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Welfare Reform on the Web (March 2012): Social care - UK - community care

Exploring the temporal aspects of direct payments

H. Arksey and K. Baxter

British Journal of Social Work, vol.42, 2012, p. 147-164

In the last two decades, advanced welfare states have introduced 'cash-for-care' schemes whereby eligible individuals receive money or vouchers to purchase care instead of in-kind help at home. This paper explores the challenges and positive experiences reported by disabled people of all ages who used direct payments over an extended period of time. Data were gathered from 30 individuals who chose to talk about their experiences of using direct payments during interviews for the 'Choice and Change' study. Participants were interviewed three times between 2007 and 2009. Results showed how direct payments recipients developed recruitment and management skills over time but would welcome more continuing input from direct payments advisers. It also illustrated changing roles within families and the longer-term consequences of employing family members as personal assistants.

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