Multiple Exclusion Homelessness and adult social care in England: Exploring the challenges through a researcher-practitioner partnership

Karl Mason, Michelle Cornes, Rachael Dobson, Andy Meakin, Bruno Ornelas, Martin Whiteford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper describes the early progress that is being made to implement the Care Act, 2014 in England with regard to the care and support needs of people who are homeless. It outlines exploratory discussions that were generated through a series of interprofessional ‘community of practice’ meetings. These meetings highlighted practice challenges and emerging strategies to overcome them, from the perspective of both local authority social workers and homelessness practitioners. Three main themes emerged and we discuss these under context related headings: (i) legal change, (ii) homelessness and (iii) the local authority as an organisation. In summary, homelessness practitioners spoke about efforts to become legally literate in order to support people who are homeless to access adult social care. They reported that they often encountered barriers or fragmented responses. Statutory social workers spoke about encountering homelessness as an atypical form of vulnerability and grappling with how their needs relate to the new eligibility framework alongside significant budgetary pressure. The findings link strongly with theoretical strands around the nature of legal literacy, constructions of vulnerability and the impact of austerity on ‘street level bureaucracies’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-14
Number of pages12
JournalResearch, Policy and Planning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2018


  • Care Act, 2014
  • Homelessness
  • social work
  • Eligibility
  • Adult social care

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