In contemporary UK, social care services have become a prime area of focus. Particularly in the wake of the events of Rotherham, the UK government and social care policymakers are striving to create better social safeguards for children. On the other hand, the Care Act (2014) has emerged as a very important, innovative, and dynamic framework for adult social care.
The combined effect of the events of Rotherham and the Care Act has shown that both vulnerable adults and children in general need social attention as well as assistance from the local authorities. The reasons are diverse. Firstly, children may hesitate to report or may not understand the gravity of the situation when they face an incident of sexual exploitation (Jay 2014). So the juvenile population needs extensive and immediate attention. Secondly, establishment of integrated adult mental health services shows that instances of mental disorders are not only becoming more preponderant but also being left unattended Care Act (2014). Thirdly, the government’s urge to establish more coordination across the various agencies at local levels is creating ample scope and serious requirement of multi-agency social care network development. The government of UK is advocating that both social programmes and technological advancements be implemented to cater with the complex needs of potential victims of abuse (Multi-Agency Working and Information Sharing Project 2014).
The technical aspects of multi-agency coordination are dependent on IT integration and use. Without exploiting the merits of Internet and database technologies, it is difficult for policymakers to come up with a more practical idea for social welfare in the 21st century. For example, an easily accessible website of the local social care network may help a victim to report about his/her plight via emails or online complaint submission options. Multiple agencies are active at the level of every British county for protecting the vulnerable populations and detecting the potential victims. Hence, success rates of multi-agency frameworks will vary directly as the number of local social care units that actively network with each other. Contextually, unification of the different non government organisations and local authorities is necessary. In conclusion, one can state that “to achieve effective inter-agency working, agencies may consider that there are merits in establishing a multi-agency management committee” (Department of Health 2001, p. 15)
- Care Act (2014), London: The Stationary Office
- Department of Health (2001), No Secrets: Guidance on developing and implementing multi-agency policies and procedures to protect vulnerable adults from abuse, London: Home Office
- Jay, A. (2014), Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham 1997-2013, Rotherham: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
- Multi-Agency Working and Information Sharing Project (2014), London: Home Office