The Local Government Association (LGA) has released a Good Practice Guide to delivering financial hardship schemes. Commissioned by the LGA, and produced by The Financial Inclusion Centre (FIC), the guide provides a range of practical advice, ideas and case studies to help councils and their partners to develop their local approach.
Good Practice Recommendations
The report makes several recommendations on the support available through Local Welfare Provision, including:
• Hardship schemes should be broad and allow for the provision of a range of items – including emergency food and fuel support as well as essential non-food items with applicants being able to identify which support is most relevant for their situation during the initial assessment process.
• Consideration should be given to the most appropriate delivery mechanisms for the support. Increasing demand and speed of response has become even more critical for those facing extreme hardship.
• Providing direct cash payments through hardship schemes will maximise dignity, autonomy and choice. Councils should minimise undue barriers. Any conditions aimed at limiting the potential risk of misuse need to be appropriately balanced with ease of access and timely support to ensure that schemes are able to effectively meet the needs of vulnerable residents.
FFBS as a Fulfilment Partner
Due to our experience in administering local welfare schemes, FFBS feature in the report as a relevant provider of fulfilment options designed to support those living in hardship quickly and securely. Through our carefully selected network of trusted suppliers, FFBS provide fast and flexible support to people when they need it most. From energy vouchers to cookers, instant cash payments and emergency food provision, FFBS’s online portal provides a quick and secure way to order items for delivery.
FFBS currently contracts with 14 Local Authorities either directly or via partner organisations (Civica, Capita, Northgate and RBS Performance). In addition to this, FFBS secured an agreement with a partner organisation to provide fulfilment services to the 22 Local Authorities in Wales to providing the Welsh Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF).
Doncaster Council are one of the Local Authorities we work with to support the administration of their Local Assistance Scheme.
“FFBS are a key player in the success of our Local Assistance Scheme, and offer a great partnership’ to local authorities.” Head of Revenues and Benefits, Doncaster Council
Read the full Case Study about our partnership on our website https://www.familyfundservices.co.uk/case-study-doncaster-council/
Find out more about how we partner with Local Authorities to help them help others here: https://www.familyfundservices.co.uk/local-authority-procurement/
Download the full Good Practice Guide via the Local Government Association Website https://www.local.gov.uk/good-practice-guide-delivering-financial-hardship-support-schemes