SCIE Report 36: Enabling risk, ensuring safety: Self-directed support and personal budgets
'a major inhibiting factor in achieving good outcomes is a regime where there exists a fear of putting the organisation at risk, financially, in terms of reputation or in breach of the law.' (Essex County Council 2009)
A safeguarding and personalisation framework
Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and the South West Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership have developed a safeguarding and personalisation framework with safeguarding and personalisation leads, people using services and other key partners, such as the police and user-led organisations, who are involved with implementing self-directed support and personal budgets.
The framework shows the positive results of stakeholders working together and incorporates a person-centred, preventative approach. It accounts for the fact that services often only intervene at points of crisis rather than being geared towards prevention and therefore do not always include the development of natural support and community involvement which are effective ways to guard against abuse.
There is also a recognised need to bring together all staff working on safeguarding, people using services and key partners developing personalisation and self-directed support in order to discuss issues and concerns.
The outcomes and recommendations of the stakeholder discussions led to the development of a simple framework designed to support person-centred risk assessment and management in conjunction with self-directed support. This is a 'live document' which can be reviewed and modified as learning happens, but the core aims are to:
- identify guidance and good practice which both empowers and protects people who use services within the self-directed support process
- ensure that safeguarding is built into personalised approaches and is not a separate process
- make the discussion about and ownership of risk explicit
- support joint and supported decision making
- identify points in the self-directed support process where risk assessment and management are particularly significant
- include a user perspective which identifies ways to support and empower people who use services to make informed choices and better protect themselves.
Because the issue of risk enablement and safeguarding is a corporate issue, the framework is structured in a way that incorporates the process at various levels throughout the organisation. This mirrors the levels in the research evidence: corporate, practitioner and individual service user:
High level business process – outlines the self-directed support business process. At each stage it identifies where it may be appropriate to link into the safeguarding process. You can check whether your processes are integrated and aligned.
Risk assessment – identifies issues relating to risk that you will need to consider when undertaking a self-directed assessment for a personal budget. Provides links to relevant national and local guidance, policies and tools to enable you to develop guidance, policy and improve practice. It prompts you to think whether there are further actions you should be taking.
Risk management – identifies issues relating to risk management that you will need to consider when developing a support plan based on a person budget and in particular where the service wishes to use a direct payment. Provides hyperlinks to relevant national and local guidance, policy and to improve practice. Allows you to check whether there are further actions you should be taking.