Personal Budgeting – The key to the citizenship
The project develops a new type of operational model for organizing support that is based on the client’s choice through Personal Budgeting (PB). The goal is to support clients with their life path and to empower their participation and social citizenship. The target groups are families with children service, clients of adult social work, and clients of disability services, clients of informal care support and clients of child welfare aftercare.
The aim of the project is to answer to the following questions:
- If the resources spent on services are used so that it is the client who makes the decision (PB model), what will the consequences be?
- What impact does this have on the client’s well-being, functioning and participation, and on the other hand on the services, work methods and costs compared to the traditional operating model?
- What are the prerequisites for the PB model to be introduced and implemented in Finland?
Well being with self-determination and participation
The project is guided by research based data on the effects of the strengthening of agency and empowerment: when the client’s participation and self-determination are supported, it results in an increase in well-being and functioning, which are keys to social citizenship. At the same time when an individual is positively recognized by their immediate surrounding community, their positive self-image, participation and agency are strengthened in the community.
Freedom of choice and support through personal budgeting
The project develops a new type of operational model for organizing support that is based on the client’s choice through personal budgeting, different low-threshold services and communal activities. This strengthens a client-centered and participatory working culture where the client is empowered and is also the expert in developing the services. The support and services are integrated in a way that best reinforces the client with the help of the client’s team, responsible social counselor and PB assistant. The resources of the family and supportive persons are systematically utilized to support the client. The development work promotes the goals of the new Social Welfare Act (1301/2014).
The project will develop activities to strengthen and enhance life management and functioning as well as agency and participation of the target group within their peer and local communities. This reduces the risk of exclusion and inter-generational inequality. When a client participates in this project it means the focus is on promoting the agency, empowerment and strengthening of self-image of the client. The expertise of clients is recognized and they are partners with different actors in the joint development work.
Promoting the goals of the new Social Welfare Act
The project supports the development of freedom of choice within Healthcare and Social Welfare Reform. Personal Budgeting and support model is new in Finland. The project will produce follow-up data to support the legislation on freedom of choice, a report on the possibilities and prerequisites of Personal Budgeting, and a plan for a follow-up study on the national implementation or further trials of the PB model.
As a result of the project the clients’ skills to make choices concerning their life and opportunities for employment and education will improve. The cooperation in supporting clients will be goal-directed and systematic. The authority-centered working culture will become more client-directed. Finally, UAS education and further education for companies are developed and the co-operation and co-development with the labor market will strengthen.
The three-year pilot project (1.6.2016-31.5.2019) will develop and pilot the PB model as a part of practical work with clients in several municipalities in Finland in co-operation with three Universities of Applied Sciences, different companies and communities. The coordinator of the project is Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and the cooperating partners are Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, and 20 municipalities or cities. The cities participating are Hämeenlinna, Vantaa, Tampere and Pori. The joint municipalities and companies participating are the Kainuu and South Karelia Healthcare and Social Welfare district, Finnish Foster Care Association, Kasvatus- ja perheneuvontaliitto, Suomen lastensuojelun avohuollon toimijat Sulat ry as well as Helsinki Deaconess Institute and local associations.