Based on qualitative research with 80 participants, this paper examines the notion of support planning, as it was experienced by people using personal budgets. The research took place during 2009-10, in three demonstration sites in England where support planning was commissioned out from local authorities into user-led organisations. In general, satisfaction with user-led support planning revolved around respectful styles of facilitation, good listening skills and the expertise brought by the experience of disabled people themselves. However, it was found that different styles of support planning were effective for different people, depending on several factors relating to their life experience, the length of time they had been disabled, the availability of family support, and their connection with other disabled people. We conclude that some people need more help initially with support planning than others, and that a good model should differentiate and be flexible, to allow people to move towards independent planning at their own pace.
Bibliographical noteVal Williams
Reader at Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol. Val’s research interests are in disability studies, inclusive research with disabled people, and in matters to do with communication. She has carried out several studies about personal budgets, and particularly about the benefits of choice and control.
Research fellow at Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol. Sue has a wide ranging experience of research in health and social care, and has particular interests in narrative and in experiential studies to do with disabled people’s sense of identity.
Research associate at Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol. Anna has particular interests in health research, and is currently working on the Confidential Inquiry into premature deaths of people with learning disabilities.