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Community Sourcing and Social Care

Authors: Chris Yapp and Chris Howells

This new report offers an alternative to privatisation and the hollowing out of local government. Instead the authors propose that commissioners work with and support local communities.

Many problems can only be solved at the level of local communities - bringing together local understanding, leadership, expertise and resources. Many of today's problems no longer suit centralised solutions with their bureaucracy, elitism and patronage. The authors of this discussion paper argue that it is time to change our understanding of both the role and structure of local government.

It is time to move to new organisational structures that embrace local innovations and encourage local capacities. The current model of privatisation, procurement and tendering only serves to hollow out the capacities of local government and local communities. Profit, expertise and leadership are all exported outside the community and into organisations that neither know nor care about the local community.

Community Sourcing is a way of rethinking the role of local government. The thinking and practice of privatisation needs to be abandoned. In its place should not be industrialised state provision - but a balanced combination of:

  1. Community action
  2. Citizen participation and responsibility
  3. Local economic development
  4. Effective coordination

As the authors note, the recent attempts to bring about change in social care and some of the developing models, like Local Area Coordination, suggest a similar approach to change is also emerging, which returns us to the principles of social work before it was corrupted by the care management and contracting culture.

Read and download the free pdf in your browser here.


The publisher is the Centre for Welfare Reform.

Community Sourcing and Social Care © Chris Yapp and Chris Howells 2013.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.

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