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Home level bureaucracy: moving beyond the 'street' to uncover the ways that place shapes the ways that community public health nurses implement domestic abuse policy

Home level bureaucracy: moving beyond the 'street' to uncover the ways that place shapes the ways that community public health nurses implement domestic abuse policy

Sociology of health & illness 41(7): 1426-1443

ISSN/ISBN: 0141-9889

PMID: 31241189

DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.12968

Street-level bureaucracy is an increasingly useful way to understand how strategic policy is implemented in day-to-day practice. This approach has uncovered the ways that individual health and social care practitioners work within institutional constraints to influence policy implementation at the micro-level. Nonetheless, despite the diversity of settings where these street-level bureaucrats (SLBs) work, little attention has been focused on the impact of place on policy delivery. This paper draws on empirical research to examine the ways that delivering government domestic abuse policy in the intimate space of the family home shapes the delivery of strategic policy in the everyday. Drawing on qualitative research with Health Visitors (HVs) in the UK in 2016, the study findings illuminate the ways that the material, socio-spatial and idealised boundaries of the family home shape the implementation of policy. Key themes in the HV's narratives emerged as they described themselves as both a danger and in danger in the family home. In challenging the ontological security of the home (Giddens 1990) - privacy, security and control are key concepts here - HVs described how they shape their actions to achieve policy outcomes while simultaneously managing threats to the home, to professional identity and to self.

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Accession: 069092393

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