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The Relational Basis of Empowerment

Why do things go wrong in care services?

When there is a scandal or a crisis government rushes to new regulations, inspections, management or funding. But common-sense tells us that these are often the wrong responses. We need to understand what helps people offer good support and what can lead to inappropriate or abusive 'care'.

In this valuable and insightful analysis, Karl Nunkoosing and Mark Haydon-Laurelut of the University of Portsmouth help us understand the real factors that underpin good support. Power and behaviour (good or bad) is a reflection of the quality our relationships with other people. Two attitudes seem fundamental: acceptance, our willingness to accept and welcome that person and also our sense of hope or optimism about that person's life prospects. It is only when there is acceptance and hope that good cultures will flourish.

The paper goes onto underline why so many of the current 'care' services are unlikely to be effective at promoting hope and acceptance and the authors offer some thoughts on how a more positive culture can be developed.

You can download the paper here: http://bit.ly/rbempower

Dr Simon Duffy, Director of The Centre for Welfare Reform, said: "We are really pleased to publish this paper as the second publication in our The Need for Roots Series. We seem to have lost touch with common-sense morality; too often we are driven by superficial thinking and knee-jerk responses. It is time for the kind of deeper thinking offered here."