Analysing the impact of management and organisational arrangements on the delivery of social work drawing on material researched and gathered on first placement.

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An assignment of 2500 words analysing the impact of management and organisational arrangements on the delivery of social work drawing on material researched and gathered on first placement.

This assignment will discuss the context of the Family Support Resource Services (FSRS) within the wider social care sector and the policies that impact on the operational aspects of the organisation; it will discuss the management structure, the funding of the service and the implication for Social Work practice.

The Family Support Resource Services (SSD), is a relative new statutory service that came into operation in January 2004 in response to the 'Every Child Matters' Green Paper, which advocates a universal children and family service. It is a Lancashire County Council initiative. This service was established as it was felt that there was an over reliance on Residential Care, and the services that were in place previously, namely the Family Centres and Nurseries, were obsolete due to the influence of agencies such as Sure Start and Home Start. This was intended to be a targeted service. The service is consistent with the 5 Key Outcomes outlined in the Children's Bill, i.e. Being Healthy, Enjoying and Achieving, Staying Safe, Making a Positive Contribution and economic well-being. It offers 7 days per week service, if required, 8am - 8pm. The service provides support to children, young people (0 -18) and their families.

The Service Manager informs us that in the area in which the service is located, the 9 wards are in the top 20% most deprived in England, accommodating approximately 10% of Lancashire's 260 thousand children (0-17). In the surrounding area Social Services work with nearly 900 children with a Disability, approximately 41 children are on the Child Protection register, and there are approximately 162 children 'Looked after'. The North West has some of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Europe.

The Family Support Resource service (FSRS) provides for a selection of 'needs'. The Service User is usually referred by the Children and Families, Initial Assessment Team then co-worked alongside the Social Worker or transferred to FSRS, and reviewed independently. A tailored package of support is available to the Service User. This could include: Parenting skills, Behaviour management, Self protection, Parenting Assessments, Direct work with Young people, Life Skills, Assisting teenage parents, and providing supervised contact sessions. The key aim of the service was to empower parents and reduce the number of children coming into the care system.

Historically, in the UK children are viewed as the responsibility of their individual family, particularly in terms of their care. It has been argued that this view has had the support of traditionally opposing constituencies, underpinning, for example, the post-1945 Beveridge model of social welfare and the New Right approaches of the 1980s and 1990s (Daniel and Ivatts, 1998).

The emergence of Conservative administrations from 1979 marked an important break in relation to a general welfare consensus, in response to what many regarded as the inadequacies of the 'The traditional model public administration' (TMPA). This was characterized as an administration under the formal control of the political leadership, based on a hierarchical model of bureaucracy, staffed by permanent, neutral and anonymous officials. Hughes (2003) informs us that these individuals were motivated by public interests and served any government party equally. They did not contribute to policy but merely administered those policies decided on by the politicians (p17).

The 1980/90s saw the emergence of a new managerial approach in the public sector, namely: The 'New Public Management' (NPM), characterized by hands-on professional management - with a clearly defined individual in charge and accountable for result, performance measures, greater competition (compulsory tendering), and discipline in resource use. NPM presents many challenges for Local Authorities and the FSRS as there is a greater emphasis on working collaboratively across traditional service boundaries, including the idea of 'joined-up services', which are organised around users' need rather than organizational convenience.
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NPM origins come from two different streams of ideas. Firstly the 'new institutional economics', the ideology of which included contestability, user choice, transparency and concentration on incentive structures, and secondly 'managerialism' in the public sector based on ideas of 'professional management. Tony Blair introduced a concept of a 'third way' which sees a move away from an emphasis on purchaser/provider to an emphasis on modernisation and improved service hence the 'service user' is viewed as the consumer (Powell 2002, p13).

The process of strategic management is identifying environmental opportunities and matching them to internal capabilities; its aims ...

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