Open access Personalisation and carers: Whose rights? Whose benefits?

Nicola Moran, Hilary Arksey, Caroline Glendinning, Karen Jones, Ann Netten, Parvaneh Rabiee (2012)

British Journal of Social Work 42 3 461-479

Available online: 7 June 2011

Increasing numbers of developed welfare states now operate cash-for-care schemes in which service users are offered cash payments in place of traditional social services. Such schemes raise concerns about the extent to which they include and support carers. This paper aims to explore some of these issues through an analysis of a cash-for-care initiative piloted in England in 2005–07: the Individual Budgets (IBs) pilot projects. The paper reports the findings of an evaluation of the impact and outcomes of IBs for carers through analyses of qualitative interviews with IB lead officers, carers' lead officers and carers of IB holders; and analyses of structured outcome interviews with carers of IB holders and carers of people in receipt of conventional social care services. The evaluation found that, despite their primary aim of increasing choice and control for the service user, IBs had a positive impact on carers of IB holders. The findings are important in that they have implications for the widespread roll-out of Personal Budgets in England and may also provide wider valuable lessons nationally and internationally about the tensions between policies to support carers and policies aimed at promoting choice and control by disabled and older people