Care and Support Planning- what role can support providers play?

19 February 2015 | By Helen Sanderson

Blog by Madeline Cooper-Ueki, NDTi

TLAP’s Delivering Care and Support Planning defines the key stages and process for the care and support planning journey, which individuals coming into contact with social care for the first time should expect to receive. Yet many people have been supported, often for many years, by the same provider. They may being living in registered or supported settings and receiving up to 24 hours support, effectively encompassing all aspects of their lives. For these people, having the opportunity to identify and review chosen outcomes and exert choice and control over day to day life and longer term plans, is an essential element of ensuring they have a good life. Most will have a basic yearly review of their support with a duty social worker, but the reality is that this may not facilitate the person centred conversations which can be core to identifying and implementing personal aspirations and outcomes.

A number of provider organisations therefore take the leading role in facilitating a process by which those who they support, families and friends, can identify what really matters to the individual and develop a care and support plan.

An example of this practice is Joseph Rowntree Housing Trusts’ Excellence guide, which they worked with NDTi to co-produce with people they support, staff and others. This framework ensures that each individual’s care and support plan is personal to them, as well as ensuring an element of quality by providing a whole life framework on which to plan.

The TLAP guide identifies the importance of support solutions getting beyond just paid service provision. This may include a neighbour supporting someone to have lunch at a café instead of a home-care worker cooking for them, or it may be about an individual’s support being from a colleague in their place of work. NDTI and Community Catalysts research on widening options for support for older people with high support needs, identified that people are far happier with their support where there is a mutual benefit and enjoyment, rather than a receiver and care-giver relationship. This is harder to achieve in a provider- individual situation.

Whilst there is a natural tension for a support provider in looking outside their own organisation, rather than within it, to help someone identify the support they want, this is a step some are taking. For example, Certitude support has intentionally developed a more inclusive approach to helping people reach their outcomes, planning with people to make the most of local community and natural support systems such as friends and families. They and other organisations also facilitate reviews for the individual and family to review their experiences and the outcomes over the past year, using a person-centred review process. Such providers must and do remain open to new support options being considered as part of this process.

The best practice and an important aspiration may be that every individual has access if they choose, to independent support to develop their care and support plan. But for the many for whom this is not currently a possibility, support providers getting things right can make a huge difference.

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