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Training for change: early days of individual budgets and the implications for social work and care management practice: a qualitative study of the views of trainers

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Individual Budgets are central to the implementation of English government policy goals in social care. Like other consumer-directed or self-directed support programmes operating in parts of the developed world, they are envisaged as a way of increasing individuals' choice and control over social care resources provided by the public sector. While the opportunities they provide for people using services have been identified prospectively in the English context and reflect positive outcomes internationally, little attention in England has been paid to the potential impact on the redesign of social workers' and others' current roles and practice and the training that might be necessary. This article draws on the Department of Health-commissioned evaluation of the thirteen pilot Individual Budget schemes, which aims to evaluate outcomes and identify the contexts and mechanisms of those outcomes. The article focuses on a sub-set of the study that comprised an exploration of early training activities for social workers/care managers and wider stakeholders around the introduction of Individual Budgets. It is based on interviews with representatives from all thirteen pilot local authorities. What happens to social work in adult social services departments in England may be determined in part by these pilots; however, the article also highlights the role of those responsible for training in managing the demands upon social workers/care managers, in responding to their concerns and aspirations, and their possible responsibilities for training people using services in their new consumer roles.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/23042/

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