Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Press gang personalization

Reflecting on what I've done recently to get my son's care package back to where it was, I feel a little like I've betrayed myself. If you've read my earlier posts, you'll be aware that I'm not exactly a fan of 'Personalization' - especially when it's presented with a capital P as the panacea in a world of service cuts. And yet here I am, fighting for a personalized budget (albeit a small proportion of his care package).

I'm not doing this because of any sudden change of heart. I still feel it's a rather tawdry trick to present the new order of social care as empowering and embracing, when in fact services are being hacked and the things that you can actually have under 'personalization' are in practice very limited and hidebound.

I'm doing it because there isn't any other option. Personalization is now the only game in town so it's a game I have to play to ensure my son gets the care he needs - and in the end, that's all that matters. 'If you sup with the devil, be sure to use a long spoon.' - well I'm currently crafting the end of a very long barge pole into a small scooped out eating implement. I still don't like 'personalization' as I feel it's a clever con trick to make the public feel social services are 'doing the right thing' and giving disabled people and their carers the means to do things better themselves; when in fact they're simply cutting the money available, excluding more people from services altogether and 'allowing' those left to 'spend' their often reduced personalized budgets on very limited things, under very heavy constraints.

If 'supping with the devil' is the only way my son is going to get his care, I'll do just that. I don't look forward to the meal and I strongly suspect it won't be very palatable. When you're hungry, you tend not to be too fussy about the menu.


  1. A woman from the US who formulated training dogs for children with autism once wrote to me "When you're drowning, you don't look at the pricetag on the lifesaver." It's very apt, and I agree - one thing we always seem to be doing as carers is making sacrifices and they're not always nice ones, but if they get what we need in the end, fair dos.

    I wish you more energy in your battle and hope things go right for a chance so you can get back to what is actually important: caring for your son and no fighting all the red tape.

  2. Thanks for support. Energy boost is just about right for what's needed at present - buy shares in Lucozade and tape cutting scissors!