Co-production and Social Care Assessment
I think this is a real great opportunity to have a say in shaping the vision of TLAP for the next three years. As a person who uses services and a Member of the National Co-production Advisory Group, I feel strongly that people who use services are the people that know the best as to how to meet their support requirements. If we are to develop and improve our social care system, there is a need for this to be done in true co-production. This needs to happen from the top at Central Government level, coming down to Local Authority level to ensure that everything is co-produced
I would like to see TLAP support the development of the concept of Social Care assessments being co-produced. I know that the Social Care assessment is meant to be person-centred but would question this in the nicest way. I know first-hand as a person who uses services that is not how I am made to feel when the social services come to review or sometime reassess me every year or so. I am made to feel that my disability is a problem and that I am having to justify my life to someone who I don't even know but who seems to have the power to decide whether or not I can continue to have the same level of support.
In my view the current social care assessment is person-centred in that it takes into account the views of the people who use the service and family who support them. However it is questionable if this is true co-production. Are these views taken at equal value to those of the social worker? If not, than this is not real co-production. For real co-production to take place within the social care assessment framework, there will have to be a real chance for people who use services to have an equal say in the outcome of the assessment. This of course means turning the whole process on its head taking the control out of the social workers hands and balancing out the power.
Shifting this power may seem to some as one step too far, but is it? We have been talking for as long as I can remember that people who use services are the central of the assessment process. So it's about time we use the co-production model and who better to take this forward than TLAP.