ABSTRACT

Chapter 5 is the first of three chapters that explain the regional variation in policy implementation on alternative care. Chapter 5 focuses on regional variation of resources, divided into external and internal resources.

There is regional variation in the physical geography in which the child guidance centres (CGCs) work, as well as the political attention given to alternative care and social work in each local authority. There is also regional variation in the capacity of the care providers, that is in institutions and foster care. As well as variation in the capacity of care there is regional variation in the need for alternative care and the social workers’ evaluation of the quality of available care.

There is also regional variation in the capacity of the CGC, understood here as internal capacity. Again, there are differences in both the quantity and quality of available resources. Some CGCs have taken steps to cultivate and retain expertise, others have outsourced critical tasks related to foster care to the institutions whose business is threatened by the development of foster care. Senior managers are understood as being critically important in understanding the differences between local authorities.