Caring and Coping: A Guide to Social Services

By Anthony Douglas; Terry Philpot | Go to book overview

Introduction

Social services helps millions of people but, paradoxically, millions more know nothing much about them. Social services’ responsibilities are awesome. They cover fostering, adoption, child protection, children needing care, mental health, people with dementia, frail elderly people, disability, youth crime, drug abuse and alcohol abuse, to mention just a few. While social services is not a 999 service, it operates round-the-clock providing crisis services, short-term support and long-term care.

Social services has to make sure that vulnerable people in Britain are protected and supported. Their responsibilities are clearly defined in law, particularly by the Children Act 1989 (implemented October 1991), and the NHS and Community Care Act 1990 (implemented April 1993). Along with health care, education and income support, social services and other welfare agencies are the basic building blocks of a civilised society.

Either the state, the family, the community, the employer, or a combination of these, are responsible for a nation’s social services. In the UK, the state has been a near monopoly provider of welfare since 1945. There are signs of a shift in this country towards placing more responsibility with the family or with social services users, either through increased charges for services or through private insurance schemes. Indeed, insurance companies are focusing on welfare as a significant future growth area in their strategic plans. In some East Asian states, the responsibilities of the community and the employer are more important, with businesses continuing to provide many welfare services for their employees, although economic pressures in the new tiger economies coupled with an ageing population are leading to increases in state care. In a number of European countries like France and Germany, children

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Caring and Coping: A Guide to Social Services
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - From Charity to Social Work 6
  • Chapter 2 - On the Statute Book 21
  • Chapter 3 - The Nuts and Bolts of Care 37
  • Chapter 4 - For the Child’s Sake 57
  • Chapter 5 - Does the Community Care? 94
  • Chapter 6 - Whose Service is It, Anyway? 138
  • Chapter 7 - Home from Home? 150
  • Chapter 8 - Something Special 160
  • Chapter 9 - More Than a Piece of Paper 172
  • Chapter 10 - The Manager’s Tale 180
  • Chapter 11 - Acts of Charity 195
  • Chapter 12 - All in It Together 208
  • Chapter 13 - Across the Borders 218
  • Chapter 14 - Conclusion 231
  • Notes 236
  • Bibliography 242
  • Index 247
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