Reflections on in Control – 1
John O’Brien & David Towell
The in Control initiative, focusing on self-directed support and individualized funding, has become an important practical inter- vention in UK social policy. Ideas from this initiative have figured significantly in recent national policy statements and by Novem- ber 2006 more than one half of all English local authorities had become members of in Control.
As a research and development community, in Control is investing in a number of ways of evaluating this work and sharing the expe- rience widely. As one route to extend this learning, the in Control core team invited David Towell and John O’Brien to convene and facilitate a group representing multiple perspectives to review and comment on in Control’s work in a series of three discussions over a year’s time and to offer their own reflections on these dis- cussions. We offered a framework of questions to guide the evolu- tion of this dialogue (see Annex A).
The first discussion, held on 22 November 2006, engaged 24 people in all: national policy leaders, civil society leaders, and leaders in local systems changes complementary to in Control’s work, with leaders in local implementation of self-directed sup- port and members of in Control’s core team. At the core team’s request the first session focused on in Control’s approach to system’s change.