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.



Towards better integration of social services

Governments across the OECD are experimenting with innovation in the integration of social services for vulnerable groups, despite a lack of detailed evidence in support of specific approaches or implementation practices in this area. To facilitate future policy development, this chapter sets a scene for successful delivery of integrated services based on the varied service integration policies, targeting different vulnerable groups, outlined in this report. The chapter includes a discussion of the main challenges to, and opportunities for, integration of social services, and concludes with a section outlining evidence on what works, promising practices for policy experimentation in the area, and cautions regarding expectations for returns from integrating social services for vulnerable groups.


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