Accountability to welfare service users: Challenges and responses of service providers
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AbstractInfluenced by the consumerist sentiment in New Public Management, the last decades have witnessed a revival of the call for accountability to service users in the public service sector. As an act of accountability, social care and health care professionals are increasingly obliged to involve their service users in the service planning and monitoring process. Despite the popularity of this accountability and user involvement rhetoric, critics have, however, been skeptical of the prevailing user involvement initiatives as an effective measure of accountability to service users (Barnes and Wistow, 1994a, 1994b; Bowl, 1996; Peck et al., 2002; Rea, 2004). Based on a study of user involvement in the welfare sector of Hong Kong, this paper argues that the discourse of accountability to the service users can be a source of unrest for welfare professionals, in the manifestation of accountability as a power relationship. Their ensuing response is to accommodate the ensuing challenge arising from the demand for accountability to service users by manoeuvring the accountability discourse. It is the contention of this paper that the institutional inclusion of welfare service users into a discursive space is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the realization of a mandate of accountability to welfare service users.
All Author(s) ListLeung TTF
Journal nameBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume Number38
Issue Number3
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP): Policy E - Oxford Open Option D
Pages531 - 545
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
Keywordsaccountability; managerialism; social work professionalism; user involvement
Web of Science Subject CategoriesSocial Work; SOCIAL WORK

Last updated on 2021-12-05 at 04:19