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Abstract

Like Alice, the field of social work in general, and the social service delivery system in particular, seems to be going through a confusing state, lacking direction. Just as the Cat suggests to Alice that any direction would get her somewhere over time, so the diverse social service delivery systems(1) have, in recent years, moved off in a particular direction (methodologically) only to return to step one and then set off again. Various fads have seemed to provide the needed answers. In time, however, they served only to create a series of new questions with corresponding dilemmas.

In the last few years both the literature and practice have suggested that the integration of the service function would provide the long-sought methodological break-through. The instrument to attain the goal of integration would be multi-service delivery units of one form or another. It is the purpose of this paper to trace these developments and to examine scme of the problems inherent in multi-service delivery units as a mode of integration of the service delivery task.

The various approaches are presented here in a quasi historical and linear fashion, with one system following an another. In practice, the movement from one mode to another was neither as direct nor as rational. They are presented in this manner to try to underline the antecedinal relationship inherent in the search for an organization form which constitutes effective service delivery. Further, the models are by necessity generalizations of practice and my not fully describe any one setting. Still it is hoped one may derive a sense of the difficulties faced in the development of new operational types of service delivery.

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