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Choice Support at TLAP ISF conference

Choice Support’s Juli Carson, (Postive Behaviour Support Development Manager) and Chris Dorey (Board of Trustee Member) spoke on the 11th November at a Think Local Acting Personal (TLAP) conference called Individual Service Funds (ISFs) – forming national, regional and local learning sets to make and support progress, held at Birmingham City Football Club. Which brought together delegates from local authorities and providers from across the country.

Juli and Chris gave a presentation about the impact of a joint Choice Support/Southwark Council programme implemented between 2010 and 2014 to break down a large traditional block contract of over £6 million into 83 Individual Service Funds (ISFs) with person centred plans (PCPs). Independent research verified that the programme achieved savings of £1.79 million (29.75%) over the four year period, while simultaneously improving service quality. Better Lives, published by The Centre for Welfare Reform in association with Bucks New University Social and Health Evaluation Unit, provides a detailed account of the programme and the research into its impact.

Juli Carson said “It was positive to be in a room full of motivated professionals. Being able to spread the message to people who could make a difference and make ISF’s a reality. We were told the presentation was inspirational by a few people who said they were now ready to try.”

The conference forms part of TLAP’s self-directed support and personal budgets work stream, following on from its recent publication on ISFs and the Care Act. Other contributors included Sue Bott (Disability Rights UK), Tim Gollins (TLAP) and Simon Duffy (Centre for Welfare Reform). Though flexible support tailored to individual needs delivers the best outcomes for people, the ADASS Personal Budget Survey 2014 showed that Individual Service Funds (ISFs) make up only 4% of personal budgets nationally, and only 1% of adult social care spending is distributed via this method.

Read what some of the delegates said at the conference:

“Councils need a cogent reason not to implement ISF’s as part of the Care Act. They are not something to be ignored” Dr Tim Gollins, TLAP.

“With ISF’s there is no fixed model. Keep it simple and learn as you go” Professor Simon Duffy, Centre for Welfare Reform.

“It was great to see local authorities and several providers across the Midlands come together to begin to trust” Professor Simon Duffy, Centre for Welfare Reform.

Another delegate said “the presentation was inspirational and motivational. It’s amazing to learn how simple it could be.”

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