Independent Social Work Pilot Project

A York-based community group of disabled people and families, LivesUnlimited, is joining with ibk initiatives to run one of only 10 projects in England to pioneer a new way for disabled and older people to plan and organise the support they need to live independently.The project is funded by the Department of Health and managed by theSocial Care Institute of Excellence (SCIE).

A grant of £20k will be used by Lives Unlimited and ibk to show how independent social workers employed by a community organisation can help disabled and older people to be in control of planning and organising their own personalised support, without any unnecessary bureaucracy.

Several members of Lives Unlimited already use a personal budget instead of traditional services to buy in their own support. Fiona Walker, Co-Chair of Lives Unlimited says: “Living independently is my biggest personal achievement. When I was young I was told I’d never be independent – that I would always have to rely on other people. It has been a challenge but I am proud to employ my own personal assistants now. Independent living has given me more confidence.”

The project will work with up to 12 disabled or older people, people with mental health problems and families. It will develop ways of working that give people the information and support they need to feel confident to make major life choices like housing, employment and support networks and to be in control of their own lives and less dependent on the state.

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