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Service delivery

Our service delivery strategy seeks to make our services accessible and relevant to all members of the community, and to provide people with the opportunity to gain the information or advice and support they need to resolve their issues at an early stage and prevent occurrence of crises, but also to be able to respond effectively when emergency intervention is needed.

The strategy is based on research completed on behalf of Citizens Advice and the Legal Services Commission concerning the importance of promoting the specific benefits of advice, the need for holistic, person-centred services, delivered in partnership with referral agencies and the provision of seamless access to a comprehensive range of social welfare law issues. It includes:

  • Making information resources widely available through web-based services, to enable people to resolve issues themselves wherever possible, or to help them to recognise their need for advice and to understand how it can help them, so that they seek assistance at an early stage.

  • Provision of comprehensive advice services at generalist level to support clients in resolving issues at an early stage, and to cater for the needs of the many clients who have a series of related issues, with gateways to specialist services in order to offer a seamless service.

  • Facilitating access to the key areas of social welfare law at specialist level for those who need them. Provision of preventative services in housing and financial literacy. Attending to the causes of problems through our work on social policy.

  • Facilitating access through outreach and out of hours advice surgeries, and providing texting and email contact arrangements.

  • Networking with 'problem noticers', such as the Family Resource Centres, Credit Unions, or mental health workers, who can make supported referrals. We have found this to be a most effective way for the so called 'hard to reach' groups to access our services. Seeking to ensure that we understand the particular needs of our clients, including selection of suitable outreach locations, cultural awareness and the provision of in-house interpretation.

 My son suffers from schizophrenia and psychosis. He had to complete a new disability living allowance form, so we made an appointment with Leigh CAB for help. Our adviser was exceptional. She treated my son with dignity and respect, and was very tolerant and understanding with regard to his mental health problems.

-- From a letter addressed the Citizens Advice national office, published in the 2009 Citizens Advice Impact Report.