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Making social policy work$
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John Hills, Julian Le Grand, and David Piachaud

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781861349583

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861349583.001.0001

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Social care: choice and control

Social care: choice and control

(p.147) eight Social care: choice and control
Making social policy work

Martin Knapp

Policy Press

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

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