Journal Article

Specialism, Genericism and Others: Does it Make a Difference? A Study of Social Work Services to Elderly People

ROGER FULLER and EMMANUELLE TULLE-WINTON

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 26, issue 5, pages 679-698
Published in print October 1996 | ISSN: 0045-3102
e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.bjsw.a011141
Specialism, Genericism and Others: Does it Make a Difference? A Study of Social Work Services to Elderly People

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A previous paper published in this journal (Fuller and Petch, 1991) described a preliminary feasibility study designed to investigate the effects of organizing social work teams along specialist or generic lines. The main study which developed from this work is here reported. The study, using modified case review forms, compares the way samples of referrals of elderly people (n=1232) were dealt with at initial assessment and for up to a year subsequently by 15 social work teams of contrasting organizational approach. The latter include specialist and generic teams, and comparisons are also drawn with teams adopting a self-styled community social work approach. Although the organizational agenda has moved on since the study began, the issues are of continuing relevance for the implementation of community care, particularly in view of its growing focus on specialist services. While not arguing that there is any one optimal model of team organization, the paper sets out some of the measurable consequences of opting for the various models; in particular, it emerges that the strengths of specialization are more clearly apparent in certain aspects of their engage ment with clients than in others and at certain stages of that engagement than at others.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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