The National Advice Network advises how to help people get good quality social welfare advice.

Introduction

The National Advice Network Wales was established by the Welsh Government in March 2015. The Network consists of key stakeholders including funders, advice providers, umbrella organisations, and other partners.

The Network has been tasked with providing expert advice, guidance, and support to Welsh Ministers on how to strategically develop the provision of social welfare information and advice service throughout Wales.

The National Advice Network endorses the following principles and encourage all those who are engaged in the social welfare law sector within Wales to adopt them.

Principles

1. Investing in advice services provides great value for money, improves health and well-being, employability, prosperity, and financial resilience.

  • This means we will help providers to identify, capture and publish all the positive outcomes from successful advice and information interventions with their funders and key stakeholders, demonstrating how services are delivering best value for the public purse.

2. Advice Services support the delivery of key government initiatives.

  • This means we are working with the Welsh Government, Local Authorities. Health Boards, etc., to highlight the important role played by information and advice services in delivering sustainable improvements to the wellbeing and prosperity of the people of Wales.

3. Collaboration makes more of limited resources. We will encourage the development of advice networks across Wales to plan local services, share good practice, and develop local initiatives.

  • This means we will learn best practice from the established Networks, to prepare guidance for service providers, funders, and commissioners, on how they can develop strong, sustainable and effective Networks within their locality.

4. Funding for Advice Services, wherever it comes from, must be targeted at quality services, which are meeting identifiable need and promote continuous improvement.

  • This means we are promoting the Welsh Government’s Information and Advice Quality Framework (IAQF) throughout the sector, offering our guidance and support to enable the IAQF to become accessible to all the varied range of services engaged in the provision of social welfare advice and information services throughout Wales.

5. Preventing problems is better than solving them. We will work to:

  •  improve public legal education for children and adults
  • feed-back to policy–makers how policies are working, and
  • ensure decisions are “right first time”.
  • This means we want to develop a more sustainable approach to tackling poverty and social exclusion through building the skills, knowledge and resilience of the people of Wales and by all state decision-making bodies having transparent processes through which their progress to making correct decisions can be objectively measured.

6. We will create a culture of continuous improvement across the advice sector – improving the design and delivery of advice services.

  • This means we will identify, learn from, and share best practice service models throughout the sector, particularly where the people who access services are involved in the design of the type of services that they need and will use.

7. We will develop a common set of outcome measures for providers and funders in the advice sector to adopt. This will save time and money within the sector and free up resources to improve service delivery.

  • This means we will reduce administration burdens upon providers and ensure more of their resources can be focused upon the delivery of front line services, and have outcomes that clearly demonstrate the full value of their successful interventions to their funders and other stakeholders.