Document Detail

The ideal of consumer choice in social services: challenges with implementation in an Ontario injured worker vocational retraining programme.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23614377     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract Purpose: Social service programmes that offer consumer choices are intended to guide service efficiency and customer satisfaction. However, little is known about how social service consumers actually make choices and how providers deliver such services. This article details the practical implementation of consumer choice in a Canadian workers' compensation vocational retraining programme. Method: Discourse analysis was conducted of in-depth interviews and focus groups with 71 injured workers and service providers, who discussed their direct experience of a vocational retraining system. Data also included procedural, policy and administrative documents. Results: Consumer choice included workers being offered choices about some service aspects, but not being able to exercise meaningful discretion. Programme cost objectives and restrictive rules and bureaucracy skewed the guidance provided to workers by service providers. If workers did not make the "right" choices, then the service providers were required to make choices for them. This upset workers and created tension for service providers. Conclusions: The ideal of consumer choice in a social service programme was difficult to enact, both for workers and service providers. Processes to increase quality of guidance to social service consumers and to create a systematic feedback look between system designers and consumers are recommended. Implications for Rehabilitation Consumer choice is an increasingly popular concept in social service systems. Vocational case managers can have their own administrative needs and tensions, which do not always align with the client's choices. Rehabilitation programmes need to have processes for considering what choices are important to clients and the resources to support them.
Ellen Maceachen; Agnieszka Kosny; Sue Ferrier; Katherine Lippel; Cynthia Neilson; Renee-Louise Franche; Diana Pugliese
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-4-25
Journal Detail:
Title:  Disability and rehabilitation     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1464-5165     ISO Abbreviation:  Disabil Rehabil     Publication Date:  2013 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-4-25     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9207179     Medline TA:  Disabil Rehabil     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Institute for Work & Health , Toronto , Canada .
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From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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