This month’s theme is personalisation and independence, which align very closely with the Care Act. The Care Act sets out the requirement that local authorities have a statutory duty to promote wellbeing, and it links wellbeing to choice and control. Being independent means different things to people, it is underpinned by choice and control and it is this that enables people to make decisions.
This month’s RPU theme is adult attachment theory and social work practice. Children’s social work has the theory of attachment underpinning it, and yet the use of this theory with adults is less visible however attachment theory is a solid basis for understanding people wherever they are along the lifespan journey
This month’s RPU theme is community capacity. The Care Act places emphasis on wellbeing, prevention and providing information and advice, which are all inextricably linked with community capacity. Think Local Act Personal state that “building community capacity describes the process of helping a community to support itself. Research suggests that when a community has strong 'social capital' or 'assets' wellbeing improves and deteriorating ill health lessens.” This explains why community capacity is an important priority in adult social care today.
To coincide with the launch of Law Commission’s consultation on the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS), we are focusing on DoLS for this issue of the RPU. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) applies to people who reside in a care home or hospital, and lack the capacity to make decisions about their care and accommodation. The Care Act legislates that councils must promote wellbeing, and the upholding of peoples’ rights is fundamental to this. The DoLS is an important protection for people who lack mental capacity to decide where to live, and social care professionals need a good understanding of them. The resources contained in this RPU highlight the challenges of working with DoLS in their current form. We would encourage readers to take part in the Law Commission’s consultation, which will inform future direction in this area.
The theme of this month’s issue is integration of health and social care services. The Care Act makes integration, co-operation and partnership a legal requirement for local authorities and agencies involved in public care. Integration of health and social care has long been identified as one of the keys to delivering better services for people.
In this edition we are focusing on long term conditions. A long term condition is a health problem that can’t be cured but can be managed by medication or therapies. There are over 15 million people in England with one. Examples of long term conditions include diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons Disease, COPD, heart disease, and asthma, and they account for up to 70% of the health and social care budget. Many people with a long term condition will come into contact with local authorities. Aspects of the Care Act that will directly affect people with long term conditions include the duty to promote wellbeing; providing advice and information; assessments of care and support; and recognising carers and providing carers assessments.
The theme of this month’s issue is safeguarding and domestic abuse. Domestic abuse has been recognised as a category of abuse in the Care Act guidance (section 14.17), raising questions in practice about how best to see safeguarding and domestic abuse as not separate but parallel areas of practice. It’s important to remember that this does not mean that everyone who experiences domestic abuse will be the responsibility of safeguarding; safeguarding duties only apply to people who
- have care and support needs (whether or not the local authority is meeting any of those needs) and;
- are experiencing, or at risk of, domestic abuse; and
- as a result of those care and support needs are unable
This month’s research theme is safeguarding across the lifespan, a theme that has come to the fore for a number of reasons:
- The Care Act requires cooperation between Children’s and Adult services;
- there is a recognition of the importance of continuities between the abuse someone might experience as a child, an adult and an older person (Hogg and Daniel, 2010), and that
- ‘service groups’ can be an obstacle both in understanding and responding to abuse (Daniel and Bowes, 2010), in ways that a lifespan perspective can address
The theme linking this month’s research summaries is that of supporting people who self-neglect. This has been acknowledged as a complex and challenging issue in practice for numerous years, and was recognised as a category of abuse under safeguarding adults in the Care Act. Self-neglect has historically been addressed in very different ways by different local authorities in England, and while this development may present a challenge for practice, it should also lead to greater consistency.
The theme linking this month’s research summaries this month is that of implementing an outcomes approach, part of an ongoing cultural shift within social care towards more effective personalisation. This is brought to the fore by the Care Act, where an approach based around someone’s individual outcomes is seen as giving the person greater control over their care, as well as sustaining their independence for longer.