Birmingham to pilot adult social work scheme

By on 19/09/2011 in News

Cabinet is being asked to approve a scheme that will see Birmingham City Council pilot a new type of adult social work practice.

The council successfully bid to run the two year pilot in conjunction with the Department of Health, which aims at testing new ways of working at arms-length from local authorities.

The Birmingham pilot, one of seven across the country, will focus on people with physical disabilities and is aimed at encouraging better joint working across social care and health, and giving people more control over their own care.

A report to cabinet on Monday 26 September seeks to set up an independent, not-for-profit social work practice (or 'social enterprise') using Department of Health and council funding. It will develop social work practice to augment and complement the skills within the local authority.

Expected benefits include:

• Earlier and more proactive identifications of opportunities to maximise independence
• Increased use of community resources and wider range of opportunities
• Increased take-up of enablement activities
• Maximising the potential of personalised budgets
• Reduced dependence on long-term social care funding

Councillor Sue Anderson, cabinet member for adults and communities, said: “This pilot will allow us to try out an innovative approach which is in line with our own personalisation agenda; social workers will work far more closely with individuals and in communities. They will no longer be simply the gatekeepers of the public purse but catalysts within local communities, creating new opportunities for disabled people to be independent and encouraging people to become active citizens.”

The Social Care Institute for Excellence, an independent charity, will oversee the project on behalf of the Department of Health.

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