Understanding the External Management of Children’s Homes
In this chapter the aim is to develop a framework for understanding the external management of children’s residential care as an inclusive process. That is, a process which involves not only the direct line management and inspection of children’s homes, but also the strategic co-ordination of services between different functions and professional groups. To achieve this objective, the chapter is divided into four main sections. The first outlines the historical evolution of children’s homes, the role of management and the major problems that have arisen. The second section offers a general definition of management as a generic process. In the third, we concentrate on what this implies for children’s residential services and how, given the goals of these services, the effectiveness of management could be evaluated. In the fourth section, drawing on contingency theory, an attempt is made to develop a realistic understanding of the organisational context in which social services managers operate. This identifies certain constraints on management action, which, it is argued, are important to consider when seeking to establish better practice in this area.
KeywordsLocal Authority Residential Care Line Management Contingency Approach External Management
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