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Supporting people
Towards a person-centred approach

Peter Beresford, Jennie Fleming, Michael Glynn, Catherine Bewley, Suzy Croft, Fran Branfield, Karen Postle
Paperback, 448 pages, 234 x 156 mm
16 May 2011


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North America customers can order this book here from the University of Chicago Press.

"As the system undergoes rapid change, 'Supporting people' is a crucial resource that everyone in social care should read. It's both analytical and inspirational, with an alternative, person-centred and positive view of the future."
Jon Glasby, Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham
"..this book marks a very welcome shift in attitude...the language and ideas are down-to-earth, practical and based on grass roots experience."
Julia Lindley in Open Mind
'...this is a book stakeholders at all levels should read - it has clear public policy and management lessons, but the words of service users and the case examples used on their own have a resonance for practitioners to remind them to listen better.' - Rosemary Trustman in Social Caring Magazine
"This book is another of Peter Beresford and colleagues' incisive accounts of what those who need person-centred support say about how it should be developed to effectively increase their life chances. They get to the heart of what "nothing about us, without us"
means and stays true to that principle. By synthesizing the experience and knowledge of those who require person-centred support, they have managed to answer the questions that many have yet to comprehend: What is person-centred support? What are the barriers to its realisation? And how can these be overcome? This book gives readers the opportunity to answer these questions from the perspective of those who are the experts in person-centred support - those who use it."
Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, DBE

About This Book

There is widespread agreement that care and support services must change radically if they are to meet the rights and needs of the rapidly growing number of people who require them. For the first time, Supporting people explores with service users, practitioners, carers and managers what person-centred support means to them, what barriers stand in its way and how these can be overcome. It provides a unique roadmap for the future, offering theoretical insights, practical guidance and highlighting the importance of a participatory approach. Based on the largest independent UK study of person-centred support and written by an experienced team that includes service users, practitioners and researchers, it demonstrates how change can be made now, and what strategic changes will be needed for person-centred support to have a sustainable future.

Author Biography

Peter Beresford OBE is Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Centre for Citizen Participation at Brunel University and Chair of Shaping Our Lives. Jennie Fleming is the Director of the Centre for Social Action at De Montfort University and a qualified and registered social worker. Michael Glynn is the Personalisation Programme Manager with Solihull Care Trust. Catherine Bewley is Director of Values Into Action (VIA) and Specialist Sexual Abuse Caseworker at Galop. Suzy Croft is a Social Work Team Leader at St John's Hospice in London Fran Branfield is the Director of Shaping Our Lives. Karen Postle is a registered social worker who teaches part-time at the Universities of Portsmouth and Southampton.


Foreword by Shami Chakrabati
Setting the scene for social care
Person-centred support
The funding of social care
The social care workforce
Social care and carers
Organisational issues
Social care practice
Service user cameos; Capacity building for support
Access to the mainstream
Participation;Change for person-centred support


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Supporting people

The social care system is crucial for any society as it addresses the critical issues pertaining to humans’ psychological and physical disorders. Though existing social care systems have gone through enormous changes, most of the social care systems around the world fail to meet the needs of the recipients in general. Social care support services are target oriented and involve a number of institutional and procedural complications that limit the overall effectiveness of health care systems and make it harder for the majority of the recipients to avail such services when needed the most, particularly for the marginalized segments of society. Consequently, reduces public satisfaction in the system.

Aiming to improve the system and highlight the major constraints in transforming care and support services, the author has paved the path for the policy makers, practitioners, and researchers for how person-centred support could be best implemented to have a sustainable care system. The person-centred approach is focused to promote individual-based care support system. This approach is built on the experiences of the end users, their families, and those involved in providing supports. Involving direct stakeholders gives real meaning to the term “person-centred support” that has helped in seeking the different needs and wants of people at individual levels. The book is all about bringing changes in the social care systems and the author has highlighted the main constraints that could affect implementation of the approach - mainly, limited funding, trained workforce and informal care. However, the author does provide solutions to most of the barriers in implementing the person-centred support care system.

As a whole, the book is worthwhile for all those who are working for a positive change in the care system.
Reviewed by Mokbul Morshed Ahmad

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