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By Martin Minogue (eds.)

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Most of the accommodation is quite ordinary, but some is specially designed for handicapped people. Local authority housing departments often provide the buildings. Links with Other Services The Maria Colwell and other similar enquiries have shown what can happen when co ordination between child protection agencies is faulty. Age Concern (Care is Rare) have pointed to parallel dangers when elderly people are discharged from hospital to an unprepared or unreceptive community. Similar scandals have occurred over the discharge of mentally ill and mentally handicapped people.

Schemes can and frequently do extend beyond the eare of the elderly. Perhaps Wakefield MDC has gone furthest in this direction. In one area team horne helps andstreet wardens have become the local care experts. Social workers only enter the picture when a specialist counselling service is required. In general, most social workers and horne helps do their work with only a very imperfect knowledge of the informal caring which occurs in the community they serve. The gap is often even wider in residential care.

This has generally produced an increased demand and a higher proportion of requests direct from the general public rather than through intermediaries. But it has not always produced more accessible services because local officers often do not control the resources needed. help. These workers often have been appointed in areas with high levels of poverty, poor housing and a concentration of people facing multiple problems. Community workers ron the risk of either asking for too much mutual assistance from people of limited means or ruffling official feathers when calling for the public resources which the areas lack.

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