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Using Personal Budgets to Support People into Paid Work

An NDTi study into employment supports identified that there was limited evidence of people using their social care Personal Budget (PB) to support them to gain or retain paid work (click here to read more).

In response, NDTi undertook more research (funded by Think Local Act Personal, Remploy, In Control, Wolverhampton City Council, Northamptonshire County Council and NDTi itself) to understand:

  1. To what extent are people using PBs to purchase support into paid work?
  2. What factors encourage and discourage the use of PBs to help people gain or retain a job?

This work confirmed that there is very limited use of social care Personal Budgets to support disabled people to gain or retain paid work and identified four clear factors behind this:

  1. Low demand from individuals or families
  2. Professional attitudes of staff and local authorities towards employment
  3. The Personal Budget process
  4. Availability of good, evidence-based employment support

NDTi has highlighted four areas that consequently need attention:

  1. Improved information advice and guidance to help increase people and families’ knowledge about and aspiration to achieve work by using PBs.
  2. Social workers and local authorities reviewing their approaches so that they recognise and give priority to paid work as an important social work outcome.
  3. Social work and PB assessments specifically considering work as an outcome, so that funding is identified for it through the RAS/PB process.
  4. Commissioners taking market development action to ensure there are evidence based employment services available for people to buy.

Our core recommendation is that there should be the right model of supported employment provision universally available and accessible for everyone in a local area - funded via a mixed provision of core funding (through, for example, a contract) with the addition of PBs. This is rather than solely funding supported employment provision by a contract or by PBs alone.

To find out more you can download some resources in the related documents section of this page.

NDTi can help local authorities review how to develop personal budget systems so that more people gain and retain paid work through personal budgets.

For more information, contact Madeline Cooper-Ueki on 01225 789135.

To read more about the NDTi work on employment, please click here.