In order to receive support, the person must meet certain eligibility criteria, and they will then be given access to existing services.
With this system, the emphasis is more on ‘fitting people in' to the services that already exist rather than creating and shaping services based on what people really want and need.
Personalised approaches recognise that the individual in need of support, and often their family, are the best people to describe the kind of support they need. Personalisation means giving individuals real choice and control over their lives.
The ‘professional gift' model vs. the ‘citizenship' model
Another way of describing personalisation is to look at the ‘professional gift model' of providing services compared to the ‘citizenship model'.
The professional gift model
This is the way of providing services still widely used today. Society as a whole is taxed by the government who then distribute some of that money to local authorities. The local authority sets out its own priorities and allocates money to different departments. Social services get their ‘pot' of money and then make decisions, using social care staff such as social workers and care managers to assess needs and allocate services to the people that need them.
It is now widely accepted that this system is ‘broken' and is not fair to all.
- See a diagram of the professional gift model ‘Graphic on Economics of Professional Gift Model' on the in Control website
The citizenship model
Here the person needing support is at the centre of the process. Money is collected in the same way and goes to local authority departments as before. But then things are very different from the ‘professional gift model'.
People needing support assess their own needs and this assessment is translated into an actual amount of money that is paid directly to the individual - this (plus money from other sources such as the Independent Living Fund, and Supporting People) becomes a personal budget - for the individual to spend on support as they see fit.
In this way, personalisation signals a radical transformation in the way adult social care and other services will be provided in the UK.
- See a diagram of the citizenship model ‘Graphic on Economics of Citizenship' on the in Control website.