First published in 1999, this book examines recent developments in the application of chaos and complexity theory to the applied social sciences and the implications for the government planning of social care services. The study argues that there are fundamental limitations to traditional government political and managerial planning structures. Chaos and complexity theory shows that the effects of time and space are critical aspects for planners to consider. Small changes in isolated social or individual factors can have larger scale effects on the future validity of a policy programme. In particular, rigid linear statistical calculations like the Government Standard Spending Assessment can undermine the ability of local authorities to make realistic plans. It is proposed that government political strategies and managerial methods of analysis need to better understand the complexity of information available to them. New political and institutional typologies are required if planning activity is to evolve to be of optimal social value.
Table of Contents
1. Planning in the Public Sector. 2. Complexity Theory, Social Science and Social Planning. 3. The Evolution of Personal Social Services Planning. 4. An Analysis of Community Care Plans. 5. Planning and the Social Care Market. 6. The Planning of Need and Demand. 7. Demand Side Planning and Equity. 8. Conclusion: A Complex Method for Planning.
’This book is much more than a well-grounded analytical description of community care planning and statistical analyzes of need and demand and grant formulae. It describes and applies interesting new theoretical tools, chaos and complexity theory. In doing so, it provides a new and valuable perspective for a more complex world in which old conceptualizations of planning are of diminishing use.’ Professor Bleddyn Davies, Unit Director, PSSRU, University of Kent at Canterbury, UK ’...a challenging but fascinating read. The analysis draws on extensive and detailed source material, which is handled confidently and with authority. For anyone engaged in planning or managing community care provision, or interested in the relationship between social care and public policy, or just wondering where it is all leading, this will be a worthwhile read.’ British Journal of Social Work