By Peter Beresford and Steve Trevillion.
ISBN 1 85742 236 8 (hardback)
1 85742 237 6 (paperback)
The transfer of community care responsibilities from central
government to social services authorities is now in its third year
of implementation and all the hard evidence suggests a smooth
The move towards a needs-led, cash-limited policy on which
thousands of vulnerable people depend is neither easy to sustain
nor straightforward to explain as expectations rise.
Amid all the arguments about the future of social policy and
resource availability, practitioners require information and help
to develop their skills. This book achieves that purpose and sets
out a valuable perspective on the accessibility and relevance to
users of community care services.
Peter Beresford, in particular, has a long record of challenging
conventional practice and organisational frameworks from the users’
point of view.
This book is firmly in that tradition, but does represent a
valuable, practical contribution to the innovative approach which
sustained community care support requires.
Its theme is that collaboration is a foundation of the new
community care approach. To achieve it, services users, carers and
practitioners could work together and find common ground for
It is argued that agencies have not yet adopted the radically
different model of practice which this approach requires.
In the view of the authors, collaboration must be an empowering
strategy. This is easier said than done.
It affects the belief system on which partnerships are based,
proactive in terms of information sharing and communication and
multiple accountability to those involved, including service users
Values and objectives which are widely shared, but given the
constraints, sometimes difficult to translate into practice.
This book tests the approach out within a development project
and draws important lessons from it. For the individual worker it
is an expensive way of studying the practicality of an essentially
simple idea. However, as a source book it proves the old adage that
there is nothing as practical as a good theory.
John Ransford is chief executive, North Yorkshire County
Council and secretary, Association of Directors of Social