Care & Repair agencies provide a unique and standard approach to the housing, environmental and living circumstances of older people. It is a blended approach, combining social care and technical housing fabric to provide a person-centred and problem-led approach. The older person receives an individually tailored, bespoke service. This has always appeared to work well. However, in a world of integrated approaches, shrinking public investment and competitive approaches, does it still work? ‘Bespoke’ is an old-fashioned and possibly hackneyed term, so are we becoming an old-fashioned service? In a fast-moving world, where the old artisan and craft skills are disappearing, will our approach end up as ‘time consuming’ and ‘over promising and under delivering’? Living under the big community tent and marshalled by statutory partners, are we a pivotal hub and close to the tent pole, or are we a cheap resource, disappearing at the edge of the camp like a flapping guy-rope?
My take on our ‘big offer’ is that we are the most modern of public sector organisations, anticipating important strategic trends and in the vanguard of change. We are defined by our partnerships and our collaborative efforts - in the best sense, ‘co-production’ in action. Seeking to build service capacity, we were a ‘social enterprise’ brand before the social entrepreneurs moved in. If you are looking to define prevention, we are responding to the real challenges older people face before they escalate into crises. If we deconstruct the pseudo-sociological concepts of ‘social model’-speak, we are a plain-talking, honest and accessible community delivery model. For the 12,000 older people we visit in their homes each year, we are a future-proofing service, keeping them ‘ahead of the curve’ rather than ‘stuck in the past’. I would say that, wouldn’t I? What do you think? This is an opportunity to say what you want as research student Joanna Wolton begins her investigations.
Head of Agency Performance and Funding, Care & Repair Cymru
At this early stage, please leave a comment on the blog if you'd like any further information.