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The Personal Social Services

  • Rodney Lowe
Chapter

Abstract

The personal social services are one of the most ill-defined, neglected and yet vital parts of the welfare state. The term covers essentially the residual services provided by, or through, local government for groups such as the elderly, the physically and mentally handicapped, children and ‘problem families’. Since the war — and in sharp contrast to earlier Poor Law practice — the ordinary needs of individuals within such groups have been catered for, as for everyone else, by the main welfare services. Moreover, many of these main services (and most notably general practice within the NHS) provide a sympathetic ‘personal’ service. What is distinctive about the personal social services is that they provide for extraordinary individual need. They have also been concerned, particularly since the 1960s, not with one specialised area of care but with their clients’ overall welfare — so that those in need of care can enjoy as normal a life as possible and those deemed to require ‘control’ can adapt to, or at least come to terms with, society at large.1

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Notes and References

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Copyright information

© Rodney Lowe 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodney Lowe
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BristolUK

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