This referral is ONLY to be used by staff from Specified Public Authorities.

From 1 October 2018, under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 specified public authorities are required to notify the local authority of service users they consider may be currently homeless or threatened with homelessness within 56 days.

Before making a referral a public body must have the consent of the individual to make the referral and consent to share their contact details with that authority. The individual should be asked to identify the housing authority in England they wish to be referred to. 

The duty to refer only applies to public authorities in England and individuals can only be referred to housing authorities in England.

The public services included in the duty to refer are as follows:

  • prisons
  • youth offender institutions
  • secure training centres
  • secure colleges
  • youth offending teams
  • probation services (including rehabilitation companies
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • Social Service authorities
  • emergency Departments
  • urgent treatment centres
  • hospitals in their function of providing inpatient care.
  • The Armed Forces – the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Army and the Air Force

Making a referral

Please read the Dorset Duty to Refer Protocol before you start.

A referral can be made via an online form for the following areas within Dorset Council:

Duty to refer – supporting information

If you have any background information about the person you are referring, please send it to us at quoting their name in the subject header. 

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