Policy on Assistance with Transport
1.1 East Dunbartonshire HSCP Social Work Services (the “Service”) provides a range of services to children, young people and adults. In relation to assistance with transport, the Service has reviewed its arrangements with the aims of ensuring that:
- its duties are being fulfilled appropriately; and
- there is clarity across the Service about the circumstances in which it is appropriate to consider providing assistance with transport.
1.2 In reviewing this area of service, the legal, policy and financial framework within which the Service is planned, managed and delivered has been taken into account.
1.3 The Service operates within a defined legal and policy framework. As well as defining its duties towards those who reside in the East Dunbartonshire Council area, the legal framework makes provision for a range of powers which may or may not be exercised by the Service. The ways in which the Service exercises those powers, or does not exercise them, are influenced by the policy framework.
1.4 The Service operates to a defined allocated budget. The Service is accountable for use of this budget. Ensuring that duties are fulfilled includes spending the money it has in the most effective and efficient ways, and ensuring that it does not incur expense unnecessarily. In relation to providing assistance with transport, it is considered that incurring expense unnecessarily would include giving assistance with transport to a service user when s/he has in place, or can gain access to, more appropriate means of such assistance.
1.5 At present, where there is an assessment of need and call for services which requires transport provision, the partnership will provide this as part of the overall package of care, regardless of what other supports may be available such as mobility benefits, mobility car or the ability of an individual to make their own arrangements for transport.
1.6 From this review it became clear that it would be helpful to have in place a policy on the provision of assistance with transport, not only to support the ongoing achievement of the aims noted at 1.1 above, but also to make clear to service users and others with an interest on this matter, the Service’s approach to assistance with transport.
1.7 It is against this background that the Service’s policy on assistance with transport (the “Policy”) has been developed.
2.1 As noted above there are areas where the Service has a duty i.e. where it must provide a service, and there are areas where it may provide a service
2.2 In relation to transport, the Service has no duties or powers to provide assistance with transport for any individuals, or groups of individuals, who are not otherwise involved with the Service.
2.3 In relation to service users, and those with responsibilities towards service users*, the Service will only consider providing assistance with transport where:
- there is a duty to provide this; and/or
- such assistance is assessed as essential to enable achievement of the assessed care plan.
*This might include, for example, a parent, carer or Guardian.
2.4 In relation to service users, and those with responsibilities towards service users, any consideration of assistance with transport in line with (a) and/or (b) above will take into account the availability of other sources of assistance with transport. Where other assistance with transport is available, and depending on the source and nature of that assistance, the Service will decide whether to:
- provide some assistance with transport;
- provide no assistance with transport; or
- provide some assistance with transport and claim/reclaim the cost or part of the cost of this assistance from the person who received the assistance or those with responsibilities towards service users, where appropriate.
2.5 Following the Policy will ensure that the Service:
- appropriately fulfils its duties; and
- provides clarity about the circumstances in which it is appropriate to consider assisting with transport.
2.6 Procedures and operational guidance have been developed to assist implementation of the Policy. The procedures and operational guidance will provide information for staff on implementing the Policy and the process to be followed where it is decided that assistance with transport is to be provided by the Service.
3.1 The Policy will become effective on 5 September 2019 (the “Implementation Date”) except in those instances where arrangements are already in place prior to the Implementation Date, in which case the transitional arrangements specified at paragraph 3.2 will apply.
3.2 It is the Service’s intention to review those cases where there are already arrangements in place for assistance with transport at the earliest appropriate time, in line with the new Policy. This will likely mean that a review of any assistance with transport will take place at the same time as a review of the service user’s care plan and/or when a review assessment of need is taking place. The pre-existing arrangements for assistance with transport will continue until such time as the review is complete and new arrangements are put in place.
3.3 The Policy will be made available on the Council website and in different formats by request.