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Decision details

Extension of safe accommodation contracts for victims of domestic abuse

Decision Maker: Executive Member for Health and Social Care

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

To award contract  extensions, by way of variation, to the existing contract to Sheffield Women’s Aid, the current provider of refuge accommodation in Sheffield, and to IDAS the current provider of dispersed safe accommodation in Sheffield to continue to provide safe accommodation services until  new services can be procured.

 

The key reason for the extension is to allow us time to respond to our new duties under the Domestic Abuse Act.

 

The extra time will ensure the provision of much needed refuge and safe accommodation for people at risk of domestic abuse continues to be in place whilst a comprehensive needs assessment takes place, recommendations are made regarding the service requirements for the next five years and a tender process is undertaken within Council’s Standing Orders, to procure new safe accommodation based on the need. 

 

Decision:

 

That the Council:

 

  1. Extend, by way of variation of the current contract with Sheffield Women’s Aid for a further 12 months, to 30th September 2022.

 

  1. Extend by way of variation the Safe Zones contract for an additional 6 months to 30th September 2022.

 

 

Reasons for the decision:

The current contract ends on 2nd October 2021 and 31st March 2022 respectively.  However, the new Domestic Abuse Legislation and templates for a needs assessment and only commenced in April 2021.  The needs assessment, consultation processes and development of strategic priorities will take a number of months to complete and report to Government by 31st October 2021.  The procurement process itself will take 5 to 6 months to complete within requirements under the Public Contracting Regulations and Council Standing Orders.

 

Refuge and Safe zones provision are essential services protecting vulnerable victims of domestic abuse who are primarily women and children. Failure to extend the service by a new short-term contract award would leave victims without safe accommodation and would put additional pressure on Social Care and Homeless services in the city.

 

 

Alternative options considered:

None – given the timing of the Domestic Abuse Act and work required to ensure we meet the new legal duties it would not be possible to recommend an appropriate medium to long term solution and carry out the tender exercise within the time available.

Publication date: 30/07/2021

Date of decision: 29/07/2021

Effective from: 06/08/2021

Accompanying Documents: