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August 3rd 2021

A warm welcome to Multiple Disadvantage Matters, the fortnightly newsletter from the Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) coalition.
Reviewing the deaths of people experiencing multiple disadvantage
MEAM has published a new briefing on reviewing the deaths of people facing multiple disadvantage. In this briefing, we encourage local areas to review all premature deaths of people facing multiple disadvantage and call on national government to require this and to collate learning from reviews to inform policy decisions.
Reflections on drug-related death statistics
In our latest blog, MEAM respond to the statistics for drug-related deaths published by the Office for National Statistics, including a statement from Oliver Hilbery, Director of MEAM.
Latest policy news

New schemes to support prison leavers at risk of homelessness

The Ministry of Justice has announced two schemes to support prison leavers at risk of homelessness, as part of the Governments new Beating Crime Plan. Separately, over 140 councils in England have been awarded a share of more than £13m as part of a Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) scheme to help prison leavers find suitable accommodation.

Funding for housing and support for rough sleepers experiencing violence and abuse

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has launched the Respite Rooms Trial Programme, which will see 12 local areas across England share £3.7 million to fund accommodation and expert support for victims of violence and abuse.

Consultation on the health and disability green paper

The Department for Work and Pensions has opened a consultation on the health and disability green paper, which explores how the welfare system can better meet the needs of disabled people and people with health conditions, including mental health. The consultation closes on the 11th October 2021.

Second interim report on Housing First published

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has published its second interim report of the process evaluation of the Housing First Pilots. The report is based on fieldwork which took place between December 2020 and March 2021 and is focused on the embedding of the pilot approaches in each area and the resulting key learning.​ MEAM coalition member Homeless Link has published a response to the report.

Government respond to Dame Carol Black review

The government has published its response to part 2 of the Dame Carol Black review on drugs. Key points include a new long-term strategy to be published by the end of 2021, the appointment of Dame Carol Black as an ongoing independent adviser to government and an annual report on drugs to parliament starting from 2022. The response also confirms the expansion of Project ADDER with an additional £31 million of funding, taking the total investment to over £59 million. MEAM coalition member Collective Voice has published a response.

Consultation on statutory guidance for definition of domestic abuse

The Home Office has opened a consultation on draft statutory guidance for implementing the definition of domestic abuse. The key objectives of the guidance are to provide clear information on what domestic abuse is, provide guidance and support to frontline professionals who have responsibilities for safeguarding and supporting victims of domestic abuse, and to improve the institutional response to domestic abuse by conveying best practice and standards for commissioning responses. The consultation is set to close on 14 September at 11:45pm

Resources from the sector

Women, homelessness and violence

The Centre for Homelessness Impact has published a report about the links between violence and homelessness amongst women. The report highlights how women’s experiences of homelessness are distinct from men’s and highlights the need to develop homelessness services that are tailored to the distinct needs of women.

Justice Committee call for evidence

MEAM coalition member Clinks has submitted evidence to the Justice Committee’s Inquiry into Mental Health in Prison, focussing on the issues that are most relevant to the role of the voluntary sector in the criminal justice system.

Prisons White Paper

Robert Buckland QC MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, delivered a speech to the Centre for Social Justice in which he announced a Prisons White Paper. Clinks has published a blog considering what might be included in the paper and why the voluntary sector should have a meaningful say in its contents.

Mind blog on Mental Health Act

The government recently published its response to the consultation on the White Paper, which asked people to give their views on reforms to the Act. MEAM coalition member Mind has published a blog outlining its view on the government’s response.

Housing First

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Ending Homelessness has published a report on the case for scaling up Housing First services across England.

Guide for councillors on treatment and recovery for people with drug or alcohol problems

The Local Government Association has published a guide, developed in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), to raise awareness about drug and alcohol related harms. The guide is designed to empower councillors by providing an introduction to treatment and recovery services, key considerations, signposting to useful resources, as well as questions to ask to support effective decision making.

Treatment and services for people who are homeless and use drugs

New research has been published investigating what treatment and services are effective for people who are homeless and use drugs. The report includes a systematic ‘review of reviews’ to investigate the effects of interventions for this population on substance use, housing, and related outcomes, as well as on treatment engagement, retention and successful completion of treatment.

Women in prison

The Prison Reform Trust has published a new briefing on women’s imprisonment. The briefing provides a concise and informative explanation of the need to focus on reducing the imprisonment of women in England and Wales. It contains statistics on the number of women imprisoned, the characteristics of women in prison and the drivers to their offending, as well as information about community-based services and solutions. Russell Webster has published an accompanying blog in response.

Learning Opportunities

Drug treatment and recovery work with people on probation

HM Inspectorate of Probation will launch its new report on drug treatment and recovery work with people on probation at a webinar on Friday 20 August.

ISSUP UK Launch Event

The International Society of Substance Use Professionals UK chapter will launch on Thursday 23 September with an online event followed by a webinar on the topic of ‘Substance Use and Families’.

Psychologically Informed Environments

Homeless Link is delivering a webinar outlining the top 10 suggestions for starting and sustaining work on embedding a PIE approach, which recognises that people accessing services have needs at a deep psychological level and that in order to provide services that are both effective and compassionate, services need to be able to respond to that need. 

Keeping you up to date at this time
Our priority in this difficult period remains people facing multiple disadvantage and the people who support them. If you have any questions, comments or issues you would like to raise, please contact any member of the MEAM team.  

Multiple Disadvantage Matters will keep you up to date with key policy developments affecting people facing multiple disadvantage. Please forward this email to colleagues, who can subscribe here for future editions.

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