Book News: April 23rd, 2009

This report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission about the future of care and support and the role the Commission can play in promoting human rights, equality and good relations, seeks to influence thinking in the run up to the Green Paper.

It sets out a programme of work through which the Commission will engage partners as well as making recommendations for reform. It highlights key principles that should affect future decisions and strategic choices about long-term investment in social care. The care and support system includes a wide range of services such as meals on wheels, home adaptations, housing support services, support to help disabled people live independently, benefits for disabled people, occupational therapy, day care, carehomes and support for carers.

The Commission’s view is that without fundamentally re-designing care and support for the future, there is a grave danger that individual opportunity will be undermined and the strength of family life and future national prosperity threatened. The Government should consider modernising the basic approach to care and support to achieve the key aims. These are promoting the capabilities and autonomy of each individual regardless of means, encouraging co-production and partnership to create a sustainable infrastructure of care and support and identifying and communicating the cost-benefits of reform to society as a whole.

The Commission believes that care and support has the potential to become a springboard, not simply a safety net, focused on helping people to maximise control over their own lives, to make social and economic contributions and to stay safe and well. The benefits of this approach will accrue to society as a whole.

From Safetynet to Springboard is available from EHRC.