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CASE REPORT
The quality of social assistance services
 
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Instytut Polityki Społecznej, Uniwersytet Warszawski
Publication date: 2020-06-03
 
Problemy Polityki Społecznej 2010;13-14:41–57
 
ABSTRACT
The quality of social services is an universal ideal of postmodern welfare states. It has many intellectual and practical sources, one of them is the critique of bureaucratic professionalism which characterized modern social policy. A very popular solution of this problem are new public management and quality management methods and techniques originated in a private business sector. Quality is a rather slippery and ambiguous concept which has different meanings. Social services and social work are enormous as to the scope and variety. Linking these two areas is a very interesting endeavor with now approximately thirty years of experiences in some countries, including Poland. The aim of this article is to give a short description of different quality concepts in the context of social services. There are professional, traditional, scientific, managerial, consumerist and democratic approaches to the problem of quality in a public sector. Many policy initiatives in Europe (e.g. CQF, EQASS) and in Poland were and are implemented in order to improve quality of public and social services. There is little evidence however that they have a decisive impact on the improvement of the clients’ well-being. Readers will find information concerning arguments about a rather limited usefulness of total quality management in social services organizations. Some results of research from the US and Europe were described and discussed.
 
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ISSN:1640-1808