Personalisation in Practice

Personalisation means children, young people and their families being fully involved in decision making and planning for their own future. By definition this means flexible, adaptable, creative approaches that enable people to have choice and control over their lives.

Personalisation is an approach that has developed in adults’ services with its foundations in the disability, mental health survivor and service user movements of the 1970s. It recognises the strengths and abilities of individuals and puts them at the centre of planning and decision making about their own care and support.

Personalisation, in the context of social care, consists of several elements:

  1. Participation, involvement and co-production with disabled children, young people and their families in: 
    • assessment and planning
    • service design, delivery and evaluation.
  2. ​Empowerment - choice and control passing to the individual (child and family, young person or adult) receiving support.
  3. Personal budgets.

It is important not to limit personalisation to the provision of a personal budget or direct payment, although these have played an important role in developing choice and control for adults with care and support needs and for children, young people and their families.

Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Care Act 2014 have an aligned vision of personalisation, participation and choice and control where the views, wishes and feelings of individuals are central to the assessment, planning and decision-making processes. The aligning of policy across children’s and adults’ services creates an opportunity to implement a lifespan approach to personalisation, improving outcomes for disabled children and young people, individuals and families, whilst reducing duplication and bureaucracy for the professionals working with them.