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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2007): Social care - UK

An answer to Gershon's call

D. Hayes

Community Care, Nov. 22nd 2007, p.14-15

In order to make the savings in the costs of adult social care required by the Gershon review, councils are redesigning how they handle initial client contact by making call centres an integral part of the process. However, there is concern about the variable quality of the information provided to inquirers, and doubts about whether they always fully understand callers' needs.

Assessment frameworks: a critical reflection

B.R. Crisp and others

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 37, 2007, p. 1059-1077

Over the past decade assessment frameworks have proliferated in the UK and elsewhere. The authors have sought to critically analyse the concept of assessment frameworks by comparing four that have been developed for use with different populations in the UK. It emerged that, although some generalisations can be made about them, for the most part assessment frameworks are highly individual documents that vary in terms of range and depth of content, the extent to which they are evidenced and the quality of that evidence, and implicit expectations as to the skills bases of assessors. As such, critiques which are justifiable in respect of one framework document may not apply to another. Furthermore, the potential of frameworks to contribute to the development of effective practice depends on how they are implemented; they are not a panacea.

Balanced on a tightrope

D. Hayes

Community Care, Nov. 1st 2007, p. 14-15

Scotland has introduced new laws to protect vulnerable adults. The Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 gives local authorities new powers to enter settings where abuse of adults is suspected of taking place and remove and ban perpetrators. It also creates the responsibility for local authorities to establish a statutory adult protection committee to develop strategic interagency working. The Protection of Vulnerable Groups Act 2007 creates a tougher vetting and barring regime for those working with vulnerable adults and children. There is unease that these added powers for professionals may override the rights of suspected victims.

Foundations of health and social care

R. Adams (editor)

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007

The book offers a wealth of material on contexts, knowledge bases, skills and practices in health and social care. It deals with work carried out by those involved in treatment and therapy as well as advocacy and management, and employs an integrated approach to developing care that is grounded in relevant research. The book:

  • provides balanced coverage of both health and social care working practices, with contributions from a range of experts across these fields
  • offers advice on successful learning, and tailored 'Resource Files' to encourage understanding and reflection
  • is filled with interactive study aids, including Learning Outcomes, Practice Studies, Activities, Review Questions and Further Reading.

The interpretation of human rights in English social work: an exploration of the context of services for children and for parents with learning difficulties

I. Buchanan and R. Gunn

Ethics and Social Welfare, vol. 1, 2007, p. 147-162

This article argues that social work practice priorities in England are often in conflict with the human rights obligations of social work agencies. Despite the development of anti-oppressive practice, social workers within specialised teams can fail to appreciate and uphold the human rights of some service users. Professionals can abdicate responsibility when the rights of clients conflict with structural arrangements. The authors use two case studies, participation by children and young people looked after by the local authority and parents with learning difficulties, to determine what prevents the delivery of rights at practice level. It is argued that organisational structures which are the product of historical development prevent social workers from delivering a service that is anti-oppressive and grounded in a rights-based approach to practice. The recent separation of responsibility for children and families from adult social care provides a unique opportunity to address these problems and remove some of the structural barriers to delivering rights based services.

Understanding health and social care

J. Glasby

Bristol: Policy Press 2007

With health and social care increasingly asked to work in partnership, many existing textbooks and educational opportunities are too 'uni-professional' to be able to respond fully to the joined-up services agenda. Against this background, the book provides a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of both health and social care. The chapters cover: the origins of community health and social care; current services; partnership working; direct payments; independent living; anti-discriminatory practice; user involvement; and support for carers. The book provides:

  • A focus on both health and social care in a time of increasing inter-agency working
  • A combined summary of current policy and practice dilemmas with useful theoretical frameworks
  • Service user-focused case studies and reflective exercises to aid further study and analysis
  • Comparative material throughout exploring relevant issues, their impact and lessons learned.

Vision with one eye on Wanless

M. Ivory

Community Care, Nov. 8th 2007, p. 26-27

The public service agreements accompanying the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review set out public sector priorities and should encourage councils to redouble their efforts to move towards more preventive, personalised and inclusive services in order to meet targets adopted. Councils can pick objectives from a menu of outcomes-based targets.

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