02 Dec 2017

Finding the right social care: a guide for people needing support

Practical guidance aims to help people choose the right social care support.

The resource, Top ten tips when choosing a support provider, is published by VODG (the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group).

Top ten tips when choosing a support provider is designed to be used by those looking to secure high-quality social care for themselves or for a relative or friend. It helps people consider the differences between receiving support from a care provider organisation or directly employing a personal assistant (PA). It also describes other methods of support including assistive technology, or combining a range of different support options.

The guidance suggests that if individuals assessed as requiring support under the Care Act 2014 are to make an informed choice about their care, they should ask providers some essential questions. These include:

  • How will the support package be developed, monitored and changed?
  • What is the cost of the support, and what does it include?
  • What is the complaints procedure?
  • How can care agreements be ended?

As well as demystifying issues such as the Care Act, personal budgets and the employment of PAs, the resource sets out the pros and cons of different types of care. The publication also includes a jargon buster that puts social care terminology into plain English.

VODG chief executive Rhidian Hughes said:

“The mantra of ‘choice and control’ is one that care providers and people who use support services are familiar with. However, while the rhetoric is well-meaning, the reality is that securing the right social care can be a complex and challenging experience. A mismatch between care provider and person can ultimately lead to a breakdown in support. Our new guidance equips people with a list of detailed questions so they can make a well-informed choice and navigate what can at times be a daunting system.”

Today’s resource is an updated version of an original guide first issued in 2012 and collaboratively produced by VODG members.

Skills for Care have supported the development of the revised resource. Commenting on the launch of the publication Skills for Care chief executive Sharon Allen said:

‘‘This easy-to-use and practical checklist is essential for anyone looking to find high quality care and support for themselves or a family member. Finding and keeping support that really meets your needs means being closely involved in deciding what package is best for you, how to find the right people with the right skills to support you, knowing the cost, and always having control including making changes in the right way for you and your team.’’