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Cash payments in context: (self) regulation in the new social relations of assistance

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Publication details

JournalDisability and Society
DateAccepted/In press - 2015
DatePublished (current) - 2015
Issue number4
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)597-613
Original languageEnglish


Cash payments to meet social care needs offer the possibility for the direct employment of personal assistants using public funds. Empirical work internationally
has identified the benefits of cash payments. However, there has been
less interest in the relationships between employers and their employees. This
article offers some reflections upon the employment relationship from the perspectives of employers who have learning difficulties and their personal assistants.
The study involved eight employers, their supporters and their personal assistants in an English city. A grounded theory approach was utilised and interviews
were analysed using a framework approach. This article argues that the relational aspects of direct employment arrangements have not been adequately considered in academic literature and the policy framework. These insights can add to debates around how social care support mechanisms can offer responsive assistance whilst questioning the assumed ‘empowering’ effect of an unregulated market.

    Research areas

  • DIRECT PAYMENTS, social care, workforce

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