ubu’s philosophy is that if we treat a person as they could be they will become what they should be. This means giving choices and freedom for the people we serve to flourish. We have seen this ethos work time and again, in encouraging growth and greater independence.
Personal Care Budgets, which are being rolled out nationwide, give vulnerable people greater control in the way they are supported, by whom, where and how. This is a very welcome and long overdue development!
Put simply, people’s needs are assessed by their local authority and NHS professionals and they are then given a set amount of money each month with which to pay for their own care and support.
The upside is that the people we work with and the people who would like to be supported by ubu now have greater control over how monies are spent. This allows people to act with more independence in creating the support packages they want from providers. For example, a person might decide that they would like to have more fulfilling friendships and a more active social life, something their current support plan does not address. With their personal budget, they can choose to switch to a provider like ubu, who will listen to their needs and enable them to create a plan that would help them achieve this goal. In this case, staff can help with finding a specific social group, one where the person is able to meet new friends of similar interests or hobbies, supports them to travel safely to events, and encourages positive relationship building.
Of course there are risks with any new system. Freedom to spend one’s personal care budget as one chooses means people get a single, combined payment. This could be tricky to manage, and individuals could spend it all at one time leaving themselves either short at the end of the month, or worse getting into debt. Our rigorously audited uStep model provides financial planning to enable the people we serve to have more choice in how they spend their money. ubu hopes that, as the system is rolled out, all responsible providers and local authorities will include financial planning in their support. It’s common sense.
Another concern is the potential for vulnerable people being taken advantage of by those that do not have their best interest at heart. These modest budgets are sometimes being spent on things not directly associated with meeting specific needs. ubu works closely with the person, their family and significant friends to assess needs, create a plan and to communicate all that we do, meeting regularly to listen and address their concerns.
ubu is committed to building a comprehensive plan of support that can be developed with each individual. It is designed to safeguard vulnerable people and helps them take the lead in their care. As a responsible provider of social care, ubu welcomes the opportunity for the people we serve to have greater control over their own care and support and as part of the process we are looking at ways we can continue to improve uStep.
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