13 Critical Soc. Pol'y 4 (1993-1994)

handle is hein.journals/critsplcy13 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Towards an explanation of the
corruption of care



  The last 20 years have seen a long series of scandals in long-stay
  hospitals, children's homes, elderly person's homes and other caring
  institutions. There have been many lengthy enquiries, but there has
  been no attempt at a generalised exploration of why it is that caring
  services and institutions 'go wrong'.
  In  this article, we attempt an explanation of what we call the corrup-
  tion of care. We set out eight propositions about systems and patterns
  of organisation which we see as playing apart in this corruption. Each
  proposition is illustrated by evidence from researcha) on the pindown
  scandal. The focus of the paper is primarily on explaining the corrup-
  tion of care. We use pindown simply because of the topicality and
  importance of that issue and because one of us (JW) had  been
  researchin&in that area.

In recent years, there has been a rapidly developing interest in the issue
of quality in public services. What is missing in this literature, however,
is any discussion of why public service organisations 'go wrong'. That
they do is all too apparent. There is the long sequence of scandals in
long-stay hospitals. There have been scandals in particular children's
homes  - for example Kincora in Northern Ireland - and homes  for
elderly people - for example Nye Bevan Lodge in Southwark. There
has been a series of law cases and inquiries in social services depart-
ments which have revealed abuse and other practices which would be
deemed  unacceptable by professional opinion.
  The  important question for students of social policy and for policy-
makers is how such things happen. How do institutions, organisations
and staff, supposedly committed to an ethic of care and respect for
others, become 'corrupted' and abuse their power and their clients?
  The corruption which occurs is of various kinds. Our aim is a general


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