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Let’s make sure personalisation is for all

Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) has recently published a blog by In Control's Nic Crosby along with Nicola Gitsham from NDTi and Clive Miller from the Children's Personalisation Network that puts coproduction at the heart of personalisation.

The blog explores personalisation and of putting personalisation into the context of personal budgets, it proposes that the 'real motor' is coproduction, 'Coproduction has always existed but has mostly not been acknowledged or explicitly supported. This applies as much to children, young people and families as it does to adults and older people'.

It goes on to explain that there is a need for a move away from historical top down approaches and siloed thinking and a need for a fundamental change to the way that we support those requiring social services that makes sense to families, not just to bureaucracies.

It is also about being more inclusive - of the child and their family as well as communities - and being 'more tolerant of difference and more welcoming for example, through inter-generational collaboration such as grand mentors and young people volunteering'.

The blog also looks at the issue of changing from a world where needs are aligned to a department or service often leading to 'turf wars' to a world where children and young people's services recognises the need to personalise universal services. It's about delivering a more personal, more holistic outcome.

'Personal budgets in children and young people's services have also been developed over a considerable period of time, starting with the pioneering work of In Control, leading on to the national SEND pilots and the new legislation. Whilst much of the focus has been on children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities their application has, and should be, much wider. Along with developments such as budget holding by lead professionals, personal budgets have already been used to enable children and young people with additional needs and those on the edge of, or in care, to benefit from personalisation.'

The Children's Personalisation Network (CPN) brings together a small number of organisations who have been involved in promoting the best practice in personalisation. They listen and learn from the successes and challenges in adult services to inform personalisation for children and young people and continue to develop a holistic approach to personal budgets.

'We, like TLAP, recognise that the time for developing work in isolation, in silos defined by age as much as by need, is long past. TLAP is already committed to supporting personalisation for children with special educational needs and disabilities. This focus should now be widened to ensure that all children and families can benefit from personalisation.'

Read the full blog on the TLAP website.

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Last Updated : 10 February 2014. Page Author: marijke.hirst.