The issue about who is in control of care support has been developed by the government through a policy known as “personalisation” or “self-directed support”. The idea is that how a person is supported needs to be in their control and the care they receive should provide what is important to them. Rather than just providing or organising support services directly, local authorities can now give a budget to individuals for them to decide for themselves.
However, does this work equally well for everyone? There are cases, such as individuals with dementia and learning disabilities, where it is unlikely they will be able to manage the complexity of wages, tax and national insurance etc. There are also concerns that some individuals are vulnerable and there is the potential to be exploited by the people who are supposed to be working for them.
Even in the cases of those who are able to manage the complexities, can they ensure that they are hiring the people who are best able to give them the care that they need, as well as the companionship they might like?
What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below…
Find out what our academic Janet Bardsley, Social Work Lecturer at The Open University and Co–chair of the first year practice course for social work “Foundations for Social Work” has to say on the matter.
This debate is part of a collection produced to accompany the OU/BBC co-production Wanted: A Very Personal Assistant