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Practical information management for social services

Elisabeth Davenport (University of Strathclyde)

Aslib Proceedings

ISSN: 0001-253X

Article publication date: 1 November 1991



The current pattern of reporting in social services represents an attempt at rationalisation, a move away from multiple agencies handling different functional areas (the elderly, children, the chronic disabled) which resulted, in some cases in five or six agencies handling the problems of one individual, family or social unit. In one way, this state of affairs might be interpreted as a kind of customisation, an acknowledgement of different aspects of care or different perspectives which care demands, though the solution was clearly inelegant. Though the prevailing organisation of social services (by social unit, family care, for example) represents more efficient resource allocation, it fails to do justice to the manifold nature of most social problems, because current reporting structures, and patterns of task differentiation, have produced what may be called a social work archipelago, composed of units with closed information habits which reduce the impact of decisions and judgements on the system as a whole. In this short paper, I offer a basic model for information in social service, which is based on previous studies and informal observations by practitioners.


Davenport, E. (1991), "Practical information management for social services", Aslib Proceedings, Vol. 43 No. 11/12, pp. 343-348.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited

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