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Support for sponsors

Welcome Guide

Government's National Welcome Guide

Welcome Guide for Ukrainians arriving in the UK

Staffordshire County Council's Guests Welcome Packs

Welcome Pack for Guests - Ukrainian Version
Welcome Pack for Guests - Russian Version

Communication Booklet

Communication Booklet English-Ukrainian

What is the sponsor registration and screening process?

Staffordshire County Council is the accountable lead for resettlement and as such is the lead agency for ‘Homes for Ukraine scheme’.  However, this response requires us to work closely with partners as the roles required are broad.  We all have a role in supporting Ukrainian people fleeing war and persecution. 

Ukrainian refugees are currently arriving in the UK through one of two schemes, the ‘Ukraine Family Scheme’, a scheme for Ukrainians who have family members in the UK or, the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ Sponsorship Scheme, where sponsors in the UK can offer accommodation to someone from the Ukraine.   

We will be working closely with our local District and Borough Council partners and other partners to ensure refugees are welcomed and have everything they need as part of the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme.  

Local Authorities and partners such as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Health are vital to the success of the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme. The Government guidance for the scheme, expects support to be offered such as: 

  • Conducting checks including DBS, initial accommodation checks and post arrival welfare checks 
  • Provision of education in its broadest sense e.g. early years through to ESOL  
  • Access to targeted and specialist services, for example health services, adult social care and children’s services 
  • Payments to sponsors and guests 
  • Access to benefits and work opportunities 
  • Coordination of resettlement support and other complementary service provision.

The Local Authority or local partners have no role in the visa application or ‘Homes for Ukraine’ matching process. This is administered by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) via the Government Portal (www.gov.uk).  We are aware that there is a backlog which the Home Office and DLUHC are working through. Any queries relating to the visa process should be directed to Gov.uk's Apply for a visa under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) 

 

Roles and Responsibilities - who does what?

Co-ordination  

Staffordshire County Council is the accountable organisation for resettlement as such they will take a lead role. However, the support required sits across the remit of a range of partners and this requires support from across the Districts and Borough Councils, DWP, Health, Police, Fire and the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector to ensure that people arrive safely and have a positive experience whilst they are residing as guests in Staffordshire.    

Initial contact and DBS checks 

Within the Wellbeing and Partnerships team at Staffordshire County Council, a small team is employed to work on resettlement. This team co-ordinates the local response and working with additional support from the Business Support team is tasked with making initial contact with sponsors to gather and share information via a Sponsor Registration (Welcome) Pack.  This information assists in administering completion of the required Data and Barring Service (DBS) checks for all adults in the sponsors household.  

Sponsors will be required to complete an Enhanced DBS check if they are accommodating children or a vulnerable adult. This screen will also confirm expectations and ensure they have got the necessary information required, which has been issued by the Home Office, ready for the initial accommodation assessment visits to be undertaken by District and Borough colleagues to confirm that the accommodation being made available for the guest(s) is suitable.  

An email address has been set up to co-ordinate all incoming enquiries from partners and sponsors ukraine@staffordshire.gov.uk  and will be managed by the Resettlement Team. 

The County Council will be working closely with the eight District and Borough Councils in Staffordshire to co-ordinate home visits, to complete checks to ascertain suitability and acceptable standards of the accommodation being offered and also to ensure that payments to the sponsors and guests can be made as appropriate. 

Initial Accommodation Assessment Visits 

The District & Borough Councils will undertake an initial accommodation assessment visit to the sponsor household to check the suitability of the accommodation offered, to ensure that standards of accommodation are lawful and suitable for the numbers of guests to be accommodated.  At the property check visit, the bank account details for the sponsor household will also be collated, to enable ‘thank you’ payments to be made once all checks have been undertaken. A ‘Homes for Ukraine Property Assessment Form’ will be completed and filed.

Any advisory notices, requiring changes or improvements to be made by the sponsor to the property, regarding the standard of accommodation, should be communicated by the D & B’s Visiting Officer to the sponsor for action and a follow up visit arranged with them to ensure that the advisory notices have been addressed / completed within a suitable timeframe before approval can be confirmed. 

Welfare Visits 

Following the guest(s)’ arrival to the sponsors household, Councils should confirm as soon as possible that the guest is well and that there are no serious safeguarding or welfare concerns or needs for care and support. Where it is suspected that the adult may have care and support needs, a needs assessment should be undertaken during this visit in line with the requirements of the Care Act 2014. The Government’s guidance for Councils can be found on gov.uk's Homes for Ukraine Guidance for Councils.   

The Welfare visits will be undertaken by a member of the Children and Families service or Adult Social Care at the County Council, as appropriate. The welfare visits will also be used as an opportunity to consider any problems that the newly arrived families or individuals may be experiencing and to provide information or support with getting access to any additional services that may be able to help them settle in.  

How do we access the ‘Thank you’ Payment to Sponsors and the interim payment for guests?

Local arrangements have been made with District and Borough colleagues to ensure that subsistence (Interim) payments can be made to guests on arrival and ‘Thank you’ payments can be made to the sponsors to cover ongoing costs.

Thank you payments

Once the required checks on the sponsors' household have been undertaken and approved and placements have been confirmed as suitable, a monthly 'thank you' payment of £350 may be processed by the District or Borough Council in which the guest resides.  This is for up to 12 months after the arrival of the guest(s) has (have) been confirmed, while they continue to stay at the address and if rent is not being otherwise charged to them. 

In order to obtain the above payments, contact the District or Borough Council whereby your property is situated.  These are;

Interim Payments to Guests 

A subsistence payment of £200 is required to be paid to each guest soon after their arrival. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities advise that the payment is intended to be a one off, with further support then being available as an advance payment from the Department for Work and Pensions if required.   

It has been agreed that subsistence ‘hardship’ payments, as a one off payment of £200 per guest, will be processed by the District and Borough on arrival.  This may be before other checks and visits have been completed.   

Emergency Accommodation - What if the sponsorship arrangement breaks down?

In the first instance, if a guest / sponsorship arrangement is looking like it is about to breakdown you need to contact the Ukraine@staffordshire.gov.uk mailbox as soon as possible. A member of the Resettlement Support Team will then contact you to discuss the current issues and advise on a way forward. 

In the event that a ‘Homes for Ukraine’ sponsorship arrangement does break down, as those arriving who have been accepted to the scheme have the right to work and have access to public funds, they will have access to benefits and will be eligible for homelessness assistance and access to social housing, following ordinary procedures.  

All housing authorities operate a 24/7 service for homelessness, where they can place people in emergency accommodation if there is no alternative available to them. Many partner agencies already have a duty to refer into homelessness services if someone is homeless or at risk of homelessness and regularly do so.

If deemed suitable, Staffordshire County Council's Resettlement Support Team will in the meantime look to arrange a rematch with another sponsor that has expressed an interest in supporting families and individuals from Ukraine on this scheme. All of the sponsor safeguarding checks must take place prior to any move to an alternative sponsor. 

Contact details for each District are listed below to enable those in need to be referred to the appropriate service. 

 

District or Borough Area 

Contact during office hours  

Emergency Out of Office hours 

Cannock Chase 

01543 462621 – ask for the Housing Options Team. 

01543 462621  

East Staffordshire 

01283 508120 - housingoptions@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk 

01283 508126 

Lichfield 

01543 308000 – ask for Housing Options or email housing@lichfielddc.gov.uk 

01543 308000  

Newcastle-under-Lyme 

01782 717717 – ask for Newcastle Housing Advice or email nha@newcastle-staffs.gov.uk  

01782 615599. 

South Staffordshire 

01902 696504  

OOH council number 01902 696000. (Listen to message and it gives the number) 

Stafford 

01785 619000 – ask to speak to Housing Options 

01785 619170 

Staffordshire  Moorlands 

0345 605 3010 or email Private.Housing@staffsmoorlands.gov.uk  

01629 532600 

Tamworth 

01827 709709 Option 9 between 08.45am – 17.10pm 

01827 709709 Option 1 between 17.15 and 08.45am.  

Safeguarding concerns

Everyone has a responsibility to report safeguarding concerns to the County Council.  The County Council have responsibility for safeguarding children and adults with care and support needs.

Most children arriving to the UK from Ukraine are expected to be in the care of a parent or family member. If children are identified who are not in the care of a parent or appropriate adult, contact should be made with the First Response Team on 0800 1313 126 - Monday–Thursday 8.00 am – 5.00 pm and Friday – 8:00 am – 4:30pm. Contact should also be made with the First Response team to report any concerns with sponsor placements, involving children and young people.

Consideration should also be given to the needs of vulnerable adults who may need additional support.  If concerns in relation to a vulnerable adult with care and support needs are identified the Adult Protection Contact Centre should be contacted on 0345 604 2719 – weekdays 9:00-5:00 pm.

An Emergency Duty Team is also available for out of hours/emergency enquiries, daily 5pm to 9am, plus 24 hours Bank Holiday and weekends on 0345 6042886.

In an emergency, where someone is in danger or at risk of immediate harm – contact the Police on 999.

Digital Access

If your guests are in need of digital equipment to help them settle in, access education/employment and communicate with their loved ones and you are unable to provide this for them, SCC have a limited supply of digital devices that have been donated by Staffordshire residents to support those who are digitally excluded.

If you need to request a device please use the form below (please note, you will need your Unique Reference Number to complete the form):

Donate I.T Partner Recommendation Form

Staffordshire Libraries can provide additional support and advice for accessing data, training and use of the Library.

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