Specific needs for major client groups


The purpose of care services is to meet the developmental, health and social care needs of various client groups. These services are designed to meet the needs of individual client and social policy goals such as reducing drug abuse, child poverty, and homelessness in the society. The groups have different health need because their physical abilities and age is not the same. The groups include:

  • Disabled people
  • Disabled individuals have additional needs to those without disabilities. Disabled people require specialized facilities and resources to enable them access services that allow an individual to lead a dignified and independent life. In addition to those needs required by those who are not disabled, some disabled people require specialized medical and nursing services that include rehabilitation services, physiotherapy, occupational therapy,psychology, complimentary therapies, direct payment personal assistance, specialized support and provisions through service user organizations, social education. At early years of service, separate specialist education provisions and support services are provided in addition to integration within the mainstream provisions.

  • Babies and children
  • Children require special health services in addition to healthcare provided to all people. This include maternity services, health screening, vaccination and immunization, school health services, dentistry , mental health care, speech therapy, community and general hospital services. In addition to this, children also require residential care, child education, family centers and support group services. Furthermore, children 0-8years require child guidance play grounds and nursery health crèches,parent,toy libraries,after school care, and toddler support groups.

  • Older people
  • Old people need more help in order to live a happier life. Many old people suffer from dementia, a condition characterized by memory loss .Therefore, local authorities have a duty to assess the needs of old people and provide the required services to meet their needs. This includes primary health care (including community mental nursing homes), nursing homes, dentistry, complimentary therapies, specialist hospital services (mental health and general), occupational therapies, podiatry, and hospices. In addition, old people have the following social needs: supported housing residential care, service user organizations,day centers, home helps, luncheon clubs, social work, information, and advice and support group services.

  • Adults
  • Health care services for adults includes general hospital services recuperation and rehabilitation advice, mental health care or some adults, family planning clinics, hospices, health promotion and complimentary therapies. In addition, they require housing services, service user organizations, residential care, support groups,refuges, social work,day centers,information and advice services, and counseling support.

  • Adolescents
  • Adolescents have unique needs because at their age because they are no longer children but at the same time they are not yet adult. Adolescence is a transition stage from childhood to adulthood. Adolescents require the following services: health promotion (smoking,alcohol,sexual, drugs, and health), school medical services, general medical services, primary health care, and mental health care and dentistry. In addition,adolescents require social services such as foster care, support group services, youth offending services, and youth work and child protection.

Developmental,health and social care needs

can be divided into three groups:

  • Developmental needs
  • These are the things we need for intellectual development. For example, babies need advanced toys for brain stimulation as they develop into children. Other developmental needs include new experiences, education, and books.

  • Health needs
  • These are things we need in order to stay physically, mentally and psychologically well. This include sleep, good hygiene, protection from harm, shelter, balanced diet warmth and exercise

  • Social care needs
  • These are emotional and social need support needs that keep us settled in our society. These include enough money;relationships with other people, interesting leisure activities, somewhere to live and purposeful occupation for example school or work. However, because of variation of needs in various client groups, I will now discuss the extra needs for each group so that we can appreciate how care services are designed to meet the developmental, health and social care needs of individuals in these groups.

Types of organizations

These organizations and private sector practitioner provide social care, health care and early year’s services.

  • Statutory organization
  • These are organization set up because of legislation by parliament that requires particular services to be provided. For example emergency and accident departments in hospitals, local authority services (social services and education, day centers, home care, early years center,nurseries,schools and child protection)and NHS trusts , health authority(hospitals and clinics,community services,health visitors,dentists,optician, occupational therapist)

  • Private organization
  • These are organization run on profit-making basis and include self-employed practitioner private companies and private residential homes. Services provided by these organizations include hospital treatment, dental treatment, nursery day care child minding, domestic help, home care nursing residential homes and nursing homes. For example,private hospitals, clinics, residential and nursing homes, care and domestic help agencies

  • Voluntary organization
  • These are organization run on a non-profit making basis and include local support groups and charities who use non-profit organization and volunteers with paid employees. voluntary organization are funded by various sources that include charitable donations, contracts with local or health authorities, grants, groups of people, fund raising events and businesses. These include hospices, day centers, befriending services, luncheon clubs, child protection agencies, and help in the community. For example, Barnado is an organization that provides care for young people and children. Voluntary organizations deal with specific issues such as personal and family problems, health and disability and national organizations with religious inspiration as their main work.

Statutory sector organization

National Health Service and local authority are the two main providers of statutory services. These services are organized at local, regional, and national levels

  • Local level
  • Include hospital, local authority social services departments, local voluntary organizations, primary care trusts, voluntary organization’s local offices, informal carers, private health, and social care agencies.

  • Regional levels
  • Include social services boards, strategic health authorities, social care agencies, voluntary organizations’ regional office, and regional offices of private health.

  • National level
  • Include government departments with responsibilities in specific areas.

Structure of health services

There are three parts of national health services

  • Primary care services
  • Family health care services provided by opticians, family doctors, dentists, practice nurses, health visitors, pharmacist and district nurses. This is where an individual has the first contact with health service. Preventive measure such as eye test and dental check-ups are done here.

  • Secondary and tertiary care services
  • Secondary care provides care at hospital level or example outpatient hospitals, surgeries. Tertiary care services include specialized hospitals or example specialized heart care hospitals. Tertiary care services are provided following referral from community based health professional or primary care.

  • Public health services
  • Public health services are concerned with preventive measures and health promotion. This involves education programs whose main purpose is to prevent illness and diseases. It also includes immunization programs against diseases such as whooping cough, measles, smallpox, and dental education. Both local authorities and health service have roles to play in promotion of good health.

Community health

Health care services provided at community level are often based health centers and are carried out by community health care trust or primary health care teams. Examples include health visitors, community mid-wife, community psychiatric nurse, and general practitioner.

Informal care

This involves people outside formal organization and agencies who provide social care and health. Friends, family members, neighbors, and church are some of the organization that provides informal care.

Structure of social services

For many years, social and health services were under direct control of the ministry of health. However, local authorities extended the responsibility of providing for children, old and disabled people. In 1970, parliament passed local authority social act, which required all local authorities to set up social committees. Local authorities administer these services despite the fact Secretary of state provides social care. Local authorities coordinate communal aspects of social care including people with learning disabilities, children services, and people with mental problems, refuse collection, education, highways, and housing and leisure facilities. National health services and community care act of 1990changed considerably the structures of social services. The new act made local authorities to be the purchasers and not the providers of care.

Role of social care department

The functions of social services are to assess the needs and purchase services. They provide advice and access to services that include residential care for older people, children, people with mental problems and those with learning or physical disabilities. Initially, local authorities were the owners and managers of residential homes but today they purchase residential care or individuals in non-profit or private residential homes. Social service department employs social workers who play a role of assessing people with needs that require social services. The social services department has created commissioning and contracting sections. This is because of their increased role in purchasing. Other functions of social service department include quality monitoring, handling complaints, planning and development, inspection, and registration units.

Early year’s services

These services provide education, health and care to children of 0-8 year when they are not at school. The government provides direct statutory services and supervision of such services. Supervision of these services is through government departments that include department of health, department of work and office of the deputy prime minister that deals with local government, housing, planning, and the countryside. Other special services or children include vaccination, health screening, and immunization and they are provided to all children of 16 years and below. Local education authorities provide nursery, primary and secondary education while department of works and pensions provide benefits for children and families.

Informal carers

Non-paid individuals who take care people who cannot manage themselves because of disability, illness, or age. Carer may be neighbors, family member, or friend. Most carers are elderly people, children, or young people in poor health conditions. For example, an adult taking care of a parent with dementia, a condition characterized by memory loss because of old age, wife taking care of disabled partner, parent taking care of a child with learning disabilities or a child taking care of disabled or sick parent. Work of carers involves shopping and housework, helping an individual gets in and out of bed, helping in drinking, eating, washing, and dressing, helping an individual take medication and helping an individual with bathing or showering.

Approaches and interventions

  • Self-help
  • These groups are voluntary in nature. People who share a specific concern and who want to help individuals in similar situations set up these groups.

  • Direct action
  • When working with clients and their carers; health and social workers should pay attention to individualizing activities, dignity, respect, being sensitive to the client’s religious beliefs, spiritual and cultural identity. In addition, health or social work has to learn from the client’s life history and understand unique behavior to imply unmet need. Attention should be paid to non-verbal communication, positive, non-discriminatory language tailored to client’s ability.

  • Partnerships
  • Care trusts and local authorities works together in areas that overlap. This ensures that instead of many different professionals assessing the needs o a disabled person, one professional assesses and passes appropriate information to other body.

  • Evidence based practice
  • To improve diagnosis and management of dementia, practice-based workshops and decision-support software should be made available and used in primary health.

  • Advocacy
  • Health and social care professionals should inform people with dementia and their carers about advocacy services and voluntary support, and should encourage their use.

  • Risk management
  • Health and social care workers should determine their agencies’ definition of risk and formulate implementation protection plan that may involve working on the agency where appropriate. Explain management interventions, policies and at organizational and individual levels but with the relevant framework of law.

  • Therapeutic
  • Therapist utilizes variety of techniques and interventions to improve the emotional, leisure, cognitive, physical, social needs of clients. Therapist works with client,and their family members to improve their health condition. In addition, they help clients to develop behaviors, knowledge, and skills for community involvement and daily living. The goal of therapeutic approach is to rehabilitate, re mediate, or restore in order to improve independence and functioning and eradicate the effects of disability or illness.

Potential tensions

  • Knowledge of professional roles
  • Ignorance of the function and existence of other agencies and professions limits inter professional collaboration. Consequently, even an all-inclusive assessment is done, unless the concerned practitioners are conversant about the professional boundaries, role, and performance of other professions, those who may provide valuable contributions may not engage.

  • Willing participation
  • Unequal spread of benefit from an endeavor and lack of enough Inter professional experience working and may badly affect motivation to sustain joint efforts.

  • Confidence
  • Role overlap of professional boundaries may results in feelings of insecurity and anxiety and this weakens professional confidence. An individual with positive professional identity but with weak individual identity may negatively affect his confidence and ability to be self-confident in inter professional setting.

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