Oct 17

Funding to explore the use of personal workforce budgets

Posted on Monday 30th October 2017

We’re exploring the use of personal workforce budgets to train and develop the workforce (including unpaid carers) to better support individuals with complex and/ or multiple social care and health needs, and we have funding to support this.

A personal workforce budget is an amount of money allocated and spent specifically on developing the skills of the workforce that support an individual who has complex and/ or multiple social care and health needs.


Apply now

We invite commissioners, funders and providers of social care services to consider how and if they could use this approach with the support of funding from Skills for Care.

Typically the funding can pay for training and development for workers from different organisations from social care and health, and family carers and those working at more than one level.

Read more about what the funding can be used for and apply now.

We’ll review expressions of interest on a rolling basis, and the next deadline for applications is 27 November.


Making a difference

In 2015-16 we supported a project that used this approach with people who have a learning disability and/ or autism who display or at risk of displaying behaviour which challenges.

In total, 169 grants were awarded to 65 organisations across England. This provided around 2900 training interventions for social care workers at all levels and family carers.

All of the respondents told us that the training improved the skills and knowledge of their workers, which in turn increased their confidence and improved their practice.

  • 98% of learners said they had an increased awareness of ways to reduce restrictive practices and 96% felt more confident in using positive behavioural support techniques.
  • 81% of respondents said the training had improved the quality of life through better relationships and reduced isolation, 74% reduced the use of any form of restrictive practices and 68% helped support independent living in the community.

The training also had wider impacts on services – one employer told us that the training resulted in “lower staff turnover, reduced stress and better reflection.”


The fund in practice

The Lifeways Group applied for the funding to develop the care team who supported Jeremy, a young man with severe learning disabilities, Downs Syndrome and Klinefelter syndrome.

In 2014 they started supporting Jeremy following a breakdown in his current placement and a subsequent admission to an in-patient unit.

Previous support services reported that Jeremy could exhibit behaviours that challenges services, which could last up to nine hours at a time and made it difficult for him to engage in his local community.

The Lifeways Group wanted to ensure that their staff had the right skills and knowledge to support Jeremy.

Following a full assessment they found that a breakdown in communication was a significant factor in his behaviour. They applied for the funding to develop his care team and focused it on communication.

They commissioned positive behavioural support training that was specific to his individual needs. As part of the training, they helped staff to see Jeremy as a person rather than a ‘problem’. They also worked with Jeremy to develop his communication skills so he could exercise more choice and control over his life.

During the training, the team developed a verbal and visual timetable of ‘now’ ‘next’ and ‘then’ to provide structure and predictability for Jeremy in day to day activities – for example ‘now we’re doing bricks, ‘next will be food and then will be trike’.

The Lifeways Group report that the training was successful. Whereas previously Jeremy could be supported by up to five staff, he now only needs two, and is supported to access the community every day.

The intensity, frequency and duration of behaviour that challenges has declined, and Jeremy enjoys a good relationship with his carers and his family. One family member said:

“I never thought Jeremy could make so much progress in so short a time.”

Read the full case study from The Lifeways Group.


Find out more

Read more and apply for funding to support the personal workforce budget approach.

We also have lots of resources to help you support people with learning disabilities and/ or autism. Find out more