From April 1 2013 upper tier local authorities have been responsible for local welfare schemes, following the abolition of two discretionary elements of the social fund – community care grants and crisis loans.

This briefing covers the background to the changes, the funding of the new arrangements, a summary of what new schemes have been put in place and the potential role of third sector financial providers.

This briefing will be of interest to councillors in all councils in their work with local residents and communities, to officers in upper tier councils directly involved with the local welfare schemes or with welfare provision, advice services and social care, and to partners in the third sector, particularly those in advice services and non commercial financial providers like credit unions.

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