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New plans to target debt advice at those most in need PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 17 July 2017
New proposals to ensure that debt advice commissioned by the Money Advice Service targets those most in need across the UK have been published for consultation today. These are designed to deliver comprehensive, high-quality services that will both tackle debt and improve people’s wellbeing.  

A strategic approach to debt advice commissioning, sets out a new vision and direction for the way debt advice will be commissioned by the Money Advice Service between 2018 and 2023. It puts the one in six people in the UK who regularly miss bill payments or feel overwhelmed by their debts at the heart of these plans.

Sheila Wheeler, Director of Debt Advice at the Money Advice Service said: “The needs of over-indebted people are at the heart of this draft strategy to deliver better, more inclusive debt advice for those who need it most.

“To deliver the strategy we will need to build stronger and greater collaborative partnerships with those who deliver debt advice across the UK. These partnerships will enable us to innovate and pilot new ways of reaching the people who need these services the most.

“Developing a new approach would not be possible without support from organisations across the sector. This consultation is critical and we want to make sure we hear about the evidence, insights and views of organisations working in a range of finance sectors, especially those at the sharp end of debt advice. Receiving your feedback is critical in informing and shaping the future direction of the strategy.”

The draft strategy sets out a plan for collaboration with stakeholders across a range of sectors to ensure high quality, effective and inclusive services are provided for the people that need them the most.

Under these proposals, the Money Advice Service would work with partner organisations to:

Identify and target priority groups within the over-indebted population
Deliver debt advice and money guidance services which meet the needs of the population most effectively
Develop a clear view of the client from the point they access debt advice to when their issues are resolved
Establish a clear career development route for advisers in our services
Embed crisis debt advice services within a network of holistic support services (such as mental health)
Build services that make the best possible use of existing and emerging technologies

The strategy was developed following a thorough analysis of the current and future need for debt advice services, as well as a review of the quality and impact of existing services. Alongside the draft strategy, the Money Advice Service is publishing a summary of research into current practice across the sector.

To inform further the draft strategy, the Money Advice Service conducted a series of workshops with stakeholders across the advice sector to gain a broad view of how debt advice services could be commissioned more effectively.

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