Costs and Inputs
In recent years it has been rare indeed to find a change or development of policy or practice that has not had to run the gauntlet of a long line of ‘But what does it cost?’ questions. The economic problems that beset Western economies in the mid 1970s forced upon public, private and voluntary providers of care a degree of cost consciousness hitherto unknown in the post-war period. As a consequence the cost constraint has been the subject of considerable criticism, and the short-sighted politician, the penny-pinching accountant, and the hard-headed economist have come to be viewed as the chief villains of the piece. Social care services, it has long been felt, are the preserve of the social worker or the student of social policy, and should not be the testing ground for economic theories or cannon fodder for central government fiscal policies. Costs, in short, are held to be anathema to social care.
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