Pan-Sussex Strategy for Domestic Abuse Accommodation and Support 2021-2024

Needs assessment process

This Strategy was written by a commissioning project team at the Office of The Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner (OSPCC) working on behalf of the Tier One local authorities in Sussex: Brighton & Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council and West Sussex County Council. The project team consisted of a Project Manager and two Programme Support Officers.

Focus and approach

A needs assessment was completed individually for each Tier One local authority area in Sussex to assess the needs of domestic abuse victims/survivors and demand for services. The needs assessment used a template provided by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), collecting and evaluating data from a wide range of sources. To effectively understand the current provision, needs and demands, a mixed method approach was used, including both available data and interviews with practitioners working in front-line services and with people with lived experience of domestic abuse.

Data timeframes and sources

Data was collected from a range of teams, partners and providers to inform the needs assessments. Please see Appendix 4 for a list of the data sources used and stakeholders engaged with.

To gain a comprehensive understanding of need and reduce the influence of Covid-19 on true data, where possible the last three financial years (2018/19 2019/20 and 2020/21) were assessed. However, due to resource issues or the way the data is recorded, it was not always possible to secure this information.

Multi-agency analysis was a challenge when comparing information from numerous services, all operating different case management systems and having varying reporting requirements. Referral and outcome information was also often contained within individual case files and not easy to get through the case management systems. In some cases, particularly when local authorities and partners had limited capacity in the Government’s timeframes, the data submitted was the result of dip sampling rather than a complete overview.

To address the numerical gaps and inconsistencies of submissions, wide stakeholder feedback was gathered. The information in this Strategy should therefore be viewed as only part of the picture with some areas still unknown in year one of the assessment process.

The needs assessment process highlighted that greater consistency in gathering and recording data is essential to better inform future needs assessments, ultimately providing a stronger evidence base for the commissioning of accommodation and support provision across Sussex.