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Integrating Social Services for Vulnerable Groups

Bridging Sectors for Better Service Delivery

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All OECD countries have vulnerable populations in need of multiple service supports. And although the needs of vulnerable families, children and youth with mental health issues, the homeless, and the frail elderly can vary widely, the challenges government face when delivering multiple social supports to these groups are often similar. This book looks at the ways in which governments design and deliver integrated social services to vulnerable groups and the opportunities and challenges this brings. For each vulnerable group, the book addresses questions like: How are social services being integrated? How are vulnerable groups defined in different countries and how do populations compare? Why integrate service for vulnerable groups? It highlights pathways towards successful integration practices, and summarizes the evidence on good practice and promising common practices from across all of the vulnerable groups.

English

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Homelessness, the homeless, and integrated social services

Although international comparisons of homelessness require cautious interpretation, OECD-wide evidence suggests that up to 8 in 1 000 working-age adults have no stable accommodation at any one time, and around 8 to 10% of families, on average, have difficulty meeting their housing costs each year. Experiences of homelessness can vary from longer term, chronic forms, to more hidden or transitional experiences. Addressing homeless individuals’ needs requires multiple – and often expensive – service interventions, especially when treating the most chronic cases. How and when the needs of the homeless are met will affect human lives and social costs. While several OECD countries are developing innovative “housing first” approaches to address homelessness, temporary shelter and emergency services remain the dominant model of provision, despite their limited capacity to facilitate sustainable exits from homelessness. This chapter addresses the challenges of measuring homelessness across OECD countries and discusses the issues salient to delivering effective housing and social services to those at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness.

English

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