The Homes for Ukraine scheme is new and constantly evolving so we can’t expect sponsors to have understood all the requirements, while we do provide lots of information and signposting, its important we manage expectations about our role. During our webinar we give an overview of the process including where we can and can’t help. We make it very clear that we cannot influence whether a local authority will sign off on housing, or if a sponsor will pass a DBS check or how long the visa process takes.
That said, many potential sponsors don’t understand the critical role local authorities play. For many people they will have only have engaged with ‘the council’ through libraries, recycling collection and paying council tax and have no idea of the breadth of their statutory duties. We spend time explaining this, and are aware that everyone uses different terminology, which can lead to misunderstandings. Through our work on Community Sponsorship, we know that sponsors find it challenging that they think of the people they support as families, or individuals, whereas local authorities talk about ‘cases’. Encourage sponsors to work in partnership with their local authority with patience as a considerable amount of responsibility has been placed on the local authority teams.