Impact Of Personalisation On Social Services

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The Impact of Personalisation on Social Services in England; neoliberal cost cutting or service user empowerment? MSc Social Work 2nd Year 2014-15 SPOLM0035 – Social Work Studies 2 Student name: Jonathan Lealand Student number: JL13692 Word count: 4025 Introduction In 2004 David Miliband, then the Minister of State for School Standards, argued, “Personalisation reflects a model of service delivery that overcomes the limitations of both paternalism and consumerism.” (Miliband, 2004, p.11). In doing so he was adding his voice to a general political consensus driving the reform of social services. These reforms known collectively as ‘personalisation’ ostensibly seek to expand service-user choice and participation through a rethink of the role and relationship of social services, involving and empowering service users to take control of the services they need. This style of service provision was in contrast to a social services provider model that had in the past been accused of being patriarchal and offering a simple, one-size-fits-all service. However an alternate, competing explanation of the personalisation reform agenda also emerged. It criticizes personalisation as a form of back-door commercialisation, driven not by need but by an increasingly neoliberal, political ideology of which the primary aims are to cut costs and relieve the statutory services of responsibility for care. These two perspectives not only provide competing interpretations of

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