Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 18, 2010, p. 129-138
The term 'flexible funding' refers to funding that is individually allocated to people with a disability and older people receiving public support, where they have control over its use and can pay for their own care rather than receiving services directly from their local council. Flexible funding programmes vary greatly in design and are increasing in many countries. This article reports on social participation outcomes from flexible funding programmes in England, Scotland, Sweden and Australia. There was wide agreement that flexible funding does provide more opportunities for social participation. Results also indicate that social participation increases when people have access to information and support services; can choose their individual workers and move to a new agency if need be; and have adequate resources to meet their needs. The cultural and political context plays a large part in determining these factors.