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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Intake procedure in social assistance administration : a study of the casework implications of intake, based on four comparative intake procedures in social service settings and the City Social Service Department of Vancouver Hawkes, Ronald Ernest


This study involves a definition of sound intake procedure and an analysis of the presently established intake procedure in the Vancouver City Social Service Department. The focus of the enquiry is the effectiveness of the intake procedure in meeting the needs of clients who make application for social assistance. The effectiveness is measured in terms of study, diagnosis, and treatment, and the need for skilled case handling at the first point of contact between agency and applicant. Five types of intake cases are distinguished and illustrated. The referral process is studied as a secondary focus, three types of referral being distinguished. Material for the study was gathered from current texts and articles on comparative intake procedures, interviews with the administrator, unit directors and workers of the City Social Service Department, interviews with the directors of hospital and T.B. social service departments, and by the analysis of representative and illustrative case material. This study substantiates the belief that casework can and should be done in a public welfare programme. It also shows through case analysis that casework is required at the intake level, and the success of intake procedure depends upon the employ of skilled and qualified social caseworkers. Other matters determining the success of intake procedure are suitable office environment for the public, adequate stenographic aid for the social workers, skilled use of interviewing time, and sound referral process. Many problems exist which prevent maximum service to clients. Solutions to these problems are possible without major change in the administration, structure, or budget, and are implications for policy change. The study finally indicates the need for more adequate interpretation of policy change to the city council and to the community if the public assistance programme is to enjoy public sympathy and understanding.

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