BASE responds to Improving Lives green paper
The full document runs to 19 pages but we have summarised our main recommendations below:
- We welcome publication of the green paper and the particular emphasis on ESA Support Group customers. There is a clear need to identify resources to support these customers in appropriate and personalised ways.
- There is ample evidence that the use of Supported Employment achieves sustained outcomes and is cost effective when it is implemented within model fidelity. Any proposals for the wider use of Supported Employment should ensure that quality is monitored and providers supported to demonstrate model fidelity.
- Employers need a clear way of identiying quality employment support. They should access to a well publicised one-stop shop for guidance materials.
- The Disability Confident initiative should now focus on supporting small and medium enterprises.
- Single agency agreements should be reviewed as it prevents local services from engaging with the employer.
- A dedicated unit should support provider development and the sharing of best practice.
- The 104-week linking rule should be reinstated for people in the ESA Support Group so that they can try out paid employment & revert to their previous benefit entitlement if they're unsuccessful.
- Better-off financial calculations to be an integral part of transition planning from the age of 14 years.
- DWP should liaise with DfE to tighten the definition within Supported Internships and introduce guidance on model fidelity.
- Supported Employment techniques should be embedded to support apprentices within the workplace.
- There should be more opportunities for co-location of employment support staff with other services such as CMHTs, integrated community learning disability teams and autism teams as well as with education providers.
- Specialist work coaches should be recruited to work with specific disadvantaged customer groups.
- We would like to see separate assessments of benefit entitlement and employment support requirements.
- The Work and Health Unit should be allowed to fund innovative support trials with people in the ESA Support Group.
- The marketing of Access to Work needs to be reviewed & substantially improved.
- The former definition for ASCOF indicator 1E should be reinstated. [The denominator should refer simply to the number of people with a learning disability who are known to adult social care with no reference to SALT.]
We'd like to thank all those who sent us their views, completed our online survey or joined the regional discussion meetings.