The Homelessness Action Group recommended establishing a national framework of outcomes, against which Welsh Government and local authority commissioners can be evaluated, to understand where progress is being made. We believe this is essential to be able to measure the impact of policy interventions.
We have been concerned previously that a number of positive suggestions – utilising trauma-informed models of care, co-producing services directly with clients, or hiring support workers with lived experiences for example – are mentioned in official guidance and commissioner specifications, however there is no way to ensure they are being implemented in practice.
There is also currently no formal requirement for local authorities to consult with providers or service users themselves before making big decisions about services.
A national homelessness outcomes framework would improve confidence in the commissioning process.
This national homelessness outcomes framework should also be considered alongside the more established framework for monitoring national health outcomes, as the two are inextricably linked.
We would expect to see a meaningful reduction in homelessness and rough sleeping ultimately lead to better outcomes across several key areas of public policy.
Commissioners must be encouraged to develop robust impact assessments for their proposals, and this must include a genuine conversation with experts in the sector as well as current clients and those with lived experience.
Consideration should also be given to the responsibility for monitoring the national framework and holding public bodies to account.