Levine, Hal B.
August 2009
Social Policy Journal of New Zealand;Aug2009, Issue 36, p172
Academic Journal
Like most voluntary organisations, Barnardos New Zealand has faced a number of challenges as a result of changes in the way the Government funds social services. It found itself in economic difficulties as it scrambled for contracts and faced real doubts that the organisation would be able to sustain its founding mission of providing welfare services for children in New Zealand. Led by a new chief executive (CEO), Barnardos began an ambitious programme of renewal by integrating services. Seen as a way of countering fragmentation, service integration has a long history but an ambiguous record of success in bringing about its desired ends. This paper, based on interviewing and focus groups, looks at integrated services from the perspective of staff at Barnardos New Zealand. It reports their views on whether this particular restructuring exercise is something worth doing, how it is happening and how to advance it further. The article uses Bourdieu's critique of neoliberalism to put some of the doubts and expectations regarding integrated services here into a wider context. Uncertainties notwithstanding, service integration still has considerable appeal.


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