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


Register for an upcoming webinar

TitleDateStart TimeDurationRegister
Budgeting support: Best practice ways to help low-income households Over one fifth of UK households have less than £100 in savings to cushion themselves against economic shocks. With Christmas gone, frontline organisations anticipate more money-related enquiries from people in need as they seek support with their household finances.

In our first webinar of 2022 we talk to advisors to hear what budgeting challenges households have, and what support they give to their customers.

Join this webinar to learn:
- Personal debt in the UK: the size and nature of the problem
- How organisations from different sectors help people to grow their financial strength
- What supporting role technology can play
26/1/202210:30 GMT1.5 hours
, , , ,
Previous Post
Guest speaker: IRRV Welfare Reform and Benefits Seminar
Next Post
Celebrating local government success at LGC Awards 2017

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.

Skip to content
%d bloggers like this: