Choice and control is the basic principle

Monday, 17 August 2020

– by Steve Harris, Business Development Director

I’m one of those people that have been “round the block”  in care, support and housing. So in recognition of the National Housing Federation’s Homes at the Heart campaign I thought it would be a good thing to reflect back on my experiences.

I started my career working in a children’s care home longer ago than I care to let on.  It was a great first experience, working with a positive team who even then were clear in their values and probably a bit ahead of their time in terms of how we worked and what we wanted to achieve. I took that positivity and developed it over the years in a range of supported living settings in different roles.

I have worked in local authority commissioning and as an independent consultant supporting individuals , families, support providers and commissioners to develop good housing and support solutions, and promote good practice at a policy level. I am now back working on the sharp end with Reside.

I have seen, and been involved with, policy changes that have helped – Supporting People, Mental Capacity Act, Care Act, and some that haven’t including a series of Housing Benefit reviews. Throughout all this I have subscribed to a basic principle that people should have choice and control over who they live with, if anyone, where they live and how they are supported.  I absolutely know that real world issues can get in the way of pure delivery of these principles, but it’s always the target we should aim for.

At Reside I am determined to keep up the fight, and we are working hard to increase the access to a range of housing and support  options, that recognise individual rights in financially and operationally sustainable ways. We are doing this in partnership and collaboration and continuing to learn and develop from our experiences.


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