Advice Strategy 2017

The Calderdale Advice Strategy 2017-20

Advice is a way that Calderdale Council helps residents to be resilient. We commission services to give information and support on:

  • accessing benefits;
  • debt;
  • housing;
  • and employment.

This is so people having problems can get help at an early stage. Quality advice empowers people to find new ways to manage issues they face. It helps to avoid personal costs and costs to services that can occur, if people end up in crisis.

This strategy has been co-produced with partners we have been working with on a wider project to address:

  • the need for financial resilience;
  • and support in response to the changes happening as a result of welfare reform.

This partnership exists to make links between Council departments, voluntary/community organisations and statutory bodies. These are such as the DWP to support vulnerable people in Calderdale. This is so they can cope with changes to benefits and the introduction of Universal Credit. The project includes grants to organisations who support people to become more financially and emotionally resilient. It also makes links with training and employment.

For more on mapping need across Calderdale and the latest Welfare Reform and Financial Resilience Partnership Event, please read:

Here are links to our Dataworks information on the Index of Multiple Deprivation and the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment . You can see how the impact of the benefits cap maps across Calderdale here:

The Advice Strategy includes an assessment of need, based on statistics on employment, benefits and housing. It takes account of challenges people face from changes to welfare benefits and other reforms, like the Care Act . We have included feedback from partners at events and workshops. We now seek comments more widely, to make sure the advice service meets peoples’ needs in the future. This is about how information is accessed via digital and other media, while being flexible to changing priorities and needs.

The invitation to tender for future services to support the Advice Strategy from 2017 to 2020 was sent out in September 2016. This was for:

  • a generic advice contract (£295k per year) for three years;
  • and £75k in grants per year allocated to identified priority areas of language, chaotic lifestyles and health issues.

Grants were offered for a two-year period with the chance to extend for one year, based on outcomes.

The evaluation panel was held on 1st December and was made up of:

  • commissioners from AHSC and CYPS;
  • and representatives from the Revenues and Benefits service and Community Foundation for Calderdale.

The new contracts were awarded in December 2016 via delegated authority, by Director of Communities and Services Support. This was in consultation with Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods and Communities. The new services began in April 2017.

The generic advice contract was awarded to Calderdale Citizens Advice Bureau . They offer information and advice on issues like accessing benefits, debt, housing and employment. This will continue until at least 2020, giving a general advice service accessible to all. This is along with specialist services for communities who have high needs for advice and information. The quality of advice they offer has long been recognised by this Council. They also got national recognition, winning the national advice project of the year award (2016 Citizens Advice national conference).

The main health related advice grant was awarded to DART - Disability Advice Resource Team . This was for a home visiting service, at the value of £24,268 per year.

The main chaotic lifestyles related advice grant was awarded to Calderdale Citizens Advice Bureau . This was for a project with the Family Intervention team, at a value of £14,060 per year.

The rest of the advice grant fund was awarded to the Healthy Minds consortium, this is made up of:

This is £36,662 per year and at least £10K a year is to relate to language issues.

  • Username Stephanie Jones / Amanda Gatehouse
  • Telephone 01422 393003 or 01422 393229
  • Address
    Financial Resilience and Welfare Reform Project
    Policy and Projects
    2nd Floor
    Westgate House
    Halifax
    HX1 1PS

See also