A research report into what local authorities across England are doing to support people who employ personal assistants has been launched.

Skills for Care, the Association of Directors of Adult Services (ADASS) and Learn to Care came together to produce Better understanding of levels of support for individual employers and their personal assistants (PAs).

The report was commissioned to find out more about how local authorities support more than 170,000 individual employers and their personal assistants, who now make up around a fifth of the adult social care workforce.

It points to the leadership role that local authorities have as commissioners in developing local markets. It also makes it clear that local authority partnerships with direct payment support and user led organisations are crucial to embed personalisation.

One of the areas highlighted was the need for more support and information for PAs plus more learning and development opportunities for this growing part of the workforce.

The three organisations make very clear recommendations that local authorities and key partners can begin to implement.

An advice note for local authorities was also launched setting out the minimum standards of support for individual employers and personal assistants backed by examples of good practice. Local authorities, individual employers and PAs can also access a range of case studies that share good practice.

Skills for Care CEO Sharon Allen said: “It was vital that we thoroughly examined this key relationship between this growing group of workers and local authorities. We are all committed to making this an annual report so we continue to add to our knowledge of this growing part of our sector’s workforce.”

Brian Walsh, Joint Chair ADASS Workforce Development Network and Director of Community Services, Coventry City Council said “ADASS backed this project because we recognised the need to benchmark what local authorities were doing to support people who employ personal assistants. ADASS are grateful to all the councils who responded and we hope more will be able to add their knowledge and experience to next year’s report.”

Learn to Care Chair Anne Connor said “Learn to Care will be undertaking further work with colleagues across the regions to ensure we maximise the learning that has been identified through our involvement in the research. The partnership approach between Learn to Care, Skills for Care and ADASS has been particularly helpful and we look forward to supporting further research in the future.”

The report, guidance notes and case studies can be downloaded at here

HomeCareDirect are proud to work with Skills for Care and continue to employ PAs chosen by individuals so that they get all the choice without the hassle!