Here is an update from Jesse Harris, Social Director for the Independent Living Fund on the latest developments of the transfer of responsibility to local authorities.
Following our meetings with local authorities in October and our ongoing discussions, here is our latest update:-
The three month notice letter containing an explanation of final payment dates and asking for the return of any unspent ILF funding has been prepared for all users in line with our published communication plan. The correspondence also includes two booklets: one explains about the transfer process to their local authority and the second booklet has been written to help users who employ their own personal assistants, or who may do so in the future.
- This correspondence will be sent to all ILF users during the week commencing 16 March 2015
- All ILF users will have now received their final ILF support plan
- All English local authorities have received data about their ILF users to support the transfer
- 95% of local authorities across the UK have received electronic copies of user support plans. We plan to have sent all of these by the end of March
- We continue to support arrangements for transfer in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
To keep you informed as to what is happening across local authorities, there are a number of different approaches to preparing for transfer. Some LAs will have reviewed all their ILF users in time for the closure on 30 June 2015. Some are reviewing after the closure as a one-off project. Some LAs have agreed to maintain payments until an individual reassessment has taken place post-closure, in line with the Code of Practice agreed between the ILF, ADASS and the LGA. Many have been writing to ILF users to help them understand how the process will work in their own authority.
With regards to our own capacity in ongoing service delivery work, by the end of March, 33% of our staff will have left the organisation. However we are committed to maintaining a quality service within these reduced numbers, to continue to support ILF users and local authorities until closure at the end of June 2015.
It is really encouraging that LAs are supporting this process as we discussed with them and while this information will be shared with your LA contact person, please do continue to contact our LA Engagement team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require further support.