Homes for Ukraine scheme

The government has guidance on how the Homes for Ukraine scheme works.

There is full guidance for sponsors including eligibility, responsibilities and how to support your guests.

What happens when you have been matched with a guest

We receive details of sponsors and guests when they have been matched.

We reserve the right to check in on guests and inspect accommodation after arrival to make sure all is well. Sponsors will not be charged for these checks.

The government requires us to carry out a Disclosure and Barring service (DBS) check of sponsors.

Where sponsors are accommodating guests in their own home, we will do a DBS check on all members of the household who are aged 16 or over.

If your guests have children living with them, we will do an enhanced DBS check for all members of the sponsor household who are 16 years or more and are not related to the guest.

Enhanced DBS checks will also be completed for sponsors intending to provide a guest with additional support due to age, disability or illness.

Home stay property standards for sponsors

We will arrange an inspection of your accommodation to assess the rooms and areas that guests will have access to. We will check that:

  • the property has a heating system sufficient to heat all bedrooms and any lounges 
  • the guests have access to a kitchen with adequate facilities for food preparation, cooking and refrigerated storage 
  • the property has a working smoke detector on each floor, fire doors and escape routes
  • the property has gas appliances, fittings and flues that have been safety checked within 12 months 
  • the property has a working carbon monoxide detector in rooms with a coal fire or wood burning stove 
  • electrical installations and appliances are free from hazards 
  • guests will not be sleeping in a room where a gas fire or an open fire is located 
  • room sizes meet guidelines for the number of guests housed
  • windows and doors are in sound condition and can be locked securely 
  • there is sufficient ventilation and the property is free of black mould growth 
  • there is at least one inside flushing toilet in working condition 
  • there is a wash hand basin with hot and cold water in the same room as each toilet 
  • there is at least one bath with hot and cold water or a working shower in a cubicle
  • the property is free from tripping and falling hazards 
  • the property is clean and in a reasonable state of repair 
  • there is sufficient space; two people should not be in one room unless they are adult cohabiting partners, a parent and child, two siblings of the same gender aged over 10, two siblings regardless of gender aged under 10. Unrelated individuals should not share the same room without consent
  • there is a living area large enough for guests to carry out normal activities including space for a child to do homework 
  • there are additional safety measures for ponds, window openers, and stairgates where guests include children

If we identify significant problems during an accommodation check, we will discuss these with you during the visit. We will agree the work which needs to be carried out to make sure the property is suitable for the scheme.

Privacy for guests

You can help your guests to recover by providing them with privacy and security within your home to help them feel safe and in control.

Your guests are likely to have experienced significant trauma, including the loss of their own home and accommodation. Many may have had traumatic experiences including violence and abuse and it may be difficult for people to explain what has happened to them.

Make sure your guests have access to a lockable private space.

The payment process

As a sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, you can claim a monthly thank you payment of £350 for up to 12 months while you have guests from Ukraine.  

We need your bank details to process payments. We will send you a form to collect this information. If you have not yet received a form and would like to claim monthly payments you can email HomesforUkraine@southglos.gov.uk.

Payments will be made monthly in arrears after your guests arrive.

If you receive welfare payments, the thank you payments do not affect your benefit entitlement.

These payments will not affect any council tax discounts for single occupancy. They will be tax free.

You must inform us if your guest moves out of your home for any reason as you will no longer be eligible for the monthly payments.

Welcome visits

A welcome visit will be carried out by a council staff member or by a member of the Julian House charity that has been appointed to provide sponsors and guests with support together with ACH and The Care Forum.

We will meet you with all your guests to understand any concerns and to make sure that your guest feels safe.

We will ask for an opportunity to speak to your guest privately. This is to make sure that they can share any information about their welfare which they are uncomfortable discussing openly. We would ask you to respect and enable this.

You will be provided with additional information about registering for key services.

Some essential items and an emergency payment may be given to your guest.

Spoken language

When we call you to arrange a visit, we will ask about your guests’ spoken English language skills. If guests have limited skills in speaking English we aim to arrange a Ukrainian or Russian-language interpreter to visit. 

You can download this free Ukrainian phrasebook to help you talk to your guests.

Financial support for guests

Your guest will receive an initial payment on arrival as well as a basic smart phone and a sim card.

If your guest has already arrived and you cannot support them until we can arrange the welcome visit you can notify our Homes for Ukraine team by emailing HomesforUkraine@southglos.gov.uk

Your guest can register for benefits and a National Insurance number and can get support to find employment.  

You will find help and advice on our other pages such as welfare grants, universal credit and financial support for residents

Your guest can visit one of our One Stop Shops in Kingswood, Patchway or Yate for support in person. Book an appointment with our customer advisors by emailing OSSAppointments@southglos.gov.uk

How to help guests settle into life in the UK

Our staff and staff from the Julian House charity, ACH and the Care Forum, will provide dedicated support to help your guest integrate into life in the UK.

You can help your guests by checking that they have food and toiletries as well as access to the internet to stay in touch with family members.

Sponsors should also help their guests to register with a GP and an NHS dentist.

You could show guests around your local area so they know how to get to the shops, access local leisure facilities and use public transport.

Our local libraries have lots of facilities such as computers with internet access and other free resources you can explore with your guests. Check our libraries webpage.

We recommend that you help your guests to do things independently to help them feel settled and in control.

The welcome pack for guests on GOV.UK has information about getting medical help, applying for schools and accessing benefits.

Our own welcome pack for guests contains details of local organisations and information about South Gloucestershire.

How to help a guest find a school for their child

Find out how to apply to move a child between schools during the school year.

Applications must be submitted by a parent but a sponsor may submit a covering letter.

Popular schools may be full so if your guest is having problems finding a primary or secondary school place for their child you can contact us directly at admissionsandtransport@southglos.gov.uk

How to apply to sponsor unaccompanied children

The government has guidance for people applying to sponsor children under the age of 18 who are not travelling with or joining a parent or legal guardian in the UK. This includes eligibility criteria and the sponsor approval process.

Helping your guest access medical care

Your guest has the same access to NHS care as you do.

There is guidance that you can download on How the NHS works (in Ukrainian) or How the NHS works (in Russian).

You can help your guest to access NHS care by helping them to register with a local GP. They may be asked to provide ID to make sure their name is spelled correctly in their NHS records.

What to do if your guest has special medical or care needs

It is important that your guest raises any special medical or social care needs during the initial welcome visit. We can then arrange a care assessment and share details of how to access specialised medical services.

Your guest may feel more comfortable discussing this in private with a trusted person or GP. Sponsors can help best by supporting their guest to do this.

Information on local health services available can be found on our health and social care pages.

Helping your guest find employment

Ukrainians have the right to work as soon as they arrive in the UK. They must be 18 years or more to work full time.

You can help your guest to arrange an appointment at your nearest Job Centre.

You can also show your guest how to search for job opportunities on our careers page.

Introducing your guest to friends and neighbours, including on social media

You should remember that your guest has been through a traumatic experience and may not feel comfortable in social situations at first.

However, making social connections at their own pace in the local area will help them to feel more at home.

The important thing is not to put pressure on them to join you at social or community events until they are ready.

Think carefully about posting details about your guests on social media as this may expose them to unwanted attention.

Helping your guests connect with the Ukrainian community

Your guests may be keen to connect with people from a similar background.

We will email you with details of relevant community events happening in your area.

The largest representative body for Ukrainians and those of Ukrainian descent in the UK is the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB).

Find contact details for the Embassy of Ukraine in UK on their website.

English language training

Your guest is entitled to access adult learning in South Gloucestershire including English as a Second Language (ESOL).

Find details of courses on offer on our community learning and skills service webpage.

Contact community.learning@southglos.gov.uk for information on courses and how to enrol.

Helping your guest open a bank account

To open a bank account in the UK you usually need to show proof of ID such as passport, biometric residency permit, driver’s licence or recognised identity card. You also need proof of permanent address.

The government is working with major banks to enable Ukrainian guests to open accounts without the requirement for a permanent address.

NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland have streamlined processes for our guests from Ukraine. You can check websites of other banks for details of similar services.

Concerns about the wellbeing of a child or adult

We recognise that your guests have experienced trauma in leaving their homeland. We also understand that some sponsors can have serious concerns about an adult or child’s welfare.

If you are concerned about an adult or a child you should alert the relevant safeguarding team.

In an emergency please call 999.

Mental health support

Find details of mental health and emotional wellbeing support for adults to access on the One You page.

Mind You is our mental health and emotional wellbeing hub for young people.

The British Red Cross has lots of useful wellbeing resources.

The Barnardo’s charity has a Ukrainian support helpline available to anyone fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

The free helpline is staffed by English, Ukrainian and Russian speakers who can offer support to children and families arriving in the UK from Ukraine. Call 0800 148 8586 or email ukrainiansupport@barnardos.org.uk

Place2Be’s educational psychologists have advice about how to discuss war and conflict with children and young people and how you can best support them.

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