Who works not what works: an exploration into the rise of managerialism in services to children, young people and families and the challenge this poses to the role of professionalism and relationship-based provision
SubjectsSubject Categories::L500 Social Work
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AbstractThis paper sets out to give an overview of the impact of socio-economic and political thinking on the structure and esteem of services to children, young people and families, and the placing of subsequent services to meet the needs of service users. Through an exploration of the works of key theorists and academic contributors in relevant fields the attempt is first to establish the socio-structural context within which services are structured and delivered before moving on to set out the journey taken in one inner city local authority to grapple with the challenges set out by the requirement to meet the complex needs of local people within an increasingly hostile environment for public services. I call on extensive experience in the field to inform an opinion that, under neoliberal policy frameworks, services have become increasingly alienating to the people that come to call on them for support, and that, in so doing, they undermine their ability to function as required and in part, serve to exacerbate the very issues they set out to eradicate. In particular, professional approaches have inadvertently accelerated this problem of alienation resulting in energies being spent on professional survival and legitimacy at the expense of the particularly complex and challenging issue of improving the lives of children and young people who experience difficulties. Through the development of a new integrated, systemic and humanistic service which has striven to break down the barriers erected to identify the differences between professions at the expense of a focus on service users, it is felt that an opportunity now exists to refocus the energies of services so that greater attention is placed on the role of the practitioner, the relationships they form with service users, and the engagement these relationships make possible. Looking forward, consideration is made of the possibilities this presents for service delivery that sees success in equipping children, young people and families with the tools to locate and express their voices rather than, in keeping with broader consumerist agenda, encourage service users to receive, rather than inform, services -which will require professionals to shift from a role of leaders to facilitators in the delivery of community development interventions.
CitationOlaitan, P. (2014) 'Who works not what works: an exploration into the rise of managerialism in services to children, young people and families and the challenge this poses to the role of professionalism and relationship-based provision'.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, Department of Applied Social Studies in (partial) fulfilment for the degree of Professional Doctorate in Leadership in Children and Young Peoples Services, July 2014.
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