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Exploring the temporal aspects of direct payments

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JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
DatePublished - Jan 2012
Issue number1
Volume42
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)147-164
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In the last two decades, advanced welfare states have introduced 'cash-for-care' schemes whereby eligible individuals receive money or vouchers to purchase care rather than receive in-kind help at home. Evidence suggests that such schemes give recipients greater choice and control. In England, direct payments, individual budgets and personal budgets are different types of cash-for-care. This article reports new empirical research which takes a longitudinal perspective about the use of direct payments. Study participants were interviewed three times between 2007 and 2009. The findings are organised into six themes: journeys in and out of direct payments, on-going contact with social services, changing service user circumstances, self-development and learning through time, impact of direct payments on families, and changing relationships. The findings show that direct payments recipients need support in understanding the long-term issues that might arise, as well as on-going monitoring and advice from knowledgeable practitioners as their situations, needs and capabilities change through time. On the basis of the evidence, suggestions are made to help boost take-up rates and subsequent levels of satisfaction. The findings have implications for the future roll-out of personal budgets, since direct payments are likely to be a common form of deployment.

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    Research areas

  • ill/disabled adults, social work issues, older people, funding issues

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