Social Policy and Its Application to Social Services Provision

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Private problems become public issues when an individual’s problem/problems spill out into the community for example youth homelessness. Youth homelessness is greater than you might think in May 2008 it was thought that there were over 75000 youths at risk of becoming homeless, mostly due to the breakdown of the family or the introduction of a step family, 65% of these young people experienced violence as their family broke down and 20% experienced sexual abuse. The really sad thing about the number of youths at risk of homelessness is, in order to be detected as at risk something extreme has to happen e.g. the young homeless person was arrested for causing a disturbance or ends up in hospital after a violent incident. Mostly when families breakdown we as a community know nothing about it (their family problems are kept private) this becomes a public issue which may require the creation of a “policy for dealing with social issues”, when we see young people sleeping rough or the crime rate increases as the homeless person steals to feed them self. Over the years there has been significant research and development of policies which are aimed at combating homelessness among the 16-25 year olds and in 2002 the homelessness Act was endorsed by the Scottish parliament after it was highlighted that the numbers of homeless people sleeping rough in our cities, could affect the tourist trade, which in turn would affect our economy, this act extended the definition of priority need to include new groups of vulnerable people including youths. This Homeless act means that young people are no longer turned away from hostels; in fact there are hostels that are just for young people (these hostels help protect the young people on the streets from abuse i.e. prostitution) This homeless act also made local authorities develop homeless strategies e.g. the housing and support team that we have in West Lothian. Due to new policy the numbers of young people sleeping on the streets is few, and the ease of access to information/services means homeless people have hope and can access services before they actually become homeless, which in turn combats drug/alcohol abuse (which also relieves pressure off the NHS) and crime statics.

2. Social policies come about due to various influences. Nationwide statics are gathered for various reasons and as a result these figures/statics can and do bring around change in policy or even the implementation of new policies e.g. it was found that the number of people binge drinking and requiring hospital treatment was on the rise, so the government created a policy that it was illegal to have happy hours in bar’s and it was illegal for shops to have two for one offers on alcohol. Another way the government is influenced to change or create policy is through pressure groups. Pressure groups don’t have to be official bodies or organisations like “fathers for justice”, they can be a group of people who are concerned about an issue in their community e.g. a group of concerned parents petitioning the government about the lack of services for teenagers in their area (youth club) due to the planned closure of the community centre. Social policies can also come about if there is a threat to society e.g. terrorism, after 9/11 the pass port policy changed, before 9/11 children were able to travel on their parents passport, after 9/11 the policy changed and now everyone needs a passport regardless of age. Before 9/11 we could travel within our own country (Glasgow-London) without a passport now we can’t. Policies have also changed after public outcry. After the abduction, rape and murder of a child in England by a convicted paedophile, who had been housed in the area on his release from prison. The policy that gave these people anonymity was reviewed and changed, so that anyone who is concerned about an adult, who is working with children, can ask the police if they are a risk. 3. The mixed economy of care came about due...
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