Archive for March, 2013

Direct payments

Posted on March 5, 2013. Filed under: Adult's Services, Direct payments |

Definition

A Direct Payment is money paid by the local authority to an individual to pay for their own social care and support services. The payment is made instead of actual community care services being provided, and is roughly equal to the amount that would have been spent on community care services.

Direct Payments were introduced in 1997 to give people more independence and choice over their services. In practice, most people would use a Direct Payment to employ a Personal Assistant, instead of receiving traditional homecare services. They have been described as “the most successful public policy in the area of social care” (Cabinet Office Strategy Unit report on Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People, 2005), and for those able to take on the responsibility of managing their own money, the scheme was very successful. However, certain restrictions in the way Direct Payments can be used meant that uptake was limited.

From 2007-2011, Direct Payments evolved into the idea of Personal Budgets, which offer even more choice and control to the individual, with fewer restrictions. Personal Budgets can be received in a number of ways, one of which is a direct cash payment. In many local authorities a cash Personal Budget is still called a Direct Payment, and can be defined in essentially the same way.

Policies and legislation

  • Community Care (Direct Payments) Act 1996 – This gave Social Services Departments the power to make direct cash payments (known as ‘Direct Payments’) to eligible people to replace the Community Care services that those people had been assessed as needing. With the exception of residential care, people who receive these payments can use the money to buy services to meet their assessed needs. The Act confirms the principles of independence, choice and flexibility as the key elements of Direct Payments and guidance from the Department of Health emphasises the spirit of partnership between the local authority and the individual.
  • Carers and Disabled Children Act 2000 – Introduced in 2000 to include carers, disabled young people and parents of disabled children.
  • Health and Social Care Act 2001 – Consolidates the Carers and Disabled Children’s Act.
  • Department of Health policy and practice guidance – Contains the details on Direct Payments. It includes the views of carers and does not alter existing practice and standards in relation to assessment and care management. Direct Payments is part of the practice of needs-led assessment and sound care management.
  • Putting People First (2007) – The Department of Health document that outlines personalisation and introduces the idea of Personal Budgets for all social care service users.

Good practice examples

  • Leicestershire County Council’s Direct Payments DVD  – This DVD has been edited into a range of different versions for different service user groups, including: Physically disabled, learning disabled, hearing impaired and older people. Since the introduction of the DVD there has been a substantial increase of people taking up Direct Payments in Leicestershire.

Useful links

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Family Conferencing

Posted on March 5, 2013. Filed under: Children's Services, Family conferencing |

Definition

Every family is unique, but in all families problems can arise from time to time. Sometimes these difficulties can be solved within the family, with additional support from extended family and friends, but on other occasions through additional support, advice and resources from other agencies.

Family conferences are used to make plans for children in a number of different contexts:

  • Child welfare
  • Education welfare
  • Child protection
  • Looked After Children
  • Youth offending
  • Education welfare
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Domestic violence
  • Children as young carers
  • Breakdown of fostering or adoptive placements

Good practice examples

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Disability

Posted on March 5, 2013. Filed under: Children's Services, Disability |

Definition

Disabled children are those with disabilities defined by Section 5/6 of the Disabled Persons Act 1986.

They would generally be children attending special schools and receiving high or middle rates of Disability Living Allowance.

Usually, support services to the disabled child and their family aim to keep the child at home by providing home-based support. Where this is impractical, periodic breaks or respite services may be provided, limiting situations of children having to live apart from their families on a full time basis to a minimum.

In more complex cases, support may be enabled through residential services. Foster care, direct payments and residential services may be required.

Blue Badges: a child qualifies automatically for a Blue Badge if they are over two years old and either receive the Higher Rate of the Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance or they are registered blind. They may also be eligible if they are more than two years old and either have a permanent and substantial disability which means they cannot walk, or which makes walking very difficult. A parent of a child who is less than two years old may apply for a badge for their child if the child has a specific medical condition which means that they must always be accompanied by bulky medical equipment which cannot be carried around without great difficulty; and/or they need to be kept near a vehicle at all times, so that they can, if necessary, be treated in the vehicle, or quickly driven to a place where they can be treated, such as a hospital.

Policies and legislation

Useful links

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Connexions

Posted on March 5, 2013. Filed under: Children's Services, Connexions |

Definition

“Connexions provides advice, information and guidance (IAG) on careers and learning for all young people aged 13-19 via schools, colleges and Connexions centres.

Connexions also helps young people who need additional support, such as those who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), young people with special needs or learning difficulties, teenage parents or others with more complex needs.

Connexions Personal Advisers (PAs) can help young people with anything from courses and jobs to money, legal issues, housing, relationships, alcohol and drugs, volunteering or leisure activities. ”

Wiltshire Council

Policies and legislation

Good practice examples

Useful links

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Children’s Centres

Posted on March 5, 2013. Filed under: Children's Centres, Children's Services |

Definition

“Sure Start children’s centres are the focal point for early years services. Every family with children up to the age of 5 and prospective parents have access to a range of services through their local Sure Start children’s centre.”

North Yorkshire County Council

Policies and legislation

Good practice examples

Useful links

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Children in need

Posted on March 5, 2013. Filed under: Children in need, Children's Services |

Definition

The department of health, in their introductory text to their ‘Framework for the assessment of children in need and their families’, says that it aims towards “Securing the wellbeing of children by protecting them from all forms of harm and ensuring their development needs are responded to appropriately are primary aims of Government policy. A framework has been developed which provides a systematic way of analysing, understanding and recording what is happening to children and young people within their families and the wider context of the community in which they live”. A link to this framework is below.

Useful links

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Media relations

Posted on March 5, 2013. Filed under: Generic Issues, Media relations |

Definition

Media relations is a specialist area of PR that focuses on promoting key messages about your organisation or cause through editorial coverage in the media. Editorial refers to the parts created by journalists, whereas advertisements and advertorials and paid-for sections.

Media relations can help:

  • Raise media awareness of biodiversity, which in turn raises awareness among your target audience.
  • Increases understanding of what you offer
  • Create a positive profile of the organisation through good news stories and ongoing achievements.

Policies and legislation

Useful links

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Marketing & Public Relations

Posted on March 5, 2013. Filed under: Generic Issues, Marketing & PR |

Definition

Marketing includes planning, promotion, media relations, product development, direct marketing, sponsorship and market research.

Advertising and PR also involve these elements, and are broadly concerned with promoting and selling products and services.

Policies and legislation

Useful links

Documents

  • Guide to Easy Read (2010) SAIF
  • Communities in Control: Real People, Real Power (2008) Communities and Local Government
  • Accessibility guidelines for producing information (2005) SCIE – This document looks at how to make sure information in accessible, that is, written and presented in a way so as to be easily understandable, in general and for various groups of people. The guidelines start with some general points about making information accessible and then includes information specific to different groups. Use of text, images, photographs, symbols, video, DVD and audio are covered.
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Event management

Posted on March 5, 2013. Filed under: Event management, Generic Issues |

Definition

Event management is considered to be a strategic marketing and communication tool by companies of all sizes. From product launches to press conferences, organisations create promotional events to help them communicate with clients and potential clients.

An event can be purely about information giving, or it can be engaging and interactive. Events give a unique opportunity for attendees to get involved in activities and discussions, and through involvement people are able to understand and retain the message better than any other method of communications.

Organisations might target their audience by using the news media, hoping to generate media coverage, which will reach thousands or millions of people. They can also invite their audience to their events and reach them at the actual event.

Policies and legislation

Useful links

 Documents

  • Making events accessible guide (2012) SCIE
  • ISBN 0-471-39687-7 – Twenty-First Century Global Event Management (The Wiley Event Management Series) by Joe Goldblatt
  • ISBN 0-7506-6533-5 – Events Management (Events Management S.) by Glenn Bowdin, Johnny Allen, William O’Toole, Rob Harris & Ian McDonnell
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Dignity in Care

Posted on March 5, 2013. Filed under: Adult's Services, Dignity in Care |

Definition

On 14 November 2006, the Minister for Care Services, Ivan Lewis MP, launched the first  ever Dignity in Care campaign.

The campaign aims to stimulate a national debate around dignity in care and create a system where there is zero tolerance of abuse and disrespect of older people.

Health and social care services have made great strides in recent years in driving down waiting lists and improving access to services. However, this emphasis on thoughput has, at time, been at the expense of the quality of the care experience.

The Dignity in Care campaign aims to re-dress that balance and to put dignity at the heart of care.

Policies and legislation

Good practice examples

 Useful links

  • The Department of Health website has lots of information about becoming a dignity champion, People’s Award for Dignity in Care and the Dignity Tour and Dignity Ambassador visits, plus much more.
  • The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) has produced a Dignity in care guide for people who want to make a difference and improve standards of dignity in care.
  • SCIE also hosts the Dignity in Care network.
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