Self-Directed Support Workforce and Employment Issues

In 2010, the Scottish Goverment published the findings of a study of the workforce and employment issues surrounding Self-Directed Support (SDS) carried out by Reid Howie Associates. Self-Directed Support (SDS) provides funding for people to arrange support to meet some, or all of their assessed community care needs, instead of receiving services directly provided by a public body. Most people use the money to employ a personal assistant (PA) and / or to buy support from a service provider. They commissioned this research to identify the issues facing SDS clients who employ PAs and to assess their training and support needs. The study set out to identify: workforce issues; ways to support SDS clients as employers; and strategies to develop and support the PA workforce. It was intended that this would contribute to improving the quality and provision of the SDS sector workforce in Scotland.

SCIE Research - Enabling Risk, Ensuring Safety

Like everyone, for people who use services, being able to take positive risks is an essential part of living a full and independent life. Personalisation aims to promote more independent and fulfilling lives by giving people who use services more choice and control over their care and support. Personal budgets, with the option of direct payments, are a way of achieving this. However, social care organisations and practitioners can face challenges in balancing personalisation with their professional duty to manage risk and keep people safe.

'The Personalisation Agenda: Implications for Work and Employment

The development of 'personalised' social care services can benefit individuals through greater choice, control and empowerment - but new research suggests that there are also significant implications for the workers who provide these services.

The research, commissioned by the Voluntary Sector Social Services Workforce Unit and conducted by the Scottish Centre for Employment Research at Strathclyde Business School, suggests implications for the workers who provide these services including changes to working hours and flexibility, the acquisition of new skills, the development of a more casualised workforce, and the potential fragmentation of pay and conditions away from collective terms.

Communication and people with the most complex needs: What works and why this is essential

This guide was launched at the PMLD Network conference in 2010. It was commissioned by Mencap in partnership with the Department of Health, as part of the programme of work set out in Valuing People Now (in England) to ensure people with the most complex needs are included. It is written by Professor Juliet Goldbart from Manchester Metropolitan University, an expert in the field of communication and people with PMLD.

The guide is aimed at commissioners, to support them in commissioning support and services which meet the communication needs of people with the most complex needs. However, it will also be useful for family carers, frontline staff and people with a learning difficulty.

To view either versions of the guide, please click on an attachment below:-

Wasted Time, Wasted Money, Wasted Lives ... A Wasted Opportunity?

On 24 March 2010 - the European Coalition for Community Living (ECCL) published a new report highlighting that European Union funding is being used in some EU Member States of Central and Eastern Europe to renovate, or build new, residential institutions for people with disabilities. This means that disabled people continue to be segregated from society and puts them at risk of serious human rights abuses.

ECCL's report points out that such use of EU funding (known as the Structural Funds) continues despite EU and Member States' policies that emphasise the need to protect the rights of disabled people and promote their social inclusion. Numerous reports over the last decade have brought to light the horrific reality of institutional care for many disabled adults and children in Central and Eastern Europe. They have shown the appalling living conditions; use of physical restraints, physical and sexual abuse of some residents by other residents and sometimes staff; inadequate clothing; involuntary placements subject to no independent review; the lack of privacy and the absence of rehabilitative or therapeutic activities.

To view the full report, please click on the attachment below:-

The Effects of Institutionalisation

This research, published in 2006 was carried out by Jane Hubert and Sheila Hollins.

They looked at the effect of institutionalisation on men with severe learning disabilities and challenging behaviour in long-stay hospital care. They found that the men’s lives were emotionally, socially and physically deprived. Their individual, gender and social identities were not recognised, and their general health and mental healthcare needs were inadequately addressed.

To read the full research document, please click on the attachment below:-

Bereaved adults with intellectual disabilities

This research was conducted by S. Dowling, J. Hubert, S. White, & S. Hollins and published in 2006.

Bereaved adults with intellectual disabilities are known to experience prolonged and atypical grief which is often unrecognized. The aim of this project was to find an effective way to improve mental health and behavioural outcomes.

To view the research findings, please click on the attachment below:-

A Review of the Barriers and Facilitators

This is a report on the published literature on the barriers and facilitators of self directed support. This gave information for a research study funded by the Scottish Government 2009-2011 that is evaluating initiatives in three local authorities. These initiatives aim to improve take up of self-directed support for people eligible for social care and other public funds.

To read the report, please click on the attachment below. We don't know of any easy read versions of this but if you do, please tell us and we will post this too.

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