Whose personalisation?

Document type
Paper
Author(s)
Peter Beresford
Publisher
Compass
Date of publication
4 March 2009
Series
Thinkpiece; 47
Subject(s)
Social Work, Social Care and Social Services
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

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This paper looks at some of the issues raised by the government's rush to social care personalisation.  The main initial focus of the new personalisation agenda is a switch to individual budgets – the allocation of a sum of money to eligible individuals for them to decide to spend as they wish on a 'package of support'. This represents a radical reform of the social care system. The paper examines the rhetoric of personalisation and what it may mean for social care users, providers and local authorities.  It raises a number of questions and concerns about the longer-term impact of personalisation, including the possibility that large for-profit companies will become dominant in the sector and that people may be left adrift in a complex and inadequately regulated market. What is perhaps most interesting and concerning about personalisation in social care is that the government has made such strong commitments to it, not only without having clear answers to such questions, but without such key questions having been properly considered at all.

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