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Young people's supported accommodation services (YPSA)

Information about young people's supported accommodation for professionals working with young people

About the YPSA service

Our vision

Our vision is that every child and young person in Oxfordshire should have access to:

  • a full range of housing services
  • the opportunity for a decent and affordable home suitable to their needs.

Vulnerable families should be helped to live in safe and suitable housing. We want to improve outcomes for vulnerable young people, children we care for and care leavers.

The service

Vulnerable young people - or young people at risk of homelessness -  are provided with high quality accommodation while being supported to develop their independent living skills, find employment, education or training.

The service is a short-term intervention which includes a plan to help young people meet their long-term needs.

The service has been developed with professionals, organisations and young people who have experience of supported housing services.

The YPSA service is co-commissioned in partnership with city and district councils.

Who is eligible for the service?

Services are targeted at young people aged 16-24 facing the following issues:

  • Separation from or loss of family
  • Past family experiences such as trauma, abuse, neglect, family breakdown, parent drug and alcohol addiction, parent mental health or disability issues
  • Challenging behaviours which have resulted from their experiences
  • Needs resulting from drug and alcohol issues, anger management, low self-esteem, self-harm, mental health, learning disability and domestic abuse.

YPSA eligibility criteria and referral process (pdf format, 165Kb)

It is recognised that there may be young people that may display/have a set of specialist needs that cannot be catered for within the YPSA and alternative accommodation options and support will need to be considered.  The young person’s support needs will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Consideration will be given to the capacity to meet the needs of the young person within the YPSA framework of support.

YPSA service objectives

The YPSA service objectives are that young people are:

  • in accommodation suitable for their needs
  • supported to maintain their accommodation 
  • able to feel safe 
  • engaged in education, employment and training
  • supported to live healthier lives
  • equipped with the skills necessary to live independently so they can move on with their lives in a planned way without becoming homeless
  • supported to prevent being homelessness
  • supported to build positive relationships and links to their local communities and family members if it is safe to do so.

Referring to the YPSA service

Referral forms are normally completed by social workers, leaving care personal assistants, district council housing officers or other statutory agencies. These forms are emailed to placementserviceadmin@oxfordshire.gov.uk or via LCS for OCC staff.

YPSA referral process flowchart (pdf format, 66Kb)

Referring from one part of the YPSA service to another

Some young people will need to be referred from the 16/17- year old to 18-24 year old service if they need support as they reach the age of 18.

They will need to complete the non-emergency assessment and referral form (doc format).  Check the guidance to support the scoring required (pdf format)

The YPSA progress plan review at 17.5 years (pdf format) should be followed to ensure that young people can be transferred into the 18+ YPSA service or, where tenancy ready, supported to find their own independent accommodation.

Service packages and providers
Service packages (SP) Locality Organisation delivering the service
SP 1 (16-17): 
Shared accommodation with up to four young people living together.
All localities

Oxfordshire County Council in-house with Response commissioned to deliver accommodation.

A short video to introduce the new OCC in-house YPSA team.

SP 2 (16-17):
Unaccompanied young people welcome assessment houses (shared accommodation with up to four newly arriving unaccompanied young people living together for up to four months. After four months, young people will move into service package 1 - process (pdf format)
Cherwell (Banbury) and Oxford City Oxfordshire County Council in-house with Response commissioned to deliver accommodation.
SP 3 (16-17): 
Move On Homes (intensive support for up to nine months).
South and West Oxfordshire Oxfordshire County Council in-house.
SP 4 (16-24): 
Supported Lodgings (supported in a family environment).
Localities vary depending on the location of Supported Lodging Hosts Oxfordshire County Council in-house working with Supported Lodgings Hosts to deliver service.
SP 5 (18-24): 
Shared accommodation with up to four young people living together.
Cherwell (Bicester and Banbury) Response (in conjunction with Oxfordshire Youth)
Oxford City Response (in conjunction with Oxfordshire Youth)
South Oxfordshire Response (in conjunction with Oxfordshire Youth)
Vale of White Horse Response (in conjunction with Oxfordshire Youth)
West Oxfordshire Response (in conjunction with Oxfordshire Youth)
SP 6  (18-24):
Single self-contained properties for young people where they are not able to safely live with other young people.
Cherwell (Bicester and Banbury) Connection Support
Oxford City Connection Support
South Oxfordshire Connection Support
Vale of White Horse Stonewater
West Oxfordshire Stonewater
SP 7 (16-24): 
Parents (shared accommodation for a parent(s) to live with their children).
Cherwell (Banbury) Sanctuary Housing
Oxford City A2 Dominion
South Oxfordshire A2 Dominion
Vale of White Horse Stonewater
West Oxfordshire A2 Dominion
SP 8 (16-24): 
Out-of-county due to risks of exploitation (self-contained or shared accommodation for young people who cannot live safely in Oxon).
Out of county Connection Support
SP 9 (18-24) Shared accommodation Homegroup


Supporting young people in the YPSA

Upon entering the service, young people will be allocated a YPSA worker to support them alongside other professionals.  They will work as a team to support the young person while they are in the service and there will be a clear action plan in place.

Service guidance for commissioned services (pdf format). and the 16/17-year-olds YPSA in-house service (pdf format) provides detailed information about the service and how professionals will work together.

Here are some of the documents that workers will use to support young people in the YPSA service:

Dealing with licence breaches

Accreditation opportunities for young people in the service

Accreditation can be used for almost any activity between young people or a young person and a worker. Download the planning flowchart (pdf format)

The AQA Unit Award Scheme (Assessment & Qualifications Alliance) is a nationally accredited scheme. Oxfordshire Council County has been effectively using the scheme in different settings since June 2004.

The AQA Unit Award scheme provides the opportunity to give young people formal recognition of their success in short programmes of work, which have a notional learning time (NLT) of 10 hours and are known as ‘units’. Young people can also receive an accreditation for supporting staff interviews.

Once a young person has completed the requirements to obtain accreditation, the information is sent to Riverside who can process the accreditation - see planning flowchart above.

Measuring progress

Reviewing young people's progress and outcomes

It is important to track a young person's progress and check what they have achieved every three months. This allows staff and young people to agree on where they need support and what areas to focus on.

This is also really important to check if a young person is ready to move from YPSA services into their own accommodation with outreach support available for up to a year.

Measuring the performance of the service

We have significantly changed this service to strengthen the areas identified in the 2019 service review - see below. It's important that we measure how the providers and the service are doing in response to these changes to improve the outcomes for young people.

The documents below need to be completed every three months as part of a performance measurement and outcome framework (pdf format)

How the service works with key partners

Working agreements have been set up with key partner agencies who will work closely with the YPSA service, to support the work with young people and ensure that all services work effectively together and avoid any duplication.

Family group conferences (FGC)


Thames Valley Police

Mental Wealth Academy

Employment, Education and Training and Virtual School (OCC)

Substance misuse

Specialist substance misuse support is provided by Cranstoun Here4YOUth

Brokerage (Placements) Team

Department for Work and Pensions Work Coaches

Unaccompanied Children's Team

Response organisation

Property acquisition and lettings procedure between Response and in-house YPSA team (pdf format, 231Kb)

Escalation process for decision making (pdf format)



YPSA clinical psychologists

These clinical psychologists will support staff working in the YPSA service.

Children's social care

Working agreement framework with children's social care (pd format, 650Kb)

Adult homeless pathway

YPSA and Adult Homeless Pathway interface (pdf format)

Paying for Young People's Supported Accommodation

Oxfordshire County Council pays for the staff support young people receive while they are in young people’s supported accommodation services.  The district councils make a contribution towards these costs.

Young people are required to cover the cost of their accommodation and pay these costs to the service provider.  These costs can be covered by housing benefits or job salary and then each young person also needs to pay an additional £10 a week to cover other costs which cannot be covered by housing benefit which include things like wi-fi and tv licence.

If a young person is under 18 and is in local authority care, all of their costs are covered by social care.

If a young person is over the age of 18 years and is an unaccompanied young person who is not able to access any benefit support, then social care will cover their accommodation costs. However, they will still need to pay the £10 a week charge from their allowance from social care.

Co-production and engagement

 It is important to involve a variety of stakeholders, including young people and professionals, when delivering and developing services to ensure that they meet the needs of the people using the services.

Gathering feedback from young people to design the service (pdf format)

Resources to support co-production and engagement work with stakeholders.

Training for YPSA staff

eLearning for YPSA staff

Check the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (OSCB) website for other training opportunities

Presentations from virtual training/briefing sessions

Accreditation opportunities available for young people in YPSA services.

Understanding the work of Riverside

Family Group Conference service, making referrals and mediation

Substance misuse: harm reduction, identifying patterns around misuse and current issues around particular drugs locally. Understanding the work of Aquarius