Journal Article

Care Management and Professional Autonomy: The Impact of Community Care Legislation on Social Work with Older People

MARK LYMBERY

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 28, issue 6, pages 863-878
Published in print December 1998 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online December 1998 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.bjsw.a011405
Care Management and Professional Autonomy: The Impact of Community Care Legislation on Social Work with Older People

Show Summary Details

Preview

SUMMARY

The 1990 National Health Service and Community Care Act appeared to herald a new dawn for social work with older people, which had previously been a relatively neglected and undervalued area of social work practice. The legislation proposed a new role for social workers as ‘case managers’, with considerable autonomy and flexibility about the way in which the ‘case manager’ responded to need. By the time community care policy was implemented, the role of ‘case manager’ had been transformed into that of ‘care manager’, with a focus which emphasized procedural and managerial requirements rather than a more flexible professional practice.

This paper explores the extent to which this shift has substantively altered the nature of social work practice with older people. It outlines key theories of professions and their applicability to social work, and critically analyses the impact of the ‘new managerialism’ within social services departments. The paper also examines the nature of social workers' practice with older people following the impact of community care legislation, and concludes that the impact on the social work profession has been to locate an increasing control of practice with social work managers, with potentially serious consequences for the continuation of a distinctive social work role in relation to services for older people.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.