Social Care : An Essential Fragment Of Welfare Essays

Social Care : An Essential Fragment Of Welfare Essays

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Social care is an essential fragment of welfare in contemporary Britain. Currently, the disabled and the elderly have a say in regards to their care and can choose the best method of care that suits their lifestyle and individual needs. However, provision of care was not always so versatile; for much of the twentieth century, long term care of any nature remained the responsibility of state run institutions. The service user; as they are referred to as today, had all their rights forfeited, their identity lost and had no input regarding their care plan; on many occasions they were forcefully institutionalised. Therefore, this essay sets out to answer the following questions - What is meant by the term “institutionalisation” and secondly, what were the pressures for de-institutionalisation and the development of care in the community? To answer both questions appropriately, the term institutionalisation will be defined by using an appropriate academic source. Incorporated within, will be a brief look into the historical beginnings of state institutions and their policies, before focusing on the pressures that called for de-institutionalisation and the development of community care schemes. Furthermore, the strengths and weaknesses of community care will examined before providing a conclusion.
The Disability Monitor Initiative (2004) defines institutionalisation as a term used to “describe the living arrangements and conditions of people with mental disabilities that were housed in large, state-run institutions” (p. 36). The Poor Law Act of 1601, developed a welfare system that cared for the disabled, sick and the poor; short stay institutional relief was present in the form of “poor-houses or the almshouses” (Fraser, 2003, p. ...


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...d be said, that the majority of people did not need to be in residential care; they could have quite easily been looked after in their own homes. Furthermore, local authorities found it more cost effective to transfer social care funding by offsetting funds to the social security budget rather than using care in the community (Baldock et al, 2013).
The NHS and Community Care Act 1990 endeavoured to save public spending on the care sector. Social workers became care assessors, assessing individual care needs; the emphasis was now on need rather than finances (Blakemore & Warwick-Booth, 2013). People now had their own care package, explaining the level of care that suited their individual needs; for instance, an individual may only need four hours care a day, finances would be allocated for that four hours rather than wasting funds on full time residential care.

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