The charity Elderly Accommodation Counsel, who run the national FirstStop information and advice network (that enables older people to become informed about housing and care issues and whom my PhD research is with), are in the latter stages of designing a ‘thought leadership’ blog.
As I’m sure you can all imagine, welfare is an area defined by information asymmetries and imperfect levels of information. In other words, it can be hard to make choices around welfare! However, despite this, over the last two decades or more, successive UK governments have pursued consumerist welfare policies that position consumer like choices as the means to access and engage with welfare. However, a great deal of people are relatively or very flawed welfare consumers. On this basis, seeking and being imparted with information and advice is an important mechanism toward making good quality and informed choices. The importance of information and advice around welfare has been acknowledged in the recent Care Act, which has made it mandatory for local authorities to provide information and advice on welfare issues (including housing). Yet, although information and advice is being positioned centre stage, it is a policy area that is devoid of much discussion or debate.
The aim of the blog is for it to become a vibrant place and forum for discussion, comment and analysis around key information and advice issues. The site is still under construction, but if anyone would be interested in contributing short blog pieces, on areas that you think are important, please do get in touch. We hope to get contributions from all sorts of people including academics, policy makers, practitioners etc…
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org