This article critically explores and adds to research on the social benefits of self-directed support schemes for disabled people and their families. We argue that, although research to date has defined the benefits of such services within conventional 'cost-benefit' frameworks, this approach has failed to address the more significant challenge to traditional models of welfare and, particularly, the role of users of these schemes as employers. The article begins the process of repositioning understandings of welfare and work with reference to self- directed support services. In so doing we argue that future research and policy should be based on a more thorough analysis of the less acknowledged socio-economic costs and benefits of these developments for users, their families, personal assistants and local/national economies.
- Direct payments
- Independent living