Journal Article

Reconciling Cash and Care: Home Care Charges and Benefit Checks in Social Services

PETE ALCOCK and GARY VAUX

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 27, issue 4, pages 499-513
Published in print August 1997 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online August 1997 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.bjsw.a011238
Reconciling Cash and Care: Home Care Charges and Benefit Checks in Social Services

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This article contains the report of a small research project on the development of welfare rights checks for home care clients in social services departments. Welfare rights take-up activity has become an important feature of provision by local authority social services departments, frequently targeted on particular groups of clients known to experience problems in claiming full benefit entitlement. Users of home care services are such a client group. Take-up work with home care clients is also, however, a product of the impact of community care policy changes and of financial pressures on local authority social services. These have resulted in the introduction of charges for home care services by many authorities, and the use of rebates from such charges to protect low income service users. Welfare rights work has thus become an important feature of the reconciliation of these new charging policies with the continued service needs of poor home care clients. The research examined a successful take-up initiative, linked to home care charges, in Sheffield and contrasted this with similar activities in other authorities throughout the UK. The conclusion is reached that levels of non-take-up of social security benefits are particularly low amongst home care clients and that benefit checks can secure significant additional income for them, which may also have the indirect effect of increasing the income to social services departments from the charges for home care services.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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