Social enterprise In Control's programme to create a social care system that offers a real element of choice and control for young people and families is now live in six local authorities across the UK.
The Taking Control programme focuses on the provision of the government programmes for Self-Directed Support and Individual Budgets for children and young people across ages, and includes health funding in a small number of locations. The programme was established in July 2007.
There are 770,000 disabled children in the UK. Over 90% of disabled children live at home and are supported by their families. Only 1 in 13 families get services from their local social services. Disabled children are 13 times more likely to be excluded from school. A quarter of families with disabled children say services are poor and lack coordination.1
The Department of Children, Schools and Families made a commitment to pilot Individual Budgets for disabled children and young people in 2007, as part of its policy review Aiming High for Disabled Children, to increase the flexibility and choice in the provision of services. In Control is instrumental in making this happen.
The Taking Control programme currently comprises a network of 28 Children's Services and 41 live Individual Budgets with seven services in the process of making allocations.
In addition, In Control has developed a report, A Whole Life Approach to Personalisation, which sets out the case for why Individual Budgets drawing on social care, health and education should be rolled out to all children's services. It focuses on the four fundamental needs of Self-Directed Support, namely safeguarding, resource allocation, planning together and being outcome focussed.
Local authorities including Halton, Middlesbrough, Northumberland, Newham and Gloucestershire are all now actively providing Individual Budgets to children and young people, while many other sites are close to launching the service.
In Control will be introducing the latest developments in Self-Directed Support for children and young people at the Big Event on Thursday 19 March.
Kirklees Council's Unit Manager with the Children's and Disability team, Toni Traynor and In Control's Nic Crosby will be holding a workshop about the Taking Control network of Children's Services. The workshop will include a reality check about the challenges from Kirklees' view to taking this agenda forward and rolling it out across Children's Services.
The use of Individual Budgets is only one part of the broader practice of enabling Self-Directed Support, which supports people to lead fuller and more active lives and to control how they are supported. The amount of adults directing their own support has now exceeded 10,000.
Nic Crosby, Director for Children and Young People, In Control, comments: "The support that a child needs, whether this is health, education or social care support, impacts on every aspect of a child's life and the lives of their families. Taking Control offers young people and their families a child-centric approach that enables them to lead fuller and active lives and to be in control in how they are supported. There have been significant developments since 2007 and we will continue to assist local authorities in providing a more holistic approach to services for young people. The overriding fact is that that everyone has a right to citizenship, whether an adult or a child."
In Control's Big Event 2009 is the largest live showcase of Self-Directed Support in the UK and brings together the latest developments under one roof. The event takes place at the Islington Centre, London on Thursday 19 March.
Further details about the Big Event can be found at:
bjhc&im News, 17th march 2009