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Supporting People glossary

This list is intended to help you understand the language of Supporting People. If you come across a word or a phrase not listed here, please let us know and we’ll add it in.

Accreditation This is a regular assessment of a support provider to check if they are able to provide a good quality Supporting People service. We check their competency, capability and financial viability.
Administering Authority (AA) The local authority which receives the Supporting People Grant and administers contracts for Supporting People services. In Merton, this team is based in the Community and Housing department and is called the Supporting People team.
Benchmarking A comparison of similar services by quality, performance and cost.  This is one of the ways of ensuring the quality of services in Merton continually improves.
Best Value A duty on local authorities to assess and review the services they provide for local people and improve them by the best means available. This must be done in consultation with the people who use the services and the wider local community.
Block Contract The means by which the Supporting People team purchase support services for more than one person, usually in advance of the service being delivered.
Block Gross Contract A contract for a support service which is delivered for a short period, i.e. less than two years. Payments are made for a fixed number of service users. Service users are not charged for the support.
Block Subsidy Contract A contract for a support service which is usually long-term or permanent, e.g. sheltered housing. Grant payments to the provider will vary, depending on how many people receiving the support service qualify for the subsidy at any given time.  Providers tell the SP team on a monthly basis who has moved in and out of their service, and the subsidy payment is adjusted accordingly.  Some service users may be charged for this service.
BME Black Minority Ethnic.
Care Supporting People does not pay for care.  It only pays for housing related support.  It may fund some services which also provide care, but Supporting People only pays for the housing related support in those services.
CLG Communities and Local Government (formerly the ODPM) - this is the central Government department which is responsible for the Supporting People programme and monitors the performance of each administering authority.
Client Group A category, such as ‘older people’ or ‘single homeless’ used to help the Supporting People teams monitor who is accessing services, and identify where there is need for new services.
Client Record Form These are completed by providers each time they take on a new client. Details such as previous type of accommodation, client group and ethnicity are recorded so Supporting People team can monitor who is using the services.  No personal details are recorded.
Commissioning Body In Merton, the Commissioning Group is made up of representatives from all of the partners involved in Supporting People, such as Community Care, Housing, Health and Probation. It sets the overall direction of the Supporting People Strategy and has ultimate responsibility for how the SP Grant is applied in Merton.
Contract Schedules These are part of the Supporting People contract and contain details of the services to be provided in that contract and the cost of each service.
Cross Authority Group (CAG) Neighbouring AAs working together to plan and develop policies and services across the group.  Merton participate in the South West London CAG, which also includes Croydon, Kingston, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth.
Cross Authority Provision A service designated by the ODPM to provide support for service users originating from another Administering Authority's area i.e. not Merton residents.
DV Domestic violence.
Fairer Charging For chargeable services a Fairer Charging financial assessment can be done for service users who do not qualify for Housing Benefit.  It is a locally set means test that will be used to assess how much, if anything, service users have to pay for their support service.  
Floating Support This kind of support is "attached" to the person, not the property and can follow a service user if they move to another address.  It only lasts for as long as the client needs it, then "floats away". The client does not have to live at a certain address to receive the support.
Foundations The National Co-ordinating Body for Home Improvement Agencies (HIA)
Home Improvement Agency (HIA) An agency which enables vulnerable people to maintain their independence in their chosen home for the foreseeable future. "Vulnerable people" may include older people, people on low incomes, disabled people etc. The homes would usually be private rented, leasehold or owner-occupied.
Housing Benefit A means tested state benefit paid to council or private tenants who need help paying their rent.  
Housing Related Support Support specifically aimed at helping people to establish themselves, or stay in, their own homes. Examples of housing related support include helping people to manage their money, apply for benefits, keep their home secure, access other services.
Hub Services A proposed national supporting people website.  It will offer features such as a national directory of support services.
Legacy Funding Legacy funding is the total amount of money paid to a service before the Supporting People programme came into effect. There were seven types of legacy funding, including transitional housing benefit, supported housing management grant and PAGs. The total legacy funding forms the existing SP contract price.
LSVT Large scale voluntary transfer of council housing. This could be to a private company or a registered social landlord.
Managing Agent A managing agent is an organisation providing housing management services (such as collecting rent) on behalf of another body, often a Registered Social Landlord. The managing agent may also provide the support services.
National Housing Federation (NHF) Also known as NatFed, the NHF provides advice and support for not-for-profit housing providers. Their website address is They have regional Supporting People advisors to help their members understand any issues around Supporting People.
PAG Probation Accommodation Grant; paid by the Home Office to probation services to fund accommodation and support to ex-offenders. The PAG was transferred to the Supporting People Grant in April 2003.
PCT Primary Care Trusts – the Sutton and Merton PCT are responsible for planning and providing healthcare services in the borough. They are partners in the SP programme, along with Housing, Social Services and Probation.
Performance Indicators (PIs) Performance statistics submitted to the Supporting People teams by support providers on a quarterly basis. They are used as part of contract and quality monitoring.
Pipeline Scheme In Supporting People terms, this is a service which was due to open after the 1st April 2003.
Provider Adjustments These are sent, on a monthly basis, to the Supporting People team by providers of block subsidy services. They detail clients who have moved in or out of the service and the payment is adjusted accordingly.
Quality Assessment Framework (QAF) Providers self assess their service against national objectives (such as consulting service users on how they want the service to be run). The Supporting People team use the results as part of the benchmarking process, with the aim of continually improving the quality of services in Merton.
Registered Social Landlord (RSL) A non profit-making voluntary group, generally a Housing Association, formed to provide affordable housing.
Service Review A service review examines the support provided to see if there is a need for it, if it is good quality support, if it gives value for money and if there needs to be any changes.
Sheltered Housing Housing specifically for older and/or disabled people. Includes a block or group of houses with resident or visiting warden and individual properties which receive support from a mobile warden or pendant (emergency) alarm service.
SP3 A form used by the Supporting People teams to collect information from providers about their services.  This information was stored on an ODPM database called SPINTLS.
SPLS Supporting People Local System - a local authority computer system used to hold service, provider, payment and client details for Supporting People.  Merton use the OLM CareSupport SPLS system which replaced SPINTLS.
SPINTLS Supporting People Interim Local System – a database provided to Supporting People teams by the ODPM to collect provider and service information in order to accurately price services and contract with providers. This has now been superseded by the SPLS.
Spot Contract The purchase of support services for individuals, usually on an emergency basis or on demand. Such purchases can also be paid for after the service has been delivered.
Supporting People Grant Money from the government to pay for housing related support services under the Supporting People programme.
Supporting People Programme The programme came into effect on the 1 April 2003, and pays for all services providing housing related support. Services are monitored on their relevance, quality, performance and cost.   
Supporting People Strategy The strategy is a five year plan for managing the Supported Housing sector in Merton.
Support Provider The organisation providing housing-related support services paid for by Supporting People. Organisation types include Registered Social Landlords, voluntary sector organisations, local authorities, charities and the private sector.
Support Service A service eligible for funding through Supporting People. This could include advice on maintaining a tenancy, help with filling in forms, help with keeping accommodation safe and secure, etc.
Transitional Housing Benefit (THB) Up until the 31 March 2003, THB paid for housing related support in instances where the service user needed help to pay for their service.  
Validation Visit A "reality check" by a SP Monitoring and Review Officer to a support service to establish whether the provider is achieving the standards they have been contracted to deliver.  The Monitoring and Review Officer also consults with services users and staff to find out their views of the service.  The aim of these visits is to work with providers to improve the quality of services in Merton, and the findings feed into the service review.