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  • Author or Editor: Jill Manthorpe x
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In Chapter Two, Catherine Needham and Jon Glasby observe that ‘attitudes to risk and expectations of the state are essentially contested and yet are crucial to the deployment of social care policies’ (p 24). This chapter takes this observation further by interweaving the narratives of personalisation, risk and safeguarding. It draws on a set of research studies in which the implications of personalisation, risk and safeguarding have been debated. The studies include the evaluation of the individual budget pilots (Manthorpe et al, 2009, 2011), the evaluation of the test sites of self-directed support in Scotland (Hunter et al, 2012) and a study of the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and its interface with safeguarding policy and practice that was undertaken with the Alzheimer’s Society (Manthorpe and Samsi, 2013). The context of these studies is also influenced by work on dementia and risk that was published as a set of guidance by the Department of Health, entitled Nothing ventured, nothing gained (Manthorpe and Moriarty, 2010) and on the Making Safeguarding Personal programme of practice development in the social care sector (see Klee and Williams, 2013; Manthorpe et al, 2014).

As a prelude to the chapter, this introduction briefly outlines what is meant by the term ‘safeguarding’ in the English context (in Scotland the term ‘adult protection’ is more commonly used [Johnson, 2012]). The term ‘adult safeguarding’ has a precise focus in social policy in England, being mainly used to describe the systems in place whereby public policy legitimates protection and enhances the human rights of vulnerable adults or adults at risk.

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British local government is undergoing the most far-reaching reorganisation for 25 years. Government’s explicit objectives for change emphasised more local, cheaper, local government, although there were also implicit political objectives. Social services now represents the major directly-controlled local government activity; however, it was marginal in debates about reform. The impact of reform, particularly in terms of the size of the new unitary or ‘hybrid’ local authorities, may, however, be substantial. Research into the impact of reorganisation on authorities in England, Scotland and Wales raises questions about the extent to which new, smaller social services departments are sustainable.

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In England, voluntary organisations such as the Carers Trust and Alzheimer’s Society play major roles in providing practical help and support to family carers. This article draws on a large study looking at social care practice with carers to illustrate how changes in social care commissioning and cuts in funding have created difficulties for organisations such as these. It asks whether contracting policies based on competition between providers threaten collaborative campaigning and strategic alliances.

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The ethical case for involving service users in service planning and delivery, and in research and evaluation, has been made on several grounds. One important set of reasons is that such involvement is ethical, as well as effective. This chapter reviews the ethical case for service user involvement, as well as how this involvement operates at various levels. Whether a consumerist or a more democratic or empowering approach is taken as the framework for such involvement, there are increasing principle-based justifications for it.

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in Ethics

This article reports on a study of social work practice with care recipients choosing to relocate between English local administrative units. Data were collected from interviews with 20 social work practitioners from three areas, seeking their views through the use of vignettes. Participants reported that supporting relocation: requires time and planning; is conceptualised as a key transition for those moving; and exposes practitioners (and care recipients) to local variations and the potential for risk, and therefore uncertainty. New legal rights for care recipients may decrease the problems, but local variations will remain.

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Many people in England employ care workers using state funding or their own resources. This article explores working relationships, communications and experiences of personal assistants with their employers’ family members. Data from interviews with 105 personal assistants (in 2016–17) were analysed to explore relationships and experiences. Three overarching themes related to personal assistants’ engagement with family members arose: (1) possible complications over accountability and employment; (2) support for family; and (3) being part of care teams. This article provides new insights into personal assistants’ relationships with employers’ family members, highlights the relevance of the concept of immaterial labour and sets out a research agenda.

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Caring for people with dementia often necessitates inter-professional and inter-agency working but there is limited evidence of how home care staff work as a team and with professionals from different agencies. Through analysis of semi-structured interviews, we explored the experiences of home care workers (n = 30) and managers of home care services (n = 13) in England (2016–17). Both groups sought to collaboratively establish formal and informal practices of teamwork. Beyond the home care agency, experiences of interacting with the wider health and care workforce differed. More explicit encouragement of support for home care workers is needed by other professionals and their employers.

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The care workforce in England is ethnically diverse yet little is known of how managers manage this aspect of human resources work. This article reports findings from a longitudinal study of the care workforce to offer insights into managers’ views of staff demographics, relationships and management challenges and strategies. Three themes emerged from the analysis: sources of conflict; reactive approaches to limiting conflict; and proactive approaches to preventing and limiting conflict. Findings have implications for human resource management and the creation of supportive staff relationships within care work in countries where ethnic diversity is characteristic of the care workforce.

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