As the Care and Support white paper has finally been launched as a disjointed patchwork of half baked ideas and existing policies, one thing which concerns me is the potential impact of the fact carers will have entitlements to support in own right. While this is quite laudable, the problem for me is that it cause pit the wants of service users against the wants of carers as family members could end up competed for the same resource they are entitled to for very different ideological reasons.
I fear that as soon as they say carer, an active disabled citizens disappears and is replaced by a passive burden who is a strain for this heroic prefect carer who does no wrong. This means that a 19 year old disabled person who wants to live independent living, employing their own staff, will be denied this opportunity as this is not in the financial interest of their parents, who could be using a badly designed personal budget to pay themselves to control of life of this burden in a way society simply accepts.
We need to move aware from thinking about a carers and users, which is still a very new concept, and go back or go forward to thinking about, working with and supporting families as functional operations of living. Social Workers should seek a win win situation where the best interests of everyone is considered. If this does not happen, I fear the economics of social care will mean the wants of carers may always come first.