Council meetings

Agenda item

Asset-based approach to adult social care


Resolved: the committee noted the report.


Joan Hutton (Director of Operation, Adult Social Care) and Tom Brown (Executive Director for Community Services) introduced the report. A discussion followed and the following key points were noted:


4.1       The asset-based approach to adult social care is about working with people to identify their strengths rather than concentrating on their deficits.


4.2       It’s about understanding what’s important to people, what networks of support they have, and what opportunities there are in the community.


4.3       The objective is to keep people healthy and to promote independence.


4.4       It is a significant cultural shift, which has required training, mentoring and coaching to influence the change to practice.


4.5       The approach has been successful so far and is helping to manage demand and ensure financial sustainability.


4.6       While the number of people who make contact with the council is not decreasing, the number of people who need longer term support is.


4.7       Asset-based working is dependent on assets being available in the community.


4.8       The council is working to develop further opportunities in the voluntary sector and bring them together to work as a whole system.


4.9       Preventative services and short-term interventions are becoming increasingly important in terms of supporting people to reach their optimum level of independence before considering any on-going support as people are living longer with more complex needs.


4.11    It is important to regularly review people’s support plans to adjust their care as they recover in order to promote and sustain independence.


4.12    Many people are not accessing all of the welfare benefits they’re entitled to, some of which can help people be more in control of their support.


4.13    There are voluntary sector organisations that provide information, advice and support access to universal benefits.


4.14    Packages of support are regularly monitored and user feedback analysed. Complaints and safeguarding issues are also monitored. Any risks are addressed on an individual basis.


4.15    The emphasis is on early intervention and prevention, rather than waiting for people to meet care threshold.


4.16    Carers are entitled to their own carer’s assessment.


4.17    The committee noted that the Wigan Deal for Adult Social Care, which features asset-based working, involved a major public engagement exercise.


4.18    The committee noted that there need to be sufficient temporary arrangements in place to support people while working out their long-term support needs.


4.19    The committee expressed concern that the council will be less able to support the voluntary sector.


Simone Riddle, Rushey Green Time Bank (RGTB), presented a paper on tackling loneliness and social isolation. The following key points were noted:


4.21    An asset-based approach has been found to work well with lower level need such as social isolation and loneliness.


4.22    It focuses on the skills people have and helps to build confidence.


4.23    Analysis has found that the most important factors for RGTB members are: working together in teams; having something to focus on and work towards; an opportunity to socialise.


4.24    The majority of RGTB members are older and from Rushey Green and Lewisham Central wards. There are also a number of members in Downham and Bellingham wards, and some projects, such as Food Cycle, have attracted a number of younger people.


4.25    The RGTB also uses wider networks to find opportunities for people.


4.26    A high proportion of members are not in work and have physical disabilities or are recovering from mental ill health.


4.27    The majority of the RGTB’s funding comes from the council.



Resolved: the committee noted the report.

Supporting documents: