The Devils in the Detail: Some Reflections on Contracting for Social Care by Voluntary Organizations


Address for Correspondence: Professor Nicholas Deakin, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT.


This paper explores the political origins and the process of introduction of the community care policy in the United Kingdom. The particular concerns of voluntary organizations in the face of the new responsibilities conferred upon them by legislation and their expectations of likely outcomes are examined. Evidence from a recent research study undertaken as part of the ESRC's Contracts and Competition Programme is then employed to draw up a preliminary balance sheet of the actual experience of voluntary bodies, their role in the operation of community care policy and their changing relationships with other agencies and the users of services.