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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2005): Social Care - UK

Achieving a fair price for care

English Community Care Association 2005

Examines the scope for using costing models to determine a fair price for care in a local area. It presents two case studies where a "costs of care" exercise was undertaken and discusses the advantages and challenges of using such an approach.

Force for change?

A.U. Sale

Community Care, Nov. 17th-23rd 2005, p.30-31

Reports that the government has launched a task force to break down the barriers that prevent voluntary sector organisations from successfully bidding for contracts to deliver health and social care services.

The integration dilemma: how deep and how broad to go?

J. Glasby

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.13, Oct. 2005, p.27-30

The New Labour government continues to prioritise the integration of front line services for children and adults. Health and social care communities need to strike a balance between depth and breadth of relationships. Adult services typically have a relatively close relationship between a small number of partners (often health and social care), but much less of a track record of working with wider services such as housing, transport, leisure and community safety. As a result, their challenge is to take their existing partnerships and broaden them to include a much wider range of stakeholders. In contrast, children's services have tended to focus on a much broader range of partners (education, social care, health, Connexions and so on). As a result their challenge is to take existing broad relationships and to develop deeper, more integrated ways of working.

Introducing social work

S.M. Shardlow and P. Nelson (editors)

Lyme Regis: Russell House, 2005

This guide explores contemporary policy and practice in major areas of social work: care for older people; work with children and families; work with offenders and juvenile justice; disability; mental illness. It describes and analyses the relevant forms, structures and methods of practice.

Lay assessors in care home inspections: is there a future?

F. Wright

British Journal of Social Work, vol.35, 2005, p.1093-1106

Lay people have been included in many care home inspections over the past decade. The Board of the now-defunct National Care Standards Commission controversially decided to dispense with such involvement. Its successor, the Commission for Social Care Inspection, is hesitating over whether to reintroduce them into care home inspections. This research project was able to explore the role of lay assessors in 13 care home inspections. It was concluded that lay assessors had an important role in talking to residents and observing care home life while the inspectors focussed on paperwork.

Local authority figures labelled as 'fantasy' in row over budgets

M. Samuel

Community Care, Nov.10th-16th 2005, p.18-19

Local authorities are claiming that new government requirements and super-inflationary funding pressures on existing services have left a funding shortfall of 2.8bn for 2006/07. The gap includes 600m needed for adult social care and 450m for children's services. So far the government has promised only 600m to cover this shortfall.

Necessary risks?

A. Cook

Community Care, Nov.10th-16th 2005, p.36-37

As many women choose to remain in relationships with violent men, group work with perpetrators and parallel support services for partners are vital components of a service to reduce domestic violence. The article discusses the pros and cons of couple work in addition to separate interventions for perpetrators and partners in domestic violence reduction programmes.

New hurdles for integrated commissioning?

P. Banks

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.13, Oct. 2005, p.21-26

The government's vision for adult social care promotes choice and control by individuals. In order to achieve this goal, strategic commissioners from local government, housing and the NHS will need to work together to develop a varied menu of services from which users can select. Results of a study of how care is commissioned by local authorities and their PCT partners in London suggest that more needs to be done to build commissioning skills and that investment is needed in market development to encourage the growth of a diversity of care services to ensure choice for users.

Postmodernization: a phase we are going through? Management in social care

J. Lawler and E. Harlow

British Journal of Social Work, vol.35, 2005, p.1163-1174

Paper considers the challenges facing managers of social care services in public sector organisations in the UK. The decentralisation of responsibility for social care has changed the role and practice of managers and reconfigured their relationship with practitioners. Improvements in welfare can not longer be understood in terms of humanist principles and inequality between the social classes. Instead, managerial solutions and consumer choice are drivers of service improvement. Globalisation means that activities across the world impact upon the provision of welfare in the UK, not only in terms of economic policies and resources, but also in terms of population flows. These population flows create demands, offer solutions and lead to international attachments that, according to the postmodernisation thesis, challenge the meaning of "society".

Reflections on integrating medical and social care: five laws revisited

W. Leutz

Journal of Integrated Care, vol.13, Oct.2005. p.3-12

Writing from a US perspective, author presents simple rules for promoting the integration of health and social care. Integration is difficult because health and social care systems contain a series of inherent differences in financing, administration, providers, clinical orientation, access and benefits. It may be more feasible to aim at some level of co-ordination or linkage rather than full integration. The author also advises integrators not to make extra work for clinicians and other professionals, to support integration financially, to keep it simple, not to expect quick results and to remember that all integration initiatives have to be implemented locally.

Risk and risk taking in health and social welfare

M. Titterton

London: Jessica Kingsley, 2005

The book explores the dilemmas frequently faced when working with older people, homeless persons, and people with physical or learning disabilities or with mental illness, and proposes a systematic framework for assessing and managing the risks involved. It also discusses contemporary theories and definitions of risk, and identifies the essential skills needed by professionals, with emphasis on developing creative approaches to practice.

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