National homelessness advice service
What is the National homelessness advice service (NHAS)
NHAS is a partnership between Shelter and Citizens Advice funded by the Communities and Local Government Department. The aim of the project is to minimise housing problems and prevent homelessness occurring by providing timely and effective advice, and ensuring good practice is developed by local authorities.
The service is offered to Citizens Advice Bureaux and 200 other frontline voluntary agencies across England.
NHAS service to advisers
- NHAS consultancy line - consultancy services are accessible via a national telephone line advice service open 35 hours a week Monday - Friday from 9am to 5pm, providing the legal expertise and specialist support on homelessness and housing issues. This consultancy supports first tier agencies providing front line advice to clients.
- NHAS training programme - currently consisting of a wide range of courses on a variety of subjects covering homelessness related law and practice
Developing the service
Over the coming months work will include the following:
- reporting outcomes pilot - this exciting project involves working with a number of 15-20 bureau in using both our case recording codes and new outcome measures material for homelessness prevention. Over the coming months we will be working with the pilot bureaux providing resources, toolkit, training and support to enable them to begin recording from 1 April. First reports will then be available in July/August.
- training development - after first developing a learning framework that identifies the range of knowledge and skills required by an adviser at all levels we will next design and produce a suite of learning tools. Over time we will develop a “blended learning” approach to a national programme of housing training.
- NHAS will act as a platform for the encouragement of local protocols agreed between CAB / voluntary agencies and Local Authorities. Such protocols will aim for the most efficient possible processing of cases, in terms of benefit to the client and value for money, at all times seeking the most effective action to prevent homelessness. The NHAS will also encourage the development of mechanisms contained within these protocols - such as joint working and liaison, and personal housing plans.
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