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Improving engagement with social services : a service ecosystems approach
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by J Foote, J Finsterwalder, Andrew FrostAndrew Frost, G Nicholas, V Baker, S Carswell, M Hepi, MO Hinerangi, T Taueetia-Su'a, Annabel TaylorAnnabel Taylor
A key challenge for social policy makers and service providers is to enable constructive engagement between the social services and the‘hard to reach’ individuals and collectives in order to reduce disparities and enhance individual and population wellbeing. The concept of ‘hard to reach’ (Boag-Munroe & Evangelou, 2012) refers to those who are deemed to be in need of social service or health intervention but, for whatever reasons, do not access services or do not engage constructively with services. The New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovationand Employment (MBIE) is helping address this issue through its “Health and Society” Research Investment Funding. It has awarded a three-year contract for the research reported in this paper, to strengthen ways for social services to engage with families/ whānau and individuals (Foote etal., 2014). The project comprises three case studies, cross-case analysis, development of a provisional model of critical success factors for improving uptake of services in relation to ‘hard to reach’ populations, testing and refining the model, and dissemination of findings in the social service sector. The aim is to develop a model that will guide the design and evaluation of services in ways that support ‘hard to reach’ populations to connect with and take up services in ways that improve outcomes for families/whānau.