Equality Impact Assessment

Overview:

Assessment Name: Adult Services Grants to Voluntary and Community Organisations 2011-12
Department: Adult Services Date Created: 17/02/2011
Lead Author: Linzi Gow Lead ID: sshqoplz
Additional Authors (if applicable): Mark (Adult Services) Allen
Camilla Gibson
Jennifer Watts
Becky O'Selmo
 
Aims and Objectives: The Adult Services department maintains an annual grants programme. Grants are awarded to voluntary and community groups who apply for funding to the authority. The principle purpose of the grants programme is to support these organisations in activity that contributes to Corporate priorities and priorities of the Adult Services department. In order for organisations to qualify for consideration for grant funding they must first meet the following criteria:

The proposed service or activity must support one or more of the Corporate priorities, i.e. Hampshire Safer and More Secure for All, Maximising Wellbeing and Enhancing our Quality of Place;

The proposed service or activity must support Adult Services Priorities, in particular Personalisation;

The services, projects or activities are for people living in Hampshire;

The organisation has a clear management structure within its constitution;

And where appropriate, depending on the grant sum requested, the organisation shall:

Have a policy of equal opportunity in both staff recruitment and service delivery;

Have an appropriate adult / child protection policy which includes obtaining checks carried out by the Criminal Records Bureau;

Comply with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Race Relations Act 1976 and 2000, and

Have in place insurance arrangements in respect of staff, volunteers, users and third parties.

Organisations will not normally be eligible for grants where they hold unallocated reserves in excess of one year's running costs, or where it is judged that these reserves are unreasonably in excess of what is required or not allocated for legitimate purposes. Those organisations receiving recurring funding which hold unallocated reserves in excess of three months' running costs may receive a reduced grant. The Adult Services Grant Programme has adopted the Charity Commissionís reserves policy in this respect.

The programme is advertised on the Adult Services Grants website at http://www3.hants.gov.uk/grants/asgrants.htm

Organisations are also notified when the programme is open via the Council for Community Services (CVS), Community Action Hampshire and directly through the Grants Officer. Additionally, organisations have been made aware of the grant programme at presentations at Voluntary Sector Forum meetings across the county.

The balance of grants made reflects the applications received. This results in some regional variation. Adult Services have processes and resources in place to engage actively with excluded groups to address this.

Main Activities: To allocate funding for external organisations whose activities meet the departments core objectives and support its key priorities.
Who's intended to benefit: All vulnerable adults within Hampshire.

Summary of Report:

Summary of Main Findings: The purpose of the Equality Impact Assessment is to assess the reduction in the Adult Services Grant Programme budget for 2011-12.

Hampshire County Council Adult Services Department runs an annual programme to award grant funding to Voluntary and Community Organisations providing services and activities to vulnerable people and their carers in Hampshire.

The programme awards grant funding to support services and activities which contribute to the objectives of the Council and the priorities of the Adult Services Department.

Voluntary and community organisations provide valuable locally based services that are often rooted in the communities which they serve. Significant benefit is produced through this activity, often through voluntary action and focused towards activity that clearly assists in providing early intervention and prevention initiatives. Grant funding by Adult Services contributes to and helps sustain this activity.

In addition, as grants are a contribution to costs the economic benefit to the department can be significant, levering in additional funding, the benefit of volunteer time and therefore providing good value for money to the authority. For example, Club Hampshire Ltd; Adult services funding equates to circa 50% of the cost of running the service. It provides 56 clubs across the county to in excess of 1,100 older people with the assistance of over 300 volunteers.

Due to the current economic climate, there has been a reduction in the budget available to award grant funding to voluntary and community organisations for 2011/12. This amounts to a 23% reduction on funding available for 2010/11. This reduction will inevitably impact on some organisations who will not be awarded grant funding or will receive a reduced grant in the forthcoming financial year.

In addition and in line with the County Council's requirement to ensure efficiencies in the provision of services, recommendations for individual grant allocations include an eight per cent efficiency target. This has been applied to all recommendations except where a reduction has been judged appropriate for other reasons or where organisations themselves made a reduced application for funding in anticipation of the need for efficiencies.

All applications were initially assessed against the programmeís criteria. This included whether the proposed service/activity linked to the corporate and departmental priorities, the organisationís governance procedures, the level of free reserves held by organisations and plans for future sustainability.

In addition to this and due to the reduced programme budget and high level of applications, those which most strongly linked to departmental priorities, or provided services and activities to the most marginalised or most in need were also given priority. This included those services and activities which were most congruent with the Hampshire Model of Personalisation and the newly published Vision for Adult Social Care. Both of these key policy areas highlight the importance of early intervention and preventative services to empower people and communities to maintain independence, and the value of partnership working to provide services. Continued support to the voluntary and community sector through a targeted grants programme remains critical.

Areas which are identified in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment as experiencing multiple deprivation were also considered although the extent to which significant priority is given is dependant on the number of applications received from organisations operating in these areas. Applications providing services to people who may have difficulty accessing mainstream services, e.g. people with sensory loss or BME communities or other hard to reach groups were also given added consideration.

Finally, where organisations demonstrated that they held significant financial reserves a lower priority was given to recommending applications; this was set at approximately one years running costs. Two organisations that have previously been awarded funding haven not been recommended on this basis.

Full consideration has been given to the potential impact of the recommendations to reduce or not award Adult Services grant funding in 2011/12 to organisations awarded funding in the previous year. The judgement is that these recommendations should have minimal direct impact as organisations either have substantial reserves, other sources of income or are facing ongoing difficulties that would impact on their ability to deliver services should funding be available or not. These judgements are in line with Adult Services Grants criteria.

All applications have been checked against the corporate grants database to ensure as far as reasonably possible no duplication of funding takes place and to assess the potential impact of different department's funding recommendations so that no specific group of people are disproportionately affected.

In order to prepare organisations for a likely reduction in grant funding, a statement regarding this was posted on the Adult Services grants website in September 2010. It was also sent to Community Action Hampshire and each Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) who emailed member organisations and published it in their newsletter. Individual organisations who had previously been awarded grant funding were also either emailed or sent a letter. The website was again updated in December 2010 to signpost organisations to potential additional sources of funding.

Community Action Hampshire, the CVS and individual organisations will continue to be kept informed of the current situation regarding the Adult Services Grant Programme. Those organisations which have been unsuccessful in their applications will be offered information regarding other potential funding options. In addition the Corporate Services Grant Review will be exploring how the Councilís grant programmes can become more effective and user friendly.

Age:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: All organisations submit a profile of intended users of the service, including age profiles within their applications. Services provided by the voluntary and community sector, the beneficiaries of the programme, provide services to the whole community.
Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: Yes. The grants programme is intended to fund services for vulnerable adults, this would inevitably exclude services specifically for young people.

(The County Council operates a separate grant programme specifically to support organsations providing services and activities for children and young people)

How could the iniative improve equality of access: The application checklist and monitoring report requested from grant funded organisations will include a section requesting information on how they have considered equality of access. This will include consideration of age, disability, faith, race, gender, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender, carers, rural isolation and socio-economic factors.

Disabled People:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: Yes. All applications detail the numbers of people who would benefit from the service/activity. Categories include Learning disability, physical disability, older peopleís mental health and mental health/distress.
Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: Some of the applications specifically target their services for people with certain disabilities. This is to increase accessibility for certain groups rather than exclude others.
How could the iniative improve equality of access: The programme is designed to improve accessibility to support services and the local community for disabled people.

Some categories are broad, e.g. Physical Disability includes sensory loss and long term conditions, and so could be divided.

The application checklist and monitoring report requested from grant funded organisations will include a section requesting information on how they have considered equality of access. This will include consideration of age, disability, faith, race, gender, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender, carers, rural isolation and socio-economic factors.

Faith:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: No data collected on faith. However, part of the monitoring of services delivered through the allocation of funding would pick up restrictive practice.
Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: This should not be that case, unless an application is received for religious and culturally specific activity.
How could the iniative improve equality of access: The application checklist and monitoring report requested from grant funded organisations will include a section requesting information on how they have considered equality of access. This will include consideration of age, disability, faith, race, gender, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, carers, rural isolation and socio-economic factors.

Gender:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: Partially, the application requires details of gender breakdown (men, women, girls and boys) but does not include transgender.
Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: Nothing funded is gender specific. Larger grant awards require the organisation to have equal opportunity policies in place to address this.
How could the iniative improve equality of access: The application checklist and monitoring report requested from grant funded organisations will include a section requesting information on how they have considered equality of access. This will include consideration of age, disability, faith, race, gender, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender, carers, rural isolation and socio-economic factors.

Race:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: Data is collected on whether recipients are from BME communities, but actual numbers.

Some projects are awarded funding that specifically target certain BME populations, e.g. traveller community, Asian older people.

Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: If grant funding is awarded to a group supporting a specific BME community, this is to improve access to services for this particular group. Other communities would therefore be excluded.
How could the iniative improve equality of access: The application checklist and monitoring report requested from grant funded organisations will include a section requesting information on how they have considered equality of access. This will include consideration of age, disability, faith, race, gender, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender, carers, rural isolation and socio-economic factors.

To make information on the Adult Services grant programme available for translation into other languages.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: No data collected.
Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: No organisation is grant funded that would actively exclude gay, lesbian or bisexual people.
How could the iniative improve equality of access: The application checklist and monitoring report requested from grant funded organisations will include a section requesting information on how they have considered equality of access. This will include consideration of age, disability, faith, race, gender, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender, carers, rural isolation and socio-economic factors.

Socio Economic Factors:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: Data is collected on whether people are on low or no income. Actual numbers are not recorded. Applicants are also requested to state where the service would be delivered. The grant programme uses this data to ensure services operating in areas identified as experiencing multiple deprivation are given full consideration in the decision making process.
Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: No. A number of projects are free at the point of access or have minimal contribution by attendees in order to improve accessibility.
How could the iniative improve equality of access: To continue to target publicity in areas identified as experiencing multiple deprivation.

The application checklist and monitoring report requested from grant funded organisations will include a section requesting information on how they have considered equality of access. This will include consideration of age, disability, faith, race, gender, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender, carers, rural isolation and socio-economic factors.

Rural Isolation:

What do you know about the breakdown of people who use your services compared to the community profile: Applicants are requested to state which areas the proposed service/activity will be operating in. This is used to inform whether projects will be reducing social isolation and addressing barriers to access.
Will some people be unable to use or benefit from the service: Yes. Some projects which address rural isolation will not be available to people living in urban areas. This is to address accessibility issues for people in rural isolation rather than exclude people living in urban areas.
How could the iniative improve equality of access: To continue to target publicity in areas experiencing rural isolation.

The application checklist and monitoring report requested from grant funded organisations will include a section requesting information on how they have considered equality of access. This will include consideration of age, disability, faith, race, gender, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual or transgender, carers, rural isolation and socio-economic factors.

Other groups affected:

Are there other groups affected not already mentioned: No.

Conclusions of Potential Impact:

Possible Impact: Due to the current economic climate and subsequent reduction in grant funding there will be some organisations who have previously been awarded grants who may not be successful in 2011/12.
If any groups are disadvantaged is this likely to be unlawful: No.
Group Affected: Generic.
Evidence: Submitted applications not recommended for funding.

Further Actions to be taken:

Action: 1) To offer regular updates to Councils for Voluntary Services, Community Action Hampshire and individual organisations.

2) To offer information and signposting regarding other potential funding options for organisations not awarded grant funding in 2011/12.

3) To update the Adult Services grants website with the Corporate template which states the information is available for translation into other languages.

4)Community Development Officers based within Hampshire County Council's Adult Services will continue to engage with hard to reach groups and support them to apply for grant funding.

Responsibility: Adult Services Grants Officer (Action points 1-3).

Community Development Officers (Action point 4).

Timescale: 03 May 2011.
Expected Outcomes: The Department provides the support and information that can be reasonably expected of it.

Review Summary:

Review Update: