Social care professionals

The main aim of social care is to enable individuals to live a comfortable and independent live as long as possible, supporting those who need a degree of additional physical and practice support. Its central role is the provision of care and support to children or adults in time of need, or elderly with needs emerging from illness or disability. Social care is provided by a range of different types of individuals and organisations. Informal carers represent the majority of providers of support to older people in their own homes. In addition, local authorities play an important role, primarily in terms of provision and assigning and meanwhile as commissioners of services from a variety of providers. Third sector and private organisations also have a key role in terms of social care, including both those who are charged by local authorities to provide this care and also those who are financed through self-funding or charity[1].

Across the SmartCare pilot regions a range of organisations providing social care are involved in service delivery. Although social care is often provided under the auspice of the municipalities, different provider organisations and staff may be involved, e.g. social workers, occupational therapists, dedicated home care organizations and social alarm centers.

Since the range of actors providing social care is wide, it is difficult to identify requirements or needs. A frequently mentioned problem is funding. The actors are often in a challenging monetary situation and can’t provide their services to the extent that is needed or expected. In order to solve this financial problem it is necessary to improve the efficiency. In connection with SmartCare, this implies particularly an improvement in the usage of ICT.

[1] Helen Dickinson, K. A., Pete Alcock, Rob Macmillan, Jon Glasby (2012). The Role of the Third Sector in Delivering Social Care. London, School for Social Care Research.