Journal Article

Un-charted Territory? Experiences of the Purchaser/Provider Split in Local Authority Children's Services

IAN KIRKPATRICK, MARTIN KITCHENER, DIANE OWEN and RICHARD WHIPP

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 29, issue 5, pages 707-726
Published in print October 1999 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 1999 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/29.5.707
Un-charted Territory? Experiences of the Purchaser/Provider Split in Local Authority Children's Services

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A primary goal of Conservative government policy, expressed in the 1990 National Health Service and Community Care Act, was to encourage the development of market mechanisms through the separation of purchaser and provider roles. The main target for reform was to be adult services although, in the absence of specific guidance, a number of local authorities also implemented purchaser/provider structures in services for children and families. To date, little attention has been given in the literature either to describing what purchaser/provider structures involve in this context or to assessing their impact. Drawing on case study data from seven local authorities, this article seeks to address these deficiencies. It is argued that many changes have been cosmetic and that, while it is not possible to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of the model, there is evidence that it can have some negative consequences for the co-ordination and delivery of services.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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