We want to move beyond sticking plaster solutions. If we can promote work and independence by understanding who’s impacted by welfare reforms we’ll have more resources available for those who still need our support.
We show the true impact of welfare reforms
using data visualisation techniques
Our data analytics services are:
With your anonymised data sets and our software we show how individual households are affected by cumulative and aggregate welfare reforms, now and in the future.
Use the information to make objective decisions, allocate budgets, explain the real picture to stakeholders and plan how to mitigate negative impacts on families.
LOW INCOME FAMILY TRACKER (LIFT) DASHBOARD
We help organisations see how individual households are impacted by each change in policy, and all changes combined, both now and in the future. Our LIFT dashboard uses local authority data sets. When added to our powerful modelling engine, powerful insights are revealed. This information lets organisations understand the impact of reforms on individual households. This means they can proactively get the right support to the right people, at the right time. See trends and track the impact of interventions over time via a self service dashboard.
COUNCIL TAX REDUCTION SCHEME MODELLING
Local priorities differ and local council support schemes must too. We help councils model different council tax support options, taking into account uprating and future changes in policy. Our experience of working with over fifty local authorities, and modelling the impact of scheme options on each household, can help your inform your ideas and to ultimately develop policy that best meets local needs.
We have recently purchased the discretionary housing payment module from Policy in Practice. We will be expecting our housing and voluntary sector partners to use the calculator when they make the DHP applications. That’s going to really speed up our decision making and be really useful to those partners because they will be able to give people a really good idea of whether they are likely to get something from us.
The LIFT Dashboard has allowed us to draw together previously disparate databases into one easily accessible platform. It maps our data against future predicted changes in inflation of household goods and predicted welfare changes and gives the team an easily accessible platform to see what residents’ situations are.
The LIFT Dashboard has been invaluable in helping us help our customers to maximise their income and helping the most vulnerable of the people in our district to help themselves. One household identified as at risk by the LIFT dashboard was behind with their council tax and they had liability orders. Because of the money we were able to get for them they cleared out the old debt and they are now paid to debt for 2019 and 2020.
The LIFT Dashboard allows Cornwall Council to take a more focused approach to assisting those impacted by welfare reforms, and improves on our previous, slightly scattergun, approach. This extra focus allows us to have a greater impact on vulnerable residents in Cornwall without increasing resources.
We asked Policy in Practice to help us model our Council Tax Support scheme to give Members confidence that all options to reduce cost while supporting residents were covered. We also wanted to learn from other LAs who’ve already rolled out UC and we knew an external consultant was the best way to do that.
The Policy in Practice LIFT Dashboard has allowed us to draw together previously disparate databases into one easily accessible platform. It maps our data against future predicted changes in inflation of household goods and predicted welfare changes and gives the team an easily accessible platform to see what residents’ situations are.
We’ve had a LIFT Dashboard for a year and it’s given us the opportunity to be even more specific with the take up work we’re doing and much smarter in using our resources. Now we’re targeting people who we’re much more confident are likely to be missing out on benefits. In the current climate of having to prioritise resources it’s important to show the results we can get and the impact we can make.
With LIFT we can see our caseload changing and the different types of households that are being impacted by the economic downturns. This lets us understand how we can reflect our support to match the impact that’s occurring as people move off housing benefit and predominantly onto Universal Credit as they become made redundant. We can be specific with our targeting of resources of help, which we wouldn’t be able to do without the LIFT Dashboard.
Clive Jones, Luton Borough Council
Faced with a big funding gap Lambeth must make cost reductions. We commissioned Policy in Practice to give us clear, trustworthy information to evaluate proposed CTS scheme options and consult with affected groups. They’ve done this and more, by also showing us where our welfare support can be best targeted.
One of the first people to record was a household that was identified by the LIFT dashboard at risk. They were behind in their council tax, tax debt, they had liability orders and because of the money that we were able to get for them, that cleared out the old debt and they are now currently paid to debt for 2019 and 2020.
Nick Harvey and Jane Worrell, Folkestone and Hythe District Council
Universal Credit roll out meant the cost of administering our council tax support scheme was becoming unsustainable. Policy in Practice’s modelling gave us the data our Members needed to understand the risk of ‘doing nothing’. They were able to agree to an amended scheme that will deliver a cost neutral solution for 2019/20 and minimise the impact on our most vulnerable customers.
Policy in Practice provided much deeper analysis of our data than we can do in the local authority. Their data is useful, they gave us graphs, highlights and visualisations that brings the messages to life and helps with that decision making.
This is really rich analysis. People can have a tendency to think of that as abstract, a nice-to-have, but it’s really powerful. This is useful for intervening with particular families and households so we can, in theory and in practice, identify those households that are being put at risk of being at risk because of the two child limit or because of the move to Universal Credit.
We needed to put CTRS scheme options together quickly. Policy in Practice won because of their clear and unique approach, experience, detailed understanding of welfare reform impacts and excellent team. The fact that the work has been produced in such a short space of time, and to such high quality standards, is particularly impressive.