Who Cares?

Author: Robin Jackson

Robin Jackson offers a devastating critique of the current system of social care, particularly its impact on people with learning disabilities (intellectual disabilities). He argues that the current system has abandoned common sense and has allowed dogma, bureaucracy and market-forces to dictate how society treats people.

There are several layers to this problem and the report provides important information about how thoughtless policy-making is creating a new wave of institutional practice - although this now often comes in the form of micro-institutionalisation - people cut-off and isolated from real human relationships and lives of meaning:

  1. Important concepts like inclusion and human rights have been distorted and misinterpreted, leading to thoughtless and inhuman policies.
  2. Despite the lack of any supporting evidence, bureaucratic systems of regulation attempt to manage quality - while in fact legitimising poor standards and the on-going failure of institutional care.
  3. The drive to privatise social care has merely reduced salary rates for front-line workers, while charities to increasingly ape the practices of the commercial providers with which they now compete.
  4. The long-term economics do not add up, on-going cuts and the drive to profit have left the whole sector fragile and it is highly likely that there will be further organisational failures.

This important report follows closely on the Centre for Welfare Reform's paper Regulation which also exposes the failure of the current social care system to respect human relationships and intentional communities. Robin Jackson's report provides powerful ammunition for those of us who think it is time to ask some profound questions about the future of social care. This is no reason to go backward to institutional care; but it is time to question the current direction of travel and to explore new approaches which better respect our shared humanity.

Read and download the free pdf in your browser here.

The publisher is the Centre for Welfare Reform.

Who Cares? © Robin Jackson 2015.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.


Paper | 25.03.15

disability, intellectual disabilities, It's Our Community, social care, England, Scotland, Paper

Robin Jackson


Author of Who Cares and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Hertfordshire

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