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Title: "We are probably Wales' best kept secret" : an exploration of the role of Care & Repair Cymru caseworkers in facilitating independent living for older people in Wales
Author: Wolton, Joanna L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7657 7367
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2018
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Wales has an increasing number of older people, who typically have complex healthcare needs, and a diminishing pool of family members available to provide informal care. Care & Repair Cymru are funded by Welsh Government to facilitate independent living at home and their Caseworker service plays an important role in achieving this. However, to date there have been no empirical studies that have examined the individuals who deliver the Caseworker service. The rationale underpinning this research is to fill a knowledge gap about how Caseworkers are acting as link agents to facilitate independent living for older people ageing in place in Wales. It is grounded in a policy context of welfare retrenchment and the promotion of partnership working. An exploratory sequential mixed methods approach was adopted to examine the patterns of interactions between Caseworkers across Care & Repair Cymru agencies in Wales, their professional links with external organisations and the relationships they develop with their clients. Data was gathered from four study populations using self-completion questionnaires, individual face-to-face interviews and focus groups. Social network analysis, bivariate statistical analyses and thematic analysis were used to map and interpret data. In sum, the thesis found that Caseworkers represent a highly specialised workforce, playing a key role as link agents in facilitating independent living for older people who live at home. As an interpretive framework, social capital, human capital and emotion work theories help us to understand the sum of competencies that Caseworkers have developed and draw upon to work collaboratively in achieving this objective. Findings show that the context in which Caseworkers are operating (including agency location and certain issues encountered as part of delivering services) influences how they link with others to deliver services.
Supervisor: Hillcoat-Nallétamby, Sarah ; Burholt, Vanessa Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available