Independent Advice Providers Forum (IAPF) network

The Independent Advice Providers Forum is the representative voice of the independent advice sector network in Wales.

Purpose:

The purpose of the national forum is to work in partnership to provide a strong voice for the independent advice sector in the interests of meeting known and emerging advice needs of the people of Wales.

Objectives:

The forum will:         

●     Represent theadvicesector at agreed meetings and committees on issues relating to advice provision and the impact of policies on clients or potential clients.

●     Identify systemic root causes of problems faced by clients and campaign for change where appropriate.

●     Encourage members to work together collaboratively to meet the advice needs clients.

●     Provide information on the agreed views of the sector in Wales on issues relating to advice provision and the impact of policies on clients or potential clients.

●     Provide opportunities for debate across the sector on issues impacting on the provision of advice and on the lives of the clients or potential clients of the sector.

●     Invite relevant speakers (e.g. funders; policy-makers; researchers) as determined by the members.

The IAPF seeks to work with the Advocacy sector through their appointment of the Third Sector Partnership Council deputy representative.

Membership:

The IAPF is made up of:

●     'umbrella' organisations representing networks of independent advice providers across Wales;

●     independent advice providers with a national remit across Wales.

How can an organisation join this network?

If you would like to find out more about the IAPF and how to join, please contact: ria.batten@citizensadvice.org.uk.

What are the current issues for the network?

1. Engaging with Welsh Government's Information and Advice Action Plan (IAAP) which commits the Welsh Government to ensuring there is a co-ordinated, cost effective, and sustainable provision of quality assured social welfare information and advice services throughout Wales by 2026.

Key themes of the IAAP include:

●     Improving funding, commissioning and delivery of advice services

●     Developing a quality assurance framework

●     Developing regional advice networks

 2. Development of an agreed approach for action including:

●   Improving access to free, quality-assured, independent advice

●   Improving access to free, independent advocacy

●   Integration of advice and advocacy into long-term preventative programmes

●   Demonstrating the positive impact of advice services in promoting the wellbeing and prosperity which are essential to building resilient communities in the context of future generations, social services and health legislation.

●   Sharing information on known and emerging advice provision gaps

●   Tackling root causes of issues to prevent problems adversely affecting individuals and communities

●   Evidencing and mitigating the impact of welfare reform

●   Reviewing the impact of Wales' housing legislation on the provision of affordable and decent housing provision

●   Promoting access to advice and reporting tools for individuals and communities facing discrimination and hate crimes

●   Sharing public legal education information and preventative approaches e.g. scams awareness

●   Tackling poverty including material, food, fuel, rural poverty and poverty of opportunity

●   Promoting financial inclusion including access to debt advice, financial capability guidance, affordable credit and informing better enforcement practices

●   Monitoring the impact of changes to legal aid e.g. access to family/relationship advice