Personalisation - the idea that public services should be tailored to the individual, with budgets devolved to the service user or frontline staff - is increasingly seen as the future of the welfare state. This book focuses on how personalisation evolved as a policy narrative and has mobilised such wide-ranging political support. It will be a valuable resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students in public policy and social policy and for researchers and practitioners working in related fields.
This edition presents an up-to-date and diverse review of the best in social policy scholarship over the past 12 months, from a group of internationally renowned authors. The collection offers a comprehensive discussion of some of the most challenging issues facing social policy today, including an examination of Brexit, the Trump presidency, ‘post-truth’, the prison system, migration, the lived experiences of food bank users, health tourism as an alleged benefit fraud, and the future of welfare benefits. Published in association with the SPA, the volume will be valuable to academics and students within social policy, social welfare and related disciplines.
Drawing together a mix of internationally renowned contributors, Social Policy Review 28 provides an up-to-date and diverse review of the best in social policy scholarship. This book contains three parts. The first part focuses on the state of affairs in each of the pillars of the welfare state. It assesses to what extent the traditional ‘evil giants’ have been defeated, which new problems and unintended consequences have emerged and how this affects the policies. The focus on four policy areas are: pension policies, health care, income benefits and housing. The second part draws together a selection of papers from the Social Policy Association’s Annual Conference. The social policy implications of the outcome of the 2015 UK General Election was a major issue facing delegates. Indeed, the final day of the conference coincided with the new government’s first budget, during which details of the £12 billion of ‘welfare’ cuts promised during the election campaign were outlined. The four chapters in Section Two offer insights into what this agenda might hold and how scholars might best interrogate it. The third part explores the shift to individualised funding in different international settings, and also explores the validity of the underlying assumptions, which have driven the shift towards greater use of individualised funding. This part also offers a range of empirical lenses through which to examine these debates. Together these chapters help to deepen an understanding of individualised approaches within social policy.
The book contains invaluable research, including discussions on modern slavery, childcare and social justice and welfare chauvinism, as well as a chapter centred on the Grenfell Tower fire. Bringing together the insights of a diverse group of experts in social policy, this book examines critical debates in the field in order to offer an informed review of the best in social policy scholarship over the past year. Published in association with the SPA, the volume will be of interest to students and academics in social policy, social welfare and related disciplines.
To disaggregate the ‘differentiated consumer’ of public services, it is important to consider how policy actors in central and local government talk about those who use key services: health, education, welfare, transport, and policing. This chapter gives an interpretative account of public services in the UK, exploring how different words and narratives are used in government texts, and the extent to which these vary between services and levels of government. Through measuring the frequency with which certain keywords appear, it is possible to assess the emphasis that policy makers place on certain identities – such as citizen, taxpayer, and customer – and to trace the importance of particular narratives – such as standardisation and differentiation.
This chapter introduces the main themes covered by the book. The book developed from an interest in the way that a new policy vocabulary was emerging during New Labour’s final term in office, and was being picked up and echoed by the other major political parties. The most high-profile term used was personalisation, although related terms such as tailored and individualised services were also utilised. The chapter notes that more can be learnt about the policy process, and the actors within it, by asking why, how, and with what effects personalisation has become such a high-profile approach to public service reform. Taking an interpretive approach to these data, the book explores how policy actors use and interpret personalisation in texts and dialogue.
This chapter sets out why an interpretive approach, based on the use of narratives within public policy, is the most appropriate way to study personalisation. It discusses narrative approaches to public policy and the elements of narratives that make them particularly compelling as accounts of policy change. In relation to personalisation, the chapter examines some of the existing accounts of personalisation, such as Beresford’s distinction between ‘liberatory’ versus ‘managerial’ personalisation, and Leadbeater’s continuum of shallow and deep personalisation. It concludes by setting out the data-collection and analysis methods that are used in the research, consistent with its concern for meaning and interpretation.
This chapter takes stock of the reforms undertaken in the name of personalisation, which thus far have focused on health and social care, education, employment, housing, and criminal justice. Specific reforms that have evoked a personalisation narrative in their development include self-directed support and personal budgets in social care, personal health budgets and more accessible services in the NHS, individual learning plans for schoolchildren, personal development plans for students, and family intervention projects and personalised conditionality for those using welfare services. The chapter discusses the distinctive features and histories of these policies, alongside consideration of their policy traction, recognising the key role of the social care sector as innovator and disseminator of personalised approaches. The focus is on England, where personalisation is furthest advanced and has a higher policy profile than in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
This chapter draws on textual analysis of ministerial speeches, government documents, so-called grey literature, and interviews to present the key themes of the personalisation narrative. It shows how the narrative deploys the testimonies of social care service users alongside formal evidence of service improvement and claims that the benefits of personalised approaches are self-evident. The chapter highlights five storylines that are embedded in the personalisation narrative: personalisation works, transforming people’s lives for the better; personalisation saves money; person-centred approaches reflect the way in which people live their lives; personalisation is applicable to everyone; and people are experts on their own lives. It also explores how the personalisation narrative interacts with the past and constructs the present and future.