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Focusing on the enormous organizational and cultural changes that local authority social services have undergone since the 1990 NHS and Community Care Act, this volume provides an overview of the structure and function of social care at practice, management and policy levels. It contains contributions from leading academics, researchers and practitioners in the UK, and also includes chapters on the experiences of the rest of Europe and the US.
The contributors examine the impact and effectiveness of key shifts in the weighting of responsibility of central and local government; who the purchasers and providers of social care are; the interaction between social services and other agencies; the relationship between voluntary and statutory sectors; and the involvement of users and carers in service design and provision.
They assess the significance of the breakdown of the traditional distinctions and roles underlying social care, and lay the foundations for effective and coordinated future policy, practice and research. With the publication of the Labor Government's White Paper Modernizing Social Services, the future of social care is set for yet more upheaval. This volume will provide an indispensable overview of the evolution and destiny of local authority social services for students, practitioners and managers.