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.



Integrating care for the frail elderly

As their populations age, all OECD governments are confronted with increasing demand for health and social services. The inefficient (over)use of services by the frail elderly, who suffer from physical and functional disabilities, puts additional pressure on scarce public resources. Drawing from evidence on integrated models of care across OECD countries, this chapter examines the potential of these innovative service delivery methods to provide effective and cost-efficient care for frail elderly individuals. The chapter also discusses barriers and perverse incentives to effective implementation created by traditional service delivery structures. Whilst highlighting the need for better measurement and further evaluation of integrated care, findings illustrate the potential of integrated service delivery models to respond to the frail elderly’s complex needs, and offer some promising ways to promote integration at both the governance and delivery levels.


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