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Policy 38 - Suspensions Closures and Re-opening of ILF Scotland Awards

Type of document: Policies

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Published: June 9, 2022

Version:             2.0
Last Amended:   25 April 2021
Next Review Date: 31 March 2022

1.0 Open suspensions Policy

Where ILF Scotland places an award into open suspension, this can initially be for a maximum period of 6 months from the date the suspension is authorised. An ILF Scotland Specialist Caseworker or their line manager can agree to extend the open suspension for a maximum of a further 6 months.

Where ILF Scotland has placed an award in open suspension for a specific reason, for example, because of no reply to correspondence, it will lift the suspension if the reason is no longer valid, for example, where it subsequently receives a reply to correspondence.

If ILF Scotland receives a request to a further suspension for a different reason, for example, because HSCP/HSCT no longer meets the ‘Threshold Sum’, ILF Scotland can begin a new suspension.

Action required at 6 months

As an award approaches the date where it has been in open suspension for 6 months, ILF Scotland will send a letter to the Award Manager and the HSCP/HSCT contact, where applicable, to establish the status of the situation. They will establish if there is a clear reason why ILF Scotland should extend the suspension beyond 6 months, explaining the possibility of closing the award.

Where there is an acceptable reason for extending the suspension, the Specialist Caseworker can agree to extend the suspension period for a further 6 months. ILF Scotland will normally close an award permanently if it has been in suspension for 12 months, unless there are exceptional reasons to keep it open for longer as advised by the Award Manager and the Assessor.

Action required at 12 months

An ILF Scotland Assessor / Specialist Caseworker will try to make contact with the Award Manager. If ILF Scotland does not receive any further correspondence from the Award Manager regarding extending the suspension period, it will close the award.

2.0 Suspension over 12 months Policy

ILF Scotland will allow suspensions to continue beyond 12 months in exceptional circumstances where clear plans are in place and where there is a specific need for this. ILF Scotland’s Assessor / Specialist Caseworker must refer any decision to extend a suspension for a period exceeding 12 months to ILF Scotland’s Management Team.

If a Recipient / Award manager is not satisfied with a decision made by the Management Team, they can appeal to the Chief Executive Officer, who will not be involved in the original decision.

Process

The Award Manager or an appropriate third party must request a further extension of a suspension beyond a period of 12 months, providing an explanation of the exceptional circumstances and the purpose of the extension.

ILF Scotland will normally only agree suspensions beyond 12 months where there is a clear time-scale with an end date identified and specific plans in place for the Recipient and their care/support package. It will not agree to extend ongoing, unplanned suspensions. If clear plans are in place without a specific end date, ILF Scotland’s Management Team may agree to extend a suspension by a maximum of a further 6 months.

Specialist Caseworkers will ensure they create diary entries and follow up any cases where ILF Scotland’s Management Team agreed to extend a suspension over a 12 month period, and will further refer to the Management Team or close, as appropriate.

3.0 Closures following open suspensions

Policy

ILF Scotland will close an award where it is no longer appropriate for it to fund a care/support package. We will do this when we are confident that this is the

correct course of action and that those involved are aware of the implications of closure (for example if there are protection / safeguarding issues).

Where ILF Scotland determines that closure is the most appropriate course of action, it should record the reason behind the decision to close on the recipient’s records. The Operations Manager must approve the closure.

Process

Where closure is imminent, ILF Scotland will notify the Award Manager and the HSCP/HSCT representative, where applicable, of the implications of the closure.

ILF Scotland will record all attempts to speak to the Award Manager / HSCP/HSCT representative and any action taken. The Operations Manager will consider the attempts to make contact and will only approve the closure where they are satisfied that the action taken was adequate.

Where there is any doubt or disagreement about the correct course of action, ILF Scotland’s Management Team will consider the case.

4.0 Policy for Re-opening Awards

Where ILS Scotland has closed an award because of an administrative error, the Specialist Caseworker / Operations Manager will re-open the award.

ILF Scotland’s Management Team will consider cases where the Award Manager or HSCP/HSCT representative, where applicable, is dissatisfied with the decision ILF Scotland has made to close an award. Any request to re- open an award should include new information or evidence to support this.

5.0 History Date Reviewed

Version 1:       1 July 2015
Version 2:       20 April 2021

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