Personalisation in children’s social work : from family support to “the child’s budget”

Whitaker, EM ORCID: 2015, 'Personalisation in children’s social work : from family support to “the child’s budget”' , Journal of Integrated Care, 23 (5) , pp. 277-286.

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the changing meaning of personalisation from the New Labour era of bespoke, integrated family support to the more recent implementation of personal budgets for disabled children to deliver “choice and control”. The paper explores the discursive change from early help to “intervention”, the shifting conceptualisation of parents and the turn away from family support towards a focus upon individualised commissioning to meet needs. Design/methodology/approach: In addition to a literature review of policy shifts, findings presented are taken from an ethnographic case study of one team of children’s disability social workers. Observations were undertaken of the team in the office space and at meetings, in addition interviews were conducted with all team members and with seven families. An interpretive and qualitative approach was adopted throughout. Findings: Findings reveal the frontline and familial challenges of delivering choice and control in a climate of austerity and child-centricism. Salient points for integration around families and between organisations as personalisation narrows in scope are also considered. Research limitations/implications: Findings are taken from one case study site; further research in different sites is required to consider the array of understandings and experiences across the social care landscape and to provide a strong empirical baseline. Originality/value: The paper reports on one of the first ethnographic studies of personalisation in children’s services. The paper is of value to practitioners and managers in social care and the NHS. It is also of value to academics exploring the conceptual and practical issues of individualised care.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Integrated Care
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 1476-9018
Related URLs:
Funders: University of Birmingham Doctoral Studentship
Depositing User: EM Whitaker
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2017 10:10
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 22:21

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