The government has published the Care Bill, which was published in draft form as the Care and Support Bill. The draft Bill set out some positive changes to social care, attempting to make the system more future focused and preventative, with more scope for assessments and processes to consider what people can do for themselves, particularly at an early stage, as well as what services can do for them. We think a system of this kind creates the space for approaches which focus on supporting family and community contributions and community development, which fits the ethos of our members, who deliver Shared Lives, Homeshare and micro-enterprises, very closely.
We had a number of conversations with the Bill team and the Joint Committee scrutinising the draft Bill, which made lots of very positive recommendations. The Joint Committee Chair, Paul Burstow, chaired a roundtable at RSA where we discussed strengths-based approaches and he wrote the foreword to a pamphlet, the New Social Care: strengths-based approaches, published by RSA which I edited (www.SharedLivesPlus.org.uk).
So have any of the changes we were arguing for happened?
In summary: yes. Councils will in future have to fund or commission agencies which reduce or delay the risk of people needing care and support (Clause 2). There should be much more useful information provided to anyone at risk of needing a care service (Clause 4). Whilst the Bill does not categorically set out the wide entitlements to up-front planning support, regardless of eligibility tests, for which we argued, the Bill and the accompanying explanatory note are clear that the most recent changes are intended to ensure that the Bill is the bones of an ‘assets’ or strengths-based approach which can be fleshed out in regulations and guidance.
My initial conversations with colleagues in the sector have tended to be about whether the new parts of the Bill which are intended to maximise the resilience of individuals, families and communities, create a risk Continue reading