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 service delivery for vulnerable families

Preventing disadvantage?

Family vulnerability is a growing problem across the OECD. Vulnerable families and children are disproportionately affected by the current economic downturn and their number is growing in many OECD countries. Attempting to respond to these concerns, several countries have taken measures to address the complex needs of this group by bringing different services together. Drawing on these integrated family service initiatives across the OECD, this chapter seeks to answer the following questions: how are services integrated within existing family welfare structures? Are joined-up family services effective in preventing cycles of disadvantage and social exclusion? This review finds that different forms of integrating service delivery have the potential to improve service-use outcomes for families with multiple needs. The lack of robust evidence on the (cost) effectiveness of these initiatives, however, hinders long-term investment and upscaling of existing initiatives.


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