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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2006): Social care - UK - community care

Path to independence

B. Hudson and M. Henwood

Community Care, Nov. 9th-15th 2006, p.34-35

Cash payments to individuals to purchase their own care are now a key element of government policy, but various programmes have grown in an uncoordinated manner. There is a need for greater coherence across the schemes, and this article highlights key dilemmas which will have to be addressed in any process of rationalisation. These include: 1) tensions between flexibility in the use of direct payments and the need to ensure that public money is not wasted; 2) provision of support for life planning, so that people make the best use of their cash payments; and 3) difficulties in reconciling self-determined needs with the inescapable necessity of rationing resources.

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