Can individuals choose what is in their best interests?

make up your mind

Choices about how we live our lives are nearly always made in a social context. When we make a choice we have others in mind. We are affected by what others want and need, what others think about what we’re doing, and how others will react. Continue reading


Choice and control is not as simple as it looks

add to basket

People making choices about how they are supported is at the centre of the personalisation project. It seems such an obvious and simple idea: of course people are going to know more about what they want to get out of life than a public official, no matter how sympathetic or qualified. While ‘client self-determination’ has been part of the post-war social work tradition, it was often qualified by the caveat that the ‘client’ may not always know what was in their own interests. The disabled people’s movement, however, challenged the prerogative of state welfare to define both the problem and the remedy. Continue reading

How social care assessments overlook the ‘us’ in families


Martin is recovering from a stroke. He now needs help with activities like dressing, washing, shopping and cooking. Some activities like going to work and driving are right off the agenda. His mobility and communication are impaired and at times he feels useless. But worst for Martin, he feels he is no longer the husband, father, grandfather, friend and colleague he used to be. Continue reading

Turning the welfare state upside down? .. not just yet

The Health Services Management Centre has produced an interesting report that questions the fundamentals of the ‘social care offer’ that people receive today.

Glasby et al say “It should come as no surprise to anyone that there is a growing crisis in adult social care. Policymakers, practitioners and people using services alike all argue that the current system is fundamentally “broken”. This is not the fault of current managers or front-line professionals – we just have a 1940s system designed with 1940s aspirations and society in mind, which feels increasingly unfit for purpose in terms of how we live other aspects of our life in the early 21st century.”  Continue reading

Early indicators of concern

Against all the worry about our ability to protect vulnerable adults in care, it’s good to come across some helpful research that gives us some practical ways to improve practice. This comes from Hull University’s Centre for Applied Research and Evaluation and is focused on ‘early indicators of concern’.

Their objective has been to seek to identify early indicators or warning signs that suggest that abuse and harm are likely to be experienced by the people being supported. The research has enabled the identification of a range of early indicators, which are visible to visiting practitioners and families. They have constructed a guide to enable practitioners and families to recognise early indicators, record evidence and report concerns.

More information here.