The LSC’s complete silence on the subject might lead some to believe that the Specialist Support service ended at the end of March 2011 as scheduled, but in fact the contracts were renewed for a further year. They represent a very valuable resource for practitioners and continued use is the most likely thing to persuade the LSC to continue or re-tender the service when current contracts expire in March 2012.
The service is open to anyone with an LSC Contract or Specialist or General Help Quality Mark, and categories are not restricted to those with relevant contracts – a family provider, for example, can use the housing service if a housing issue arises.
Details of the current providers can be found on the LSC website and are reproduced below. All are open Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm.
- Community Care – Public Law Solicitors, 0845 140 5006
- Debt – Citizens Advice, 0808 808 2575
- Employment – Citizens Advice, 0808 808 3681
- Housing – Shelter, 0844 515 2113 (England), Shelter Cymru 0845 602 3449 (Wales)
- Immigration – Wilson Solicitors, 0845 677 2205
- Mental Health – Scott Moncrieff, 0844 800 3364
- Public Law – The Public Law Project, 0808 808 4546
- Welfare Benefits – Child Poverty Action Group, 0845 612 8007 (England), LASA, 0845 271 3230 (Wales)