SCIE Report 36: Enabling risk, ensuring safety: Self-directed support and personal budgets
'[Personal budgets give] opportunities to tailor support to individuals, maintain valued activities and reduce dependence on family and friends' (Mitchell and Glendinning, 2007)
Risk management and direct payments
Research examining risk and direct payments tends to focus on risk to both people who use services and their directly employed personal assistants (PAs).
Studies examining the experience of direct payment users emphasised the positive benefits of the risk involved with someone purchasing their own care and support directly, which commonly included:
'retaining or regaining personal independence and living a 'normal' life through opportunities to tailor support to individual needs and exercise greater choice over who provided the support and when…greater continuity in relationships with paid carers, maintaining valued social and work activities and reduced dependence on family and friends' (Mitchell & Glendinning 2007 p59).
However, the review showed other studies highlighted the risk of personal abuse from PAs, the recruitment of PAs and the responsibility involved with being a direct employer.
Research on direct payments suggests these strategies have been used to reduce risks associated with employing trustworthy and professional PAs:
- through recruitment from an agency or third party
- through personal recommendations of others
- by using people already known and trusted, such as family and friends
- by employing PAs from the same minority group or cultural background.
- Mitchell W & Glendinning C (2007) A review of the research evidence surrounding risk perceptions, risk management strategies and their consequences in adult social care for different groups of service users: Working Paper No. DHR 2180 01.07 York: University of York SPRU