Service integration and co-ordination: a framework of approaches for the delivery of co-ordinated care to children with disabilities and their families
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This article clarifies the nature of 'service integration' and 'service co-ordination' and discusses how these aspects relate to the fundamental goal of providing co-ordinated care for children with disabilities and their families. Based on a review of the service delivery literatures in the fields of health, social services and rehabilitation, a framework is presented that outlines the scope of the co-ordination-related functions and activities encompassed in three common types of approaches to the delivery of co-ordinated care. These are a system/sector-based service integration approach, an agency-based service integration approach and a client/family-based service co-ordination approach. The functions outlined in the framework include aggregate-level planning of services (designed to map out the scope and plan for service provision in a community or geographical area), administrative functions (designed to ensure wise and equitable access to resources) and client-specific service delivery functions (designed to link clients/families to needed services). The framework is a tool that can be used to support policy making and decision making with respect to the design of efforts to provide co-ordinated care. It provides information about commonly used approaches and the essential elements of these approaches, which can be used in making choices about the scope and nature of an approach towards service integration/co-ordination.
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