Host Information Centre

Safeguarding

People arriving from Ukraine are at risk of the 4 main types of modern slavery: labour exploitation, criminal exploitation, sexual exploitation, and domestic servitude.

There are many different signs of modern slavery that depend on the type of exploitation. Unseen UK have produced information on signs of modern slavery to look out for. There are also many free resources on modern slavery.

Accessible and multilingual information and resources on modern slavery are also available at online sources including:

If you have any concerns about modern slavery, you should call the Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline on 08000 121 700 or report your concerns online.

If you become aware that a Ukrainian guest has gone missing from your premises, you should contact the local authority who can make enquiries and follow the procedure for missing people.

If you have any concerns about the safety or well-being of your Ukrainian guests, please contact the local authority to raise these concerns in a confidential manner.

Safeguarding Training

There is no expectation that you will complete this training but as some Ukrainians will have suffered trauma and may be vulnerable, your staff may wish to access our free training on safeguarding and trauma-informed practice.

Online Safeguarding Training Module. This is available using Google Chrome as a web browser: Course: Safeguarding Training - Supporting Ukrainian Refugees in Wales (nhs.wales) Enter as a guest for free access.

Introductory trauma-informed services training 

Managing Allegations / Concerns against hosts under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme

There may an occasion you where someone makes an allegation or raises a concern against you. Welsh Government considers hosts as both a volunteer and a person in a position of trust as set out in section 5 of the Wales Safeguarding Procedures 2019.

A host may at some point become subject of an allegation that they have caused harm to an adult or child at risk, in that:

  • A host may have behaved in a way that has harmed or may have harmed an adult or child at risk
  • May have committed a criminal offence against a child or adult at risk or that has a direct impact on the child or adult at risk
  • Behaved towards a child or adult at risk in a way that indicates they are unsuitable to be a host

The Local Authority has a duty to manage allegations and concerns about hosts and this is undertaken by the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). 

Safeguarding is everyone’s business.  Anyone who becomes aware of an allegation / concern must report their concerns to social services and/or police. 

What happens when an allegation / concern is made?  

Where an allegation / concern that a child or adult has been harmed, the LADO will discuss with the Social Services Child Care Assessment Team Manger or Adult Safeguarding Team Manager and decide what further action will be taken and what you will be told about the allegation made against you. 

What action may be taken?

Social services and Police will decide whether a full investigation needs to be undertaken by the Police and Social Services.  

In some cases, the police may decide to proceed with a criminal investigation, you may be interviewed under caution or invited to assist the police with their inquiries. You are entitled to legal representation which can be arranged by Police at the station. 

Internal investigation

The Home’s for Ukraine department within the Local Authority may be required to conduct an internal investigation and complete a risk assessment. This may mean your guests will need to be moved from your home until the process has concluded and an outcome has been reached. 

Support

This process can be stressful and worrying time, your lead worker or nominated officer will offer you support throughout the process and sign post you to other services if needed. 

Record keeping

A comprehensive record will be kept on your confidential personnel file and retained in line with GDPR requirements.  This includes investigations that were unsubstantiated. 

DBS / Welsh Government / UK Government

The Local Authority has a statutory duty to alert DBS / Welsh Government / UK Government if a decision has been made to end your role as a host based on the outcome of the investigation. 

ID: 9151, revised 17/11/2022
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Host Information Centre

Firstly, thank you for offering your home or property as a safe place for a Ukrainian person or family. It is a reminder of the extraordinary generosity of local people. We are sure you will provide the safety and sanctuary that those arriving from Ukraine need at this time.

The following pages have been published with a range of information to support you in your role as a sponsor or host.

ID: 9101, revised 26/10/2022
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Homes for Ukraine

Homes for Ukraine is a UK Government Scheme allowing people across the UK to offer up their spare room or accommodation to host a Ukrainian individual or family fleeing war.

What is a host?

A host is a person, family or a community that can offer a place to stay and is willing to confirm that in an Ukrainians visa application. 

How can I get involved?

The process for offering your support is very straightforward. It can be outlined as follows:

  1. Register your interest as a sponsor for matching on the Homes for Ukraine website.
  2. Complete two online training sessions, a webinar and an e-learning course with Homes for Ukraine.
  3. Allow Pembrokeshire County Council to complete the following checks
    • DBS Check
    • Safeguarding Check
    • Home Safety Assessment
  4. Match with Ukrainian guest and await their arrival.

Hosting

It is important to understand that whilst you are hosting you may be asked to support your guests with accessing relevant services and settling in the community. Ukrainian Guests are not native English speakers and therefore they may ask you for further help.

It should also be noted that a host should not charge the Ukrainian guest/s any rent.

If you have further questions, queries or concerns please contact the Community Hub on 01437 776301.

ID: 9082, revised 26/10/2022
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Thank You Payments

Whilst hosting you should not charge your Ukrainian guests any rent. The government appreciates people’s generosity and understands that there are cost associated with helping out.

An optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month is available to people who can accommodate/host Ukrainian guests. The payment is limited to one payment per residential address. Sponsors will receive the payment for up to 12 months, or for a shorter time period if the hosting arrangement ends sooner or if they opt out.  Sponsors must notify the Council if the hosting arrangement ends sooner than the 12 months.  

This payment is made in arrears and you need to host someone for a minimum of 15 calendar days to be eligible for that month’s payment.

UK Government is ensuring that these payments will not affect any benefit entitlement and remain completely tax-free.

Once housing, DBS and Safeguarding checks are complete, sponsors are sent a form for completion should they wish to opt in for the payment.

ID: 9083, revised 26/10/2022
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Host Training & Support

Being the first ever Nation of Sanctuary, Welsh Government wants to ensure that hosts have necessary understanding of how best to support our Ukrainian Guests.

There are a few things in life more difficult than being forced to flee your country and start over. In supporting someone who has been displaced from their home, you will experience a learning curve.

To help guide you with this, Welsh Government created a Guide for Hosts and Sponsors which you can refer to at any time.

Housing Justice Cymru

Commissioned by Welsh Government, Housing Justice Cymru aims to support and guide you through your experience of hosting and sponsoring. They organise ‘Introduction to Hosting’ events to help you gain understanding of the role that you could play in helping someone settle in Wales.

To book and attend one of the sessions please visit the Housing Justice Cymru website or Guide for Hosts and Sponsors

 

Rees Foundation

Locally, we can facilitate further help and support via Rees Foundation, which offers help, guidance and mediation to hosts and Ukrainian families.  The wrap around support service is specifically designed for those who have taken a refugee family into their home.  The service includes :

  • 24/7 Assistance - Unlimited 24/7 365 access to Accredited and Qualified Counsellors or Psychotherapists - including cover for partners and dependents.
  • Silvercloud Online CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help overcome common mental health problems.
  • Advice Lines - Additional support services including financial advice, legal advice, consumer advice, career advice, mediation & more.
  • Stay Connected - The Stay Connected groups allow you to connect virtually with other hosts and share help and advice
  • Training Podcasts - Informative podcasts with experiences of those who have worked with refugees.
  • Digital Wellbeing & App - Online platform with a range of coach-led or self-directed programmes

All hosts in Pembrokeshire are automatically enrolled with the Rees Foundation and for further information on how to access this FREE support please contact the Community Hub on 01437  / email ukrainecommunityresponse@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

ID: 9084, revised 26/10/2022
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Helping Your Ukrainian Guests

It sounds obvious, but spend some time getting to know your guest(s) and what’s important to them. Small things can offer comfort and help people feel settled so knowing things such as whether they have a faith, what their favourite foods and past-times are and being able to talk about family and friends etc. can make a difference.

Many people arriving from Ukraine will have little to no belongings with them. Aside from offering up space in your accommodation and ensuring they have the basics, such as enough food and essential supplies like toiletries, you can further help them in the following ways:

Collection from Airport/Port

While you are not required to, you can arrange to collect the person you are hosting from the airport or port when they arrive in the UK. If this is not possible, please let them know how best to reach your home from their arrival point.

Transport and Getting Around

The person or family you are hosting is unlikely to be familiar with the layout of your local area or how to get around easily. Some practical advice on things like getting to and from your home, where the local shops are, and where to catch buses and trains will go a long way. 

Link to article 9066

Help obtaining a UK SIM card and phone number

Ukrainian individuals will often arrive without a UK mobile number. It is important to help source a SIM card as soon as possible. You can obtain free SIM Cards from British Red Cross, or your guest can use part of their Interim Payment to facilitate this.

Registering with GP

Registration with a local GP as soon as possible, even if they are not ill, is a crucial part of helping someone to settle in the UK. We advise you to help the individuals or family you are hosting to do this. 

Link to Health & Wellbeing article 9069

Registering with Dentist

In addition to registering with a GP, it is advisable for the person or family you are hosting to register with a dentist.

It is recognised that some dental practices may not have capacity for NHS patients.

The options here include:

  • contact a few local NHS practices and enquire
  • contact your local health REGISTERboard via their helpline (NHS 111 Wales, Services Near You: Dental Services), as they keep a list of practices
  • if an emergency, contact NHS Direct Wales on 0845 4647

Link to Health & Wellbeing article 9069

Opening a Bank Account

It is important that people seeking sanctuary from Ukraine open a bank account as soon as possible. It would be useful to let them know that there are a range of banks they can choose from, including online-only providers. To open a bank account, a person will usually need to show a form of identification such as a passport or a driver’s licence or a recognised identity card as well as proof of address.

Some banks are more flexible about the proof of address requirement so it can be worth doing some research and shopping around. Their Lead Worker can also provide a letter of verification if that is required by the bank.  

Completing a Universal Credit Application

If the person or family members you are hosting are old enough to work, they will be able to apply to receive Universal Credit. During the application process, people should ask about advance payments if they need money sooner than 5 weeks. Many arrivals will be eligible for this but advance payments need to be requested. 

Link to Benefit Information article 9063

Supporting with access to Education

All children and young people arriving under the Ukrainian schemes have the right to access education and childcare whilst in the UK.

Access to education will be key for children, both in terms of ensuring that their education is disrupted for as short a time as possible, but also to ensure that they feel welcome and begin to settle into their new communities.

Link to Education article 9073

Finding Work

People seeking sanctuary from Ukraine have the right to work as soon as they have been given a visa to stay in the UK from Ukraine. 

Support for people from Ukraine seeking employment is managed by the UK Government at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). DWP Work Coaches will signpost individuals to suitable employability and skills support.

DWP Work Coaches will undertake individual assessments. People from Ukraine will have access to a range of employment and skills support that is tailored to their individual needs.

Link to Employability article 9071

Language Support

The dominant languages in Ukraine are Ukrainian and Russian. You should not expect your guests to be able speak or read English. Free online translation services may be helpful in communicating in the early phases of a match; however, users should note that these are not always accurate.

Where the guest is accessing public services, interpreters may be required. When accessing Health services, NHS providers have a duty to provide interpretation. Department for Work and Pensions can usually source interpretation services when requested too. Unfortunately, not all services will have interpretation services available but it is always worth asking.

Here are some basic phrases that might be handy in the first few days and weeks:

  • Hi — Привіт / Pryvit
  • Hello – Добрий день / Dobryi den’  
  • Excuse me — Вибачте /vybachte/
  • How are you? — Як справи? /Yak spravy
  • Very good — Дуже добре / Duzhe dobre
  • You are welcome (Будь ласка) / Bud’ laska
  • Thanks — Дякую / Dyakuyu          
  • Goodbye, formally — До побачення / Do pobatchennya

If your guest(s) has limited use of English, then you can consider:

  • Online translation services and Apps e.g. iTranslate, Google Translate, SayHi, TripLingo etc.
  • When accessing public services, ask for an interpreter to be provided
  • English as a Second Language - Free Adult ESOL classes are available at Learning Pembrokeshire Community Centres around the county and online.

Website: Adult Learning 

Freephone: 0808 100 3302

For initial enquires and referrals:

marina.evans@pembrokeshire.gov.uk 

or to discuss in more detail 

jenni.griffiths@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

  • Language cards – These can be found online and can help with basic greetings and learning essential phrases

The Community Hub is recruiting language volunteers who may be able to assist in some circumstances. Contact 01437 776301 or ukrainecommunityresponse@pembrokeshire.gov.uk

ID: 9085, revised 26/10/2022
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Living Costs

Talking about living costs

It is really helpful for sponsors and guests to have open conversations about who will pay towards different living costs such as food, transport and energy bills. It means that everyone knows what their responsibility is and what is expected of them, which will hopefully help avoid any potential problems.

Circumstances will change over time – whether through getting Universal Credit or a job – so regular conversations can be useful.

Who should be paying for living costs such as food, accommodation and energy bills?

UK Government says that sponsors are only responsible for providing accommodation. Sponsors are not expected to cover the costs of food and living expenses, although some may wish to assist in the early days, especially when their guests arrive, e.g. some sponsors offer meals.

Sponsors can ask guests for:

  • A contribution to the cost of food
  • A reasonable and proportionate contribution (according to use) for water, gas and electricity consumed or supplied to the accommodation or to any shared facilities.

Sponsors are not allowed to charge rent to guests arriving under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme

Guests staying in self-contained accommodation are liable for council tax but they can apply for a reduction if they are in receipt of Universal Credit.

On arrival, every Ukrainian guest will be provided with a £200 interim payment to help with subsistence costs. Go to our Interim Payment page for further information.

Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme people also have access to public services, work and benefits. As and when a Ukrainian guest is in receipt of Universal Credit, then this could be used to contribute towards household costs as this benefit is designed to cover living expenses. Likewise, when a Ukrainian guest gets a job and has a regular income, it would be reasonable to ask for a contribution towards living costs.

To find out more about Universal Credit please visit our page on Benefit Information.

Ukrainians must not be required to take up or continue in employment in order to maintain their accommodation. Labour must not be expected for free or be paid under the specified minimum wage, including domestic services and seasonal agricultural work, in exchange for accommodation and/or food.

ID: 9072, revised 26/10/2022
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