Children in need: an examination of policy formulation in Scottish social work

Wright, Alexandra S.C. (2002) Children in need: an examination of policy formulation in Scottish social work. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Implementation of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 introduced a new service category for children and their families. This new category raised questions regarding its impact on eligibility criteria and responsibility for service provision. This study responded to an identified gap in knowledge regarding the implementation of 'children in need' policy in Scottish Social Work Departments and sought to answer a key question; How is children in need policy formulated by Social Work Services staff on a conceptual and operational level? The research approached this issue from a perspective that policy includes written and verbal discourse as well as practice, including formal and informal organisational policy. Children in need policy is considered within a theoretical analysis of 'need' and an 'Integrated Power Framework'. Both the content and the process of policy formulation were analysed. Staff from three Social Work Departments in Scotland participated in the research. In-depth qualitative interviews, questionnaires and key documents comprised the data sources. Findings showed that major differences between local authorities were not evident. Clear differences were found between managers, supervisors and social workers' workers' definitions and ways of implementing 'children in need' policy. Although most staff were supportive of the principles underlying 'children in need' policy, few other than managers regularly implemented the formal policy. When children in need policy was implemented it was generally used for planning and assessment as well as to advocate for a corporate approach to planning and provision and on behalf of service users for improved services. These findings have implications for entitlement, planning and provision of services for individual and groups of children deemed 'in need'.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Public policy.
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Hill, Prof. Malcolm
Date of Award: 2002
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2002-71406
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 25 May 2021 12:39

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