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Third sector gears up to meet
Date:4/1/2009

Third sector providers of social care services face a host of new challenges but also opportunities following the Government's commitment to expanding personal budgets* in social care. The issues raised for third sector organisations by policies to expand personal budgets are outlined in 'The impact of personal budgets on third sector providers of social care'. This new booklet highlights the views of leading experts on social care and the third sector as presented during a Public Policy Seminar jointly organised by the Economic and Social Council (ESRC) and the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), held in February 2009.

The aim of personal budgets is to enable those who rely on social care services to exercise choice and control over the help they need. However, choice is only a reality if the services and types of support that people choose are available. Are third sector providers of social care well-placed to help those who use social care services including older people, adults with mental health problems and disabled people to enjoy greater choice and control?

In the booklet, seminar speakers Professor David Challis and Professor Caroline Glendinning draw on recent research findings to highlight the perceived threats, barriers and opportunities posed by increased user choice.

Fears over rising costs and loss of care workers and clients due to the expansion of personal budgets are just a few of the concerns expressed by third sector organisations. Says Professor Glendinning: "Agency managers anticipated serious risks to their current client base. Because of their overheads, agencies charged more than self-employed care workers ... this was expected to encourage personal budget holders to employ carers privately rather than through agencies. And, opportunities for care workers to earn more per hour by working privately for budget holders suggested that agencies may lose staff."

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Contact: Alexandra Saxon
Alexandra.saxon@esrc.ac.uk
01-793-413-032
Economic & Social Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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