As yet, there is no statute law on personalization. It has emerged within a context of policy development relating to older people, disabled people and those with health or mental health-related needs. While it can be seen as a response to the pressure to find a way of delivering adult social care that is value driven, accountable and recognizes dignity, it is arguable that individualization, responsibilization and the privatization of risk also are discernible drivers (Ferguson, 2007). Clements (2011, p. 47) notes that ‘in contrast to the many statutory duties and the fanfare of regulations that underpin community care law, personalization is based on no law whatsoever’. Nevertheless, legal rules from a range of sources, including statute, guidance and case law, are highly relevant to personalized practice. Sometimes, they provide mandates (duties and powers, principles and procedures) on aspects of practice that help achieve the goals of personalization. Sometimes, they provide guidance on the balance to be struck when dilemmas arise. Occasionally, they place constraints on what can be done to personalize services. Equally, there are core legal principles and concepts that underpin the whole notion of personalization and are influential in shaping our approach to the wellbeing of those who require support to achieve their goals and ambitions.
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