Any innovative uses of Direct Payments for Carers?


I’ve been following the work of the Social Care Evidence in Practice project at LSE for some time now. Established with a focus of getting researchers and practitioners to work closer together, to break down barriers and explore how each other’s roles are complimentary to the work, recently they have agreed to fund a smaller number of mini projects, where social care practitioners are mentored by researchers to complete a small research project.

Direct Payments and Carers

One of these projects that I am supporting is looking to explore innovative use of carers’ direct payments to reduce the risk of sudden carer breakdown, carer stress and incapacity. It aims to develop practice guidance on the innovative use of regular and one-off direct payments to carers. The project will draw together evidence answering the following questions:

*        Why encourage innovative use of direct payments by carers/what benefits does innovative use of direct payments bring to carers?

*        What examples are there in the country of innovative use of direct payments for carers (such as payments for art material and art classes, payments of courses for carers, payments for carers to undertake driving lessons, etc.)?

*        What did staff do to facilitate innovative use of direct payments? What did others do?

*        Were there any problems, concerns or barriers and how were they overcome?

*        What examples are there where innovative use of direct payments by carers have been refused? What were the concerns and barriers?

How can you get involved

We are asking for any examples of innovative or imaginative practice in the use of direct payments with carers and we would like to collect evidence from practice and research. If you have any information that could contribute to the project or are interested in finding out more, please contact Laura by email. We are looking to conduct telephone interviews with a small number of people, so please do indicate if you would be happy to talk to our practitioner researcher.

But I don’t know anything about Direct Payments or Carers

That’s ok, you may still be able to help. We are very interested to see examples of what people consider to be well designed, helpful practice guidance. In this instance the examples you share could focus on any topic, we’re just keen to know what people like to see in useful practice guidance, to inform our project outputs. They don’t even need to come from social care, although some local authority guidance would be helpful.


The project is underway now and will be completed in early autumn. Watch this space for more information and please add comments and signpost us to relevant resources. Thank you.

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