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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2009): Social care - UK

Care costs: the public's view

M. Knapp, J.-L. Fernandez and T. Poole

Community Care, May 21st 2009, p. 24-25

The statements of public attitudes captured by the BBC's Care Calculator website show that peoples' expectations of the level of free care for elderly and disabled people provided under the current system are often over-optimistic. They also demonstrate a willingness to pay higher taxes to fund improvements in social care services and support among respondents for universal levels of publicly funded support that do not depend on an individual's assets.

Improving support for self-funders

M. Henwood

Community Care, June 4th 2009, p. 28-29

Research shows that adults who can fund their own care are treated unsympathetically by local authorities. There is an initial failure by councils to assess the needs of people they believe will be self-funding, rooted in a confusion of the processes of needs and financial assessment. There is also a reluctance to help self-funding care home residents when their money runs out. Evidence has also emerged of gaps in information provision about advocacy, support planning, brokerage and eligibility criteria.

Legal outcomes: reflections on the implications of LGBT legal reforms in the UK for health and social care providers

B. Cant

Diversity in Health and Care, vol. 6, 2009, p. 55-82

Many barriers to legal equality for Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people in the UK have been removed since 1997. There has also been a major shift in the aspirations of this population so that 'pride' is seen as a priority rather than 'privacy'. The changes in the law and the shift in aspirations pose challenges for health and social care providers in the way that they view and engage with these groups. LGBT populations present themselves in terms of sexual activity, community building and social networks. This article proposes that health and social care providers should seek to engage with the social networks of LGBT people in order to know these populations better and be able to meet their needs more effectively.

Stand up and be heard

A. Mickel

Community Care, June 4th 2009, p. 14-15

This article points out that social workers lack a representative body to speak on their behalf to politicians and the media. The General Social Care Council is a regulator and cannot represent the workforce. The British Association of Social Workers has only 12,000 members, and so lacks legitimacy.

A twin track to trouble

S. Rogowski

Professional Social Work, June 2009, p. 26-27

It is argued that social work is currently dominated by two issues: improvement in child protection services following the death of Baby Peter and the government's personalisation agenda for adults. Social workers are being hampered by the need to meet government targets, and excessive form filling and bureaucracy. There are concerns that the personalisation agenda will lead to the deskilling of social work, with individual service users being left to sort out their own problems with minimal information and advice.

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