Journal Article

Direct Payments: Creating a Two-Tiered System in Social Care?

David Leece and Janet Leece

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 36, issue 8, pages 1379-1393
Published in print December 2006 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online November 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Direct Payments: Creating a Two-Tiered System in Social Care?

Show Summary Details


In 2003, the UK government placed a mandatory responsibility on local authorities to offer direct payments to eligible people. Given the extent to which the government is committed to extending the number of people using cash payments and research that shows the enormous benefits to users, then some areas of research into the take up are sadly neglected. For example, is it the case, as some literature suggests, that direct payments are by being disproportionately utilized by middle-class, affluent disabled people, effectively creating a two-tiered system in social care? The research in this paper provides some insight into this question by reporting a unique study to look at statistically significant differences in the financial situation of direct payment users compared with users of traditional services.

Keywords: direct payments; disability; older people; income; wealth

Journal Article.  6664 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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