Encouraging Social Security Uptake: Tackling Stigma and Improving Accessibility

Social security is recognised as a human right and essential tool in addressing inequality. At this event we will examine the barriers and priorities surrounding social security uptake by those who are entitled to support as well as what we can do to tackle these head-on.

Social security as a right

On 1 June 2018, the Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 received Royal Assent. At the heart of the Bill is a commitment to promoting take up of social security by eligible individuals to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable and deprived citizens.

Those on low incomes have the right, and are entitled, to social security and yet it is estimated that £13bn of support a year goes unclaimed. To counter this, the Scottish Government has committed to putting dignity at the core of social security provision to tackle stigma as well as improve accessibility and inclusivity throughout the system. Within the Bill is also a duty for Scottish Ministers to promote uptake, with a social security uptake campaign –'“You’ve Earned It' – launched in October 2017.

Join us as we scrutinise priorities for the new Social Security (Scotland) Act 2018 in tackling inequality and improving outcomes. Sessions will focus on the barriers and challenges that impact social security uptake, as well as what we can do to address these and create an inclusive, accessible and dignified system for all.

Key issues we’ll examine with you

  • Social security and entitlement in policy
  • Embedding dignity in the social security system
  • Improving accessibility of information and clarity around entitlement
  • Ensuring inclusive communication throughout delivery
  • Taking an evidence-based approach to boosting uptake

Agenda*

09:15 Registration and Refreshments

10:00 Welcome and Introduction by the Chair

Paul Spicker, Emeritus Professor of Public Policy, Robert Gordon University

10:05 Session 1: Policy and Context

  • Social security and entitlement in policy
  • The role of social security in improving outcomes and reducing inequality
  • Promoting social security uptake as a duty

10:05 The Problem of Takeup

Paul Spicker, Emeritus Professor of Public Policy, Robert Gordon University

10:25 The Problem of Take-up: Impact on Child Poverty

Mark Willis, Welfare Rights Worker, Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland (CPAG)

10:45 Questions and Roundtable Discussion

11:20 Refreshments and Networking

11:40 Session 2: Key Barriers to Uptake

  • Embedding dignity in the social security system
  • Improving accessibility of information and clarity around entitlement
  • Ensuring inclusive communication throughout delivery
  • Overcoming issues of stigma

11:40 Claiming Benefits in the Real World – The Reality of a Broken System

  • Outline personal experience of benefits system
  • Critique Scottish Government approach and consider how to make people’s experience better. 
  • Tackling the stigma surrounding benefits system

Lynn Williams, Unpaid Carer

12:00 Taking a Human Rights and Equalities Approach to Social Security 

Lucy Mulvagh, Director of Policy and Communications, The ALLIANCE

12:20 Overcoming Barriers to Uptake to Tackle Poverty

Neil Cowan, Policy and Parliamentary Officer, The Poverty Alliance

12:50 Questions and Discussion

13:00 Lunch and Networking

13:30 Session 3: Good Practice and Case Studies

  • Putting the needs of those entitled to social security first
  • Taking an evidence-based approach to boosting uptake
  • Current strategies and good practice in improving uptake

13:30 The Power of Local: Working within Communities for the Benefit of Citizens

  • Examples of how Citizens Advice Bureaux work in partnership with other organisations
  • How this makes a material difference to people in need

Peter Beckett, Project Coordinator, Citizens Advice Scotland

14:00 Taking Action for Change –  Addressing Poverty through Social Security Uptake 

  • Tackling poverty; what can we do at a local level?
  • Different approaches to encouraging social security uptake
  • Working in partnership to meet customer needs

Gillian Pearson, Welfare Rights Officer, The Advice Shop

14:30 Questions and Discussion

15:00 Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change

Venue

NASUWT, 35 Young Street N. Ln, Edinburgh | Map

Costs

Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Discounted rate: 1 place £145 + VAT (Voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Reduced rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT per place (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, housing associations, professional associations and voluntary/charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Full rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT per place (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For more information please email enquiries@holyrood.com or phone 0131 285 1635

Dates
9 October 2018
Location
Edinburgh
United Kingdom

Tags

Categories

Share this page