Capita Software Services has been awarded a three-year contract by Darlington Borough Council to supply its supported housing software, Capita Support. This solution will further improve the services provided to vulnerable people in the borough by streamlining processes.
The Capita software will enable analysis to be carried out and trends identified regarding who are accessing its services and why, and use this information to commission, remodel, develop and review targeted services.
Capita Software Services is providing the Capita Support gateway system and Capita Support Housing Options Advice Management System (HOAMS) to manage Darlington Borough Council’s ‘Key point of Access’ service for vulnerable people.
The council successfully piloted a basic database in 2009 and were able to upgrade to Capita Support in 2010 with funding from the government’s Supporting People scheme. Both systems are expected to be live within three months.
Anthony Sandys, Supporting People and housing benefit manager, Darlington Borough Council, said: “Capita Support will enable vulnerable people in Darlington to receive the services most relevant to them straightaway.”
Previously, if a homeless individual required hostel accommodation the hostel would have to assess the individual’s needs. However, if it couldn’t provide an appropriate service, the individual would be referred to another hostel and yet another assessment would be carried out.
Now homeless individuals in Darlington are directed to the Key Point Access delivered in partnership by Darlington Borough Council Housing Services and First Stop Darlington, who assess individual needs and utilise Capita Support to refer people to an appropriate hostel and any other services they might need.
Anthony continued: “It will save us valuable time and money as housing staff are now no longer required to contact hostels to find a vacancy and there is no need for duplicate assessments.”
Roger Birkinshaw, housing director, Capita Software Services, said: “We are very pleased that Darlington Borough Council chose Capita Support and expect them to notice improvements to their working practices and the services they provide to vulnerable people in Darlington immediately. The system is easy to use and, as it is web-based, staff will benefit from having the information they need at their fingertips whenever and wherever they need it.”
Capita Support will fully manage clients, cases, personal housing/support plans, temporary accommodation, applications, assessments, providers and a wide range of specialist functions. It will enable clients’ records to be stored on file, which will be invaluable on the occasions when a client who has been living independently requires assistance in the future.
Capita Support will initially be used by the Darlington Boroough Council and First Stop. However, in time, the council plans to widen access so service providers can access their referrals and notify them when vacancies become available which will streamline the service.