Stronger Links: A Guide to Good Practice for Children's Family-Based Short-Term Care Services

Stronger Links: A Guide to Good Practice for Children's Family-Based Short-Term Care Services

Stronger Links: A Guide to Good Practice for Children's Family-Based Short-Term Care Services

Stronger Links: A Guide to Good Practice for Children's Family-Based Short-Term Care Services

Synopsis

This new and updated edition of this valuable guide will be welcomed at a time of significant change within social services. It has been completed brought up-to-date and offers a legislative framework for each area in practice in addition to practical guidelines for implementing the legislation. Case studies and material used by existing schemes are included. Produced as a result of collaboration between the regional groups of Shared Care in England and Wales the guide contains contributions and input from each. Stronger Links will be invaluable to purchasers of services schemes in the process of setting up established schemes who will be able to reflect and measure their existing practice against the good practice advice offered.

Excerpt

Within England and Northern Ireland there are currently over 300 family-based short-term care services for disabled children. Most are based within local authority social services departments, although 21% are run by voluntary organisations (Prewett, 1999). Services are run in a variety of ways, although they generally agree that familybased care offers a better alternative to residential provision. The advantages identified can be summarised as follows:

• it enables users to develop real relationships with their carers and to develop wider social networks;

• the quality of care on offer is generally higher than that available in institutions and families feel less anxious about using a family-based service;

• family-based care is more flexible than residential short-term care, whether in a hostel or hospital;

• it is often a cheaper, more cost-effective way of providing high quality care than in other residential options.

The 1989 Children Act provided a basic set of standards to which services should subscribe. However, it did not provide detailed guidance on the various aspects of service delivery with which many service providers grapple on a day-to-day basis. As an umbrella organisation, Shared Care Network is often contacted by its professional members for advice and guidance of this type. This guide seeks to offer suggestions about the whole range of tasks that face . . .

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