Campaigning for change: CARF social policy work
When someone contacts a citizens advice bureau like CARF here in Fife, the cause of their problem is often an unfair policy, practice or piece of legislation.
The tens of thousands of clients we work with each year makes it possible to spot trends and comment with authority on the strengths and weaknesses of different policies. In fact, we see it as our responsibility and it’s one of the guiding aims and principles of our service.
CARF client evidence and how it’s used
Like all other Scottish citizens advice bureaux, CARF records information about the problems people bring each year in a case recording database called CASTLE. This information is used by Citizens Advice Scotland to provide national statistical information.
Because we have an evidence base – we can prove that problems exist – CARF and the Scottish CAB Service can take action. At local and national level we raise the issues with those who are causing them and suggest how they could be avoided.
As well as giving a voice to our clients, this policy work ensures new policies are based on evidence rather than assumptions. This means that our work helps many more people than those we advise firsthand.