I started working in the social care profession approximately twenty years ago, when I worked for Scope as a residential social worker.
This was my first experience of being interviewed by service users which at the time was thought to be very forward thinking, but of course today, following the service user involvement movement, should be common practice. The environment provided an excellent learning opportunity and was a good introduction to the realities of disability discrimination.
My next post was as a Home Care Organiser for the local authority, where I commenced in the aftermath of the Griffiths Report on Community Care ('Community Care: Agenda for Action'). The consequent split between purchasers or assessors of community care and providers of community care led to enormous changes in service provision. In practice from a home care perspective this meant that many of those who had received 'non-essential' services such as housework were no longer provided with such services from the local authority.
After a year overseas I took up a post as a Deputy Unit Manager for a local authority joint funded respite unit for people with severe dementia. This unit responded well to the needs of primary carers by providing flexible packages of care, e.g. night care for those with reversed sleeping patterns and/or sundown dementia. Although at this time there was a lack of statutory duties attached to carers' legislation, the unit itself was responsive to the needs of those caring for older people with severe dementia.
Thereafter I spent a short time working for the charity Sense as a unit manager providing serv