04/04/13 – In the wake of welfare changes and localism

This week we bring you our regular roundup of the week's news, upcoming events, and resources that we hope you will find useful.

In particular, we look at various voluntary sector responses to the welfare reforms, highlight learning events and reports created to equip the voluntary sector to engage with the new localised structures in health and social care, and council tax benefits, and share training events which may enable you to improve your organisations resilience.



Communities and Local Government Committee raises concerns over welfare reforms

The Communities and Local Government Committee has raised concerns over the impact of welfare reform on local authorities. The Committee has published a report, ‘Implementation of welfare reform by local authorities’, which has identified four issues for the government to address.

More information and the full report can be found here.


Housing 'key' to new health reforms

A report from the Communities and Local Government select committee into the Role of English local authorities in health issues describes housing as a key part of a new holistic approach to the health and wellbeing of local communities.

More information can be found here, and the full report can be accessed here.


Justice Data Lab launched

The Ministry of Justice has launched the Justice Data Lab, a new service giving charities and voluntary organisations more information about what works to reduce reoffending has been launched.

It has been set up in conjunction with New Philanthropy Capital. Dan Corry, chief executive of NPC, said: "Access to reoffending data will enable voluntary sector organisations to prove their efficacy and fine-tune their services. This is particularly pertinent as the payment-by-results approach starts to sweep through the criminal justice system."

More information can be found here, and on the Justice website.


Where's the charity sector's voice?

In a recent blog from Civil Society, Vibeka Mair asks whether the charity sector has a co-ordinated voice to speak up for them in light of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 coming into force and the increased pressure that these organisations will face on their services from the most vulnerable in society.

Read the blog here.

A newspaper reports round-up on welfare benefits changes is available here.




Seminar: Jobcentre Plus and localism: working locally

10:30–15:45, 15 April 2013, Avonmouth House, London Bridge
Inclusion’s first seminar ‘Jobcentre Plus and localism: working locally’ will focus on: the freedoms and flexibilities that local Jobcentre Plus Districts now have, the Flexible Support Fund,  the Troubled Families initiative, the Work Programme, their role in delivering the planned Universal Credit ‘Local Support Services’, and how Jobcentre Plus can work with City Deals and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

For more information, and to book, please visit our events page.


Charity Law Workshop: "The New Health and Social Care Landscape"

19th April and 26th April 2013, Stone King LLP, 16 St John's Lane, London EC1M 4BS
Starting from April 1st 2013 there will be a transfer of public health functions from existing Primary Care Trusts to new Clinical Commissioning Groups, local authorities and local service providers. Local authorities will take a new role in the coordination and provision of health and social care services in each region, including the award of contracts to LocalHealthwatch organisations.

This workshop takes a critical look at potential limitations and challenges of the new health and social care landscape.
For more information and to book, please visit our events page.


Inside Government – Integrated Offender Management 2013: Reducing reoffending, protecting communities

London – 17 April 2013, The Royal Society of Medicine, London

With a multi-agency approach being crucial to improving offender management in the UK, this event will be a chance to discuss upcoming policy changes affecting the criminal justice sector. Delegates will have the opportunity to share best practice case studies and examine strategies for reducing reoffending rates and ensuring the optimum support for all offenders.

For more information and to book, see the Inside Government website.


Action for Children Breakfast Briefings: Early Intervention, Social Impact Bonds and Troubled Families

One Great George Street, Westminster, London

Action for Children are hosting a series of Breakfast Briefings, each offering a fresh perspective and new evidence on a current policy area impacting vulnerable children and families. Each event takes place at One Great George Street, Westminster, London between 8am and 9.30am, and breakfast is included.

Events are free to attend – please visit the links below for more information and to book.
24 April 2013 Early intervention – beyond the theory
7 May 2013 The reality of delivering Social Impact Bonds
27 June 2013 Troubled Families – where next?


LVSC – Mergers and  Collaboration
29 April 2013, London

LVSC has organised this free event to support voluntary and community sector organisations thinking of working in partnership/collaboration and/or merging. This second (in a series) event will be a full day and they will be offering a range of practical sessions.

To find out more please visit theLVSC website


Foundation for Social Improvement

16-17 April, Manchester

The FSI is bringing two days of free training to Manchester for small charities to access skills to become self-sustaining. The events will offer training sessions covering a variety of fundraising skills and techniques ranging from ‘Developing Your Core Case for Support’ to ‘Fundraising from Trusts & Foundations’ to ‘Managing Volunteers’. 

For more information and to book, click here.


Hang on in there! (A conference to build resilience)

12 April, Tunbridge Wells

This free conference, run by Voluntary Action within Kent, will include workshops on commissioning, healthy engagement with the new clinical commissioning groups and funding: strategy, resilience and growth.

For more information and to book, click here.




As we move into April and changes to the benefits system begin to take effect, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has produced a brief timeline of the upcoming welfare changes.


Joseph Rowntree Foundation takes a look at the impacts of localising council tax benefit in their new report.


The Guardian Voluntary Sector Network takes a look at how mobile phones and social media can be used by charities. Liam Barrington-Bush looks at how twitter can be used to engage with supporters and employees, and Paul de Gregorio outlines why charities should be using mobile phones to connect with donors.


A final report published by Women Rough Sleepers aims to  shed light on the links between domestic abuse and homelessness, finding that 70% of UK female rough sleepers have experienced domestic abuse.


NCVO Karl Wilding blogs on The 2013 Budget: 10 things you and your charity need to know.