Welfare Rights training courses
Welfare Rights training helps you build skills and knowledge in the social security benefits and tax credits system. Training comes from a rights-based, socially inclusive, non-judgmental perspective.
Training concentrates on tackling poverty by maximising income and giving people economic choice. The goal of Welfare Rights training is to improve the financial position of people who use our service by giving council staff and voluntary workers the tools to support them in maximising income.
If you want to arrange training for your organisation, or want more information, please contact us.
Who is Welfare Rights training for?
People who benefit from Welfare Rights training tend to fall into three groups:
- council staff (inside Durham County Council)
- voluntary sector/charitable organisation staff operating within County Durham (outside the council)
- legal or statutory external bodies (for example, solicitors and health services)
Usually only the last group would be charged for training, although this is not always the case.
What you will gain from Welfare Rights training?
The learning objectives for people taking up Welfare Rights training vary from person to person and organisation to organisation. They can be tailored to suit your individual requirements, but generally contain some or all of the following:
- gaining knowledge of the rules of entitlement to relevant benefit(s)
- understanding the legal and social context of benefits and the social security system
- learning how to navigate the systems and bureaucracies (for example completing claim forms or contacting the appropriate office)
- developing advocacy and/or legal skills and knowledge (for example how to appeal, points of law)
- understanding how to use Welfare Rights services effectively (for example, making referrals, providing good information and evidence)
- dealing with the issues affecting take-up for a particular client group (for example mental health, learning disabilities).
Training tailored to your needs
More specific learning objectives within each heading depend on the level of expertise expected of staff at the beginning of the course, and on the desired outcomes at the end, which should be tailored to their roles. For example, 'gaining knowledge of the rules of entitlement to relevant benefit(s)' could be a very simple overview if the participants are new to benefits and/or only require introductory or 'signposting' skills in their jobs.
If participants start out with some experience and knowledge of benefits and/or need to advise clients directly on their entitlements, the level of knowledge they will need about rules of entitlement will be greater (intermediate or 'benefit checking' skills).
Advanced skills might sometimes be necessary for particular agencies or those working in a specialised field. Here, it might be necessary to teach the calculation of means-tested benefits, or how to deal in some depth with a particularly significant set of problems for a specific client group (e.g. how to support clients through a Limited Capability for Work assessment).