As you may know the Department for Communities (DfC) is rolling out measures to ensure the advice sector is prepared to assist the general public through the implementation of the ongoing changes to the welfare system.
The only nationally accredited, Northern Ireland Specific, Level 3 Independent Advocacy Qualification allows practising Independent Advocates to learn and develop the skills required for employment in their Independent Advocacy role and it has begun this September with overwhelming demand.On this run of the qualification we are proud to welcome 24 candidates from organisations such as The Patient Client Council, Alzheimer’s Society, Bryson Care, Mindwise, Mencap, Age Concern Causeway, Leonard Cheshire Disability, The British Deaf Association and Disability Action.Our candidates have a busy academic year ahead of them and by July 2015 they will be submitting their portfolios of evidence. We are very much looking forward to working with them over the next 10 months.We are also developing a level 2 award in Independent Advocacy suitable for those who wish to gain a better awareness of Advocacy but who do not necessarily practice, such as trust staff, social workers, criminal justice staff and associated professionals.You can find further details of all of this in our training brochure.If you have any enquiries about our Advocacy training please contact our training and Development Practitioner, Ryan Fitzsimmons.
Advice NI highlights importance of advice services as local government is about to undergo significant change. Ahead of changes to local government in Northern Ireland, Advice NI has called upon local Councils to ensure that the work of independent advice services is recognised and protected.Advice NI leads delivery of independent advice services across the current Castlereagh Borough Council area. The service involves face to face service provision by advisors locally deployed to service the Castlereagh outreach venues. Appeal tribunal representation services and dedicated money advice services are in place, a dedicated Freephone line has been established and an email advice facility is also in place.In April 2015, as part of the reform of local government in Northern Ireland the number of councils will be reduced from 26 to 11. There will be significant changes with the majority of households in Castlereagh merging with Lisburn City Council with 38% of the population of Castlereagh and 21% of Lisburn moving to the new Belfast City Council. The new Castlereagh and Lisburn Council area will have approximately 137,000 residents and approximately 56,000 households.Speaking about the service, Bob Stronge Advice NI Chief Executive said: “Independent advice services are much-needed and highly valued by people across Northern Ireland. Advice NI and member organisations have a proven track record in providing excellent advice services across the community and we acknowledge the support and commitment shown by Councils to advice services. We look forward to working with the new Councils post RPA to similarly ensure that independent advice remains a key community service moving forward.”