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Do personal budgets increase the risk of abuse? Evidence from English national data

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Publication details

JournalJournal of Social Policy
DateAccepted/In press - 8 Jul 2016
DatePublished (current) - 1 Mar 2017
Issue number2
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)291-311
Original languageEnglish


With the continued implementation of the personalisation policy, Personal
Budgets (PBs) have moved to the mainstream in adult social care in England.
The relationship between the policy goals of personalisation and safeguarding
is contentious. Some have argued that PBs have the potential to empower
recipients, while others believe PBs, especially Direct Payments, might
increase the risk of abuse.

This paper provides empirical evidence about levels of uptake of PBs and
safeguarding referrals in England based on in-depth analysis of national data
at aggregate, local council level in England, covering 152 Councils. This is
complemented by analysis of 2,209 individual referral records obtained from
three purposively selected study sites. The aim is to explore whether available
data could provide evidence of association between the uptake of PBs and
safeguarding referrals. Analysis of the national dataset found no significant
relationships between PB uptake and the level and type of alleged abuse.
However, analysis of individual level referral data, from the three selected
sites did find some significant associations particularly with financial abuse;
and the main perpetrators of the alleged abuse to be home care employees.
The findings are discussed within the context of current policy and practice

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© Cambridge University Press, 2016. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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