People who are homeless or marginalised are not a homogeneous group – they are all different, with different needs, expectations and hopes. Services therefore need to provide choice for the service user from a range of options.
One organisation on its own will rarely, if ever, be able to meet all the needs of individuals who are homeless or marginalised. It is therefore important to develop very effective communication between the relevant organisations.
Putting in place mechanisms to regularly seek the views of service users on the services provided, and what they would like to see provided, is crucial in ensuring that services actually reflect the needs and aspirations of those it is supposed to serve.
Working with people who are homeless, or otherwise excluded from society, provides a very important insight into public policy and there is therefore an obligation on service providers to contribute to public policy discussions to try and prevent problems occurring in the first place and not only trying to pick up the pieces afterwards.
The induction and training of staff (paid and unpaid) is vital in ensuring that staff have the skills, knowledge and attitudes that they need to be effective.
The employing organisations have an important role in the quality of support and supervision that is given to both staff and volunteers in undertaking what is often very challenging work.
All the organisations stressed the need to have adequate funding if these quality standards are to be achieved. There is therefore an obligation on the various funding bodies to also play their part in the process of improving the standards of services provided.
Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect
Everyone has the right to equal access to services and information in accordance with their needs
The diversity of those who use the services is to be accepted and welcomed. Services should be flexible to respond to their individual needs and aspirations
Everyone has the right to privacy and confidentiality
Everyone has the right to safety of person and security of belongings
Everyone has the right to access information that is held about them
Everyone has the right to make decisions about their own lives
Everyone has the right to be treated fairly and to redress when things go wrong
Everyone has the right to an honest assessment of their situation and the options available
Everyone has the right to have their voice heard and to participate in decisions that affect them
Everyone has the right to feel a full part of the society in which they live and to achieve their potential and rights as citizens
Services should be accountable to those who use them, to funders and other stakeholders