22 Jun New Guide to help personalise care services through Individual Service Funds
I welcome this new guide which has been published to help councils and providers meet the Care Act 2014 guidance on Individual Service Funds (ISFs).
The Guide http://bit.ly/1N1NQxV Individual Service Funds (ISFs) and Contracting for Flexible Support – is aimed at council commissioners and providers, and sets out how councils can contract flexibly with a service provider to meet a person’s needs, and contract in a way that gives the person more control over their own support.
ISFs help people with care needs to have flexible, personalised support, tailored to individual preferences without having to manage the responsibility of cash direct payments. Advocates working on the COPA project will now be able to access this guide to help them support those most in need. I am often told stories of some of the people we support who desperately want to remain living in their own homes, with the support of Peer Advocates armed with this new type of resource it should give power to their elbow to ensure people are able to plan and receive the care they want and need to help maintain wellbeing.
It means people and families can choose to live in their own homes, with their own support and using their own budgets, while the councils that commission those services work differently with community organisations and providers of services to improve outcomes for people they serve and reduce costs.
United Kingdom Home Care Association Chief Executive and TLAP Board lead for Self-directed Support Bridget Warr says: “Individual Service Funds are a valuable and currently underused alternative where people don’t want to take a Direct Payment.
“This helpful guide encourages commissioners and providers to ensure they are available and effective in helping people obtain the support they need to live at home.”
Uptake of ISFs are fairly limited to date, but the guide recommends they should be the default option when a person does not want or is not able to manage a cash direct payment. The Guide also recommends that councils contract with providers of services in a way that enables them to be more accountable to people who use services and more responsive to their needs.