People in need of help don’t see their issues as separate and distinct. To them, all sort of things that government would refer to as ‘outcomes’; being in work, overcoming a skills deficit, or finding a stable home, are part of the same goal - trying to get on in life. Too often we treat these issues separately, sending people off to different providers and leaving them to be passed from pillar to post.
This week Policy Exchange published a new report, ‘Joined Up Welfare – The next steps for personalisation’. The report looks to answer the questions: How can we make services better reflect the expectation citizens’ have? And how we can truly join up services to make them cheaper and more effective?
We recommend that reform should follow three principles. First, services should be accessed from a central point of contact, whether you’re looking for work, or simply need some support. Second, provision should occur through a diverse range of specialist providers, rather than centrally commissioned services. Third, in order to enable this system, funding should follow the individual and be tied to the magnitude of their needs, rather than allocated through central contracting. This would mean that:
As with any big picture approach, there is a debate to be had about implementation, and many details which would be need to be ironed out. We welcome thoughts and feedback on this plan and a discussion about the report. However, the most important thing is ensuring that we provide support that is responsive, effective, and helps people make the best of their life. As our report states, it’s not about where it’s coming from, it’s about what works.