Many local authorities seem to believe that there are good reasons to use ‘funding panels’ in a way that sets aside the intention of the Care Act statutory guidance to limit their scope.
This may be because many panels have a remit that goes beyond funding decisions. In some cases, social workers have found panels with a broader remit very helpful, but most respondents to Community Care’s recent survey experienced negative micro-managing of the care and support planning process, in a way that the statutory guidance cautioned against.
My comments focus on developing a more legally literate approach to making decisions about the amount of the personal budget, by applying the legal rules in a way that is led by good social work practice.
The culmination of the care and support planning process is a conclusion about what resources can be made available to best meet an individual’s needs. For most people a key element of this is a personal budget setting out the amount of money that is required to deliver services for which there is a charge.
Source: Ensuring panel decisions on personal budgets are sufficient to meet needs : Community Care