Purchasing power and self-determination : Social worker perspectives

Journal article


Bailey, Charlotte, Plath, Debbie and Sharma, Alankaar. (2022). Purchasing power and self-determination : Social worker perspectives. The British Journal of Social Work. 52(2), pp. 624-642. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcab015
AuthorsBailey, Charlotte, Plath, Debbie and Sharma, Alankaar
Abstract

The international policy trend towards personalised budgets, which is designed to offer people with disabilities purchasing power to choose services that suit them, is exemplified in the Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This article examines how the ‘purchasing power’ afforded to service users through individualised budgets impacts on social work practice and the choice and self-determination of NDIS service users. Social workers’ views were sought on the alignment between the NDIS principles of choice and control and social work principles of participation and self-determination and how their social work practice has changed in order to facilitate client access to supports through NDIS budgets and meaningful participation in decision-making. A survey was completed by forty-five social workers, and in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with five of these participants. The findings identify how social workers have responded to the shortfalls of the NDIS by the following: interpreting information for clients; assisting service users to navigate complex service provision systems; supporting clients through goal setting, decision-making and implementation of action plans; and adopting case management approaches. The incorporation of social work services into the NDIS service model is proposed in order to facilitate meaningful choice and self-determination associated with purchasing power.

Keywordsindividual budgets; NDIS; personalisation; self-determination
Year2022
JournalThe British Journal of Social Work
Journal citation52 (2), pp. 624-642
PublisherOxford University Press
ISSN0045-3102
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcab015
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range624-642
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online15 Feb 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted20 Jan 2021
Deposited23 Mar 2022
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