As another year draws to a close we reflect on the challenges local organisations are experiencing in delivering welfare reform.

Policy in Practice asked local organisations supporting vulnerable people:

  • What were the main challenges your residents faced?
  • What were the main challenges your organisation faced in 2016?
  • What are your hopes and fears for tackling poverty in 2017?

The infographic below summarises the results of our survey. Download infographic (PDF) here


Top 5 challenges faced by low income households in 2016

  1. Childcare
  2. Skills
  3. Mental health
  4. Available jobs
  5. Other ill health

Top 5 challenges faced by local authorities in 2016

  1. Budget cuts
  2. Housing
  3. Engaging people
  4. More reforms
  5. Barriers to work

Residents’ hopes for 2017

  • Funding for development of affordable homes is increased
  • Universal Credit is better understood and explained by JCP advisors
  • Residents affected by the Benefit Cap get better support

Residents’ fears for 2017

  • Personal debt and mental health issues will continue to escalate
  • Vulnerable people are unable to manage their money
  • Direct payments will lead to increased arrears

Local authority’s hopes for 2017

  • Devolution brings genuine powers to deliver a holistic service
  • Joined up information and insight leads to a single view of each household
  • More action, less talk leads to better public services

Local authority’s fears for 2017

  • Universal Credit and Homelessness Reduction bill means more change
  • Housing shortages mean more cost and difficult decisions for advisors
  • With fewer resources local authorities must support more people, with inconsistent support from JCP work coaches

Six important themes for local government in 2017

  1. Housing is the biggest issue for LAs. Affordability and availability of homes for rent, plus the cost of temporary accommodation, are critical issues
  2. Households in work are now expected to progress, but what works? Skills, childcare and health are bigger barriers to work than motivation to get a job
  3. Engagement with customers is an ongoing challenge, whilst communication with DWP and other partners needs to substantially improve
  4. There is no more debate or uncertainty, now is the time for implementing UC. LAs want to learn from those who’ve gone first – learn from our clients
  5. Support budgets are inadequate. Finely targeting support and using data to segment is essential to help those most in need – use your household data
  6. Better quality advice needs to be given for staff, and subsequently by staff, to residents. Some LAs are not ready for rollout of UC – check out our advisor software


, , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.

Register for an upcoming webinar

TitleDateStart TimeDurationRegister
Reducing barriers to work using data led campaigns In September 2023 the UK experienced an economic inactivity rate of 21.3% and an estimated unemployment rate of 4.3%, both of which have increased compared to previous data. Economic inactivity has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, prompting government efforts to integrate this group into the workforce.

Historically, policies under Universal Credit and legacy benefits emphasised pushing people into employment through conditionality and short term measures. Today, both major political parties are exploring ways to facilitate return to work and eliminate barriers to employment. However, the government is also extending conditionality and adopting a tougher stance on sanctions for a broader range of people.

Haringey is home to a young, ethnically diverse population. In June 2023, almost one fifth of those between 16 to 65 were on Universal Credit. Nearly 7% of residents over 16 were claiming unemployment related benefits, a figure above the London average of 4.7% and the 3rd highest rate of all UK councils

Haringey Council wanted to find ways to overcome barriers to employment for young people and families with children and has used data to achieve success with its employment support programmes.

Join this webinar to learn:

- The new carrot and stick policy changes designed to break down barriers to work and reduce economic inactivity
- What Haringey Council did to increase take up of free childcare for two year olds to 70%
- How Haringey Council successfully helped 95 NEETs on their employment journey

With guest speakers from Haringey Council
29/11/202310:30 GMT1.3 hours
Policy review of 2023 and what 2024 may hold Join our last webinar of 2023 to hear our policy analysts review 2023's policy changes and big issues, from the ongoing cost of living and energy crises to the funding of local government and the Autumn Statement.

We will highlight our policy findings from the year including our work that revealed that millions of households across the UK are missing out on £19 billion of support each year.

We'll look at the role that data is playing in helping leading organisations to tackle these issues.

Through case studies of different types of households we'll look at what the changes mean for families now, and what 2024 has in store.

Along the way we'll share the positive impact that organisations we work with ​are having, and give practical solutions that others can adopt.
6/12/202310:30 GMT1.3 hours
How the debt sector is connecting people to support31/1/202410:30 GMT1.3 hours
Skip to content
%d bloggers like this: