Social care: choice and control

Martin Knapp

in Making social policy work

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9781861349583
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302742 | DOI:
Social care: choice and control

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This chapter examines fundamental changes that have developed in the delivery of some parts of social care to individuals, aimed at both increasing their choice over service providers, but more recently their control over that choice. It argues that for such policies to succeed requires four elements: a range of services that offers meaningful diversity; accessible and understandable information for service users to make choices between options; empowerment of users and carers to select between services; and control — in some cases with support and monitoring — over those selections. It traces the development of first ‘direct payments’ to people entitled to support for personal care of different kinds since 1996, and more recently the pilot experiments with ‘individual budgets’, where service users are using combined resources from a variety of funding streams within what becomes a real, rather than a ‘quasi’-market.

Keywords: social care policy; user choice; empowerment; control; direct payments; personal care; individual budgets

Chapter.  9799 words. 

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