service user surveys are usually conducted over the telephone.
Our stakeholder survey will also consult on the extent and success of strategic and joint working.
We can also arrange and facilitate customer focus groups to assist the service user survey.
Full reports of our findings with an executive summary.
Practical recommendations for improvement.
A presentation to your chosen audience (on request).
Benchmarking against national and regional authorities (on request).
Shelter's Homelessness and Housing Advice Consultancy Services are competitively priced, offering the best deal for a top-quality service.