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Title: Policy and practice :shaping and structuring the technologies of care
Authors: Hill, Penelope Howard Mary
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Developments in social work have been paralleled by advances in the development of information technologies. It is from the interactions between care practitioners, their clients, the care providers, and the tools that they use that the technologies of care emerge. This piece of research started from a desire to understand how to better align those developments in Technology with the needs of social care practice and asks the question: ‘How do practitioners use information in practice, and how is that use shaped and directed?” The thesis weaves together three strands:  A research study, exploring the micro, meso and macro structures of operational practice in social care.  An analysis of the role that information and information systems play in the enablement of practice and the appropriation of policy.  An exploration of the use of Structuration theory as an analytical framework to support the management and implementation of change. The research considers process and practice within one English Local Authority, although it was undertaken with a growing awareness of and involvement in national Social Care Informatics developments. Assessment is core to social work practice. Social work research has previously concentrated on the nature of the relationships between practitioner and the individual being assessed, generating models focused on the modalities of practice within that relationship. This work utilises Structuration Theory to review social care models of assessment practice, providing a constructive way to position the procedural and informatics issues of day to day activity. It explores how both local and national policy shapes and influences those activities, and identifies the need to understand the information requirements of practice. It concludes that policy needs to address the information requirements of its delivery, in order to enable the effective emergence of technologies of care which support both process and practice.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:Newcastle University Business School

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