Received a homeless application from someone with children? Are they likely to be ineligible on immigration grounds or intentionally homeless?
Then you should ask whether they want to be referred to social services.
This duty to offer a referral (under HA 1996 s.213A(2)) is one of those homelessness duties that's often overlooked by busy housing officers.
The purpose of the duty is pretty obvious. If a household contains a child but the applicant is unlikely to be owed a homelessness duty they may still qualify for help with accommodation from social services (under section 20 of the Children Act 1989).
If the applicant gives permission social services can prepare to assess what (if any) help they'll give since housing must:
and then later:
The following letters will help you demonstrate that you've complied with the duty:
Download them for free* once you've created an account (see 'How to download' below).
For a parent facing homelessness the mere mention of social services can be a frightening thing. So the initial letter clearly sets out clearly the reasons why you're offering a referral.
If you assess homeless applications in Wales you should note that the legal test for having to offer a referral is different.
The s.96(2) duty is owed where there's reason to believe that an applicant with whom a person under 18 normally resides (or might reasonably be expected to reside):
Again, there are letters in the Resources section:
You can download these letters if:
*The letters will only be free to download or a limited time.