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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2007): Social care - overseas

Comparing the policy response to violence against women in the USA and South Korea

J.L. Postmus and S.A. Hahn

International Social Work, vol. 50, 2007, p. 770-782

Enormous challenges exist as policymakers and advocates struggle with how to address the problem of domestic violence. Western countries such as the UK and the USA have pioneered policies and services for battered women over the past 30 years. Other countries with different cultures such as South Korea struggle with addressing the problem of domestic violence while still holding true to their values and beliefs. This article analyses and compares the policies specifically instituted in the USA and South Korea to address domestic violence through the US Violence Against Women Act and the Korean Domestic Violence and Victim Protection Act.

Emerging practices of social work in the Dominican Republic: the protection of women and children's safety

H. Parada, K. Moffatt and M. Duval

International Social Work, vol. 50, 2007, p. 755-769

In the Dominican Republic a comprehensive social welfare infrastructure has been created that includes government ministries and agencies for women's issues, child welfare and criminal justice. At the same time, a framework of social legislation and social policies focused on promoting the well-being of citizens is being consolidated. However, although the infrastructure exists, concrete practice interventions have not been well developed. This article describes the development of a culturally sensitive social work training programme at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo focused on the protection of women and children.

From subsidiary to 'free choice': child- and elder-care policy reforms in France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands

N. Morel

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 41, 2007, p. 618-637

This article aims to examine the process of reform and restructuring in Bismarckian or 'conservative corporatist' welfare systems. Based on a comparison of France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, the author seeks to draw out the impact of the specific nature of Bismarckian welfare state institutions on the nature and timing of reform trajectories in childcare and elder care policies implemented since the late 1980s. Care policies were used during the 1980s and early 1990s to reinforce the male breadwinner model of family life that characterises Bismarckian countries. In the late 1990s, when low employment rates became widely seen as the key problem threatening the sustainability of these welfare states, care policies were used to raise female employment levels. There was a U-turn in the role assigned to women, who are now expected to work as well as care.

Learning from the experiences of ethnic minorities accessing HIV services in Ireland

M. Foreman and H. Hawthorne

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 37, 2007, p. 1153-1172

Since the mid-1990s Ireland has become more culturally diverse through an influx of immigrants, many from outside of the European Union. It is important that these changes are reflected in the provision of culturally sensitive health and social work services. This is especially relevant to HIV services, where there has been an increase in diversity among those testing HIV positive. This paper reports on the findings of two studies by Irish social workers on migrants and HIV. It points out that unless properly supported, those living with HIV may find it difficult to disclose their status and highlights the importance of tackling HIV stigma. It concludes with a call for the provision of training to enable social workers to deliver culturally appropriate services.

'Not another form!': lessons for implementing carer assessment in health and social services agencies

N. Guberman and others

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 15, 2007, p. 577-587

The issue of carer assessment is becoming increasingly prominent in policy, practice and academic literature worldwide. However, there is little research literature on the implementation and use of carer assessment in practice settings. This article, based on findings from three studies involving the use of CARE (Caregivers' Aspirations, Realities and Expectations) Assessment tool in Canada and the USA, considers enhancers and barriers to implementing carer assessment. Four themes emerged as issues for implementation: integration of the carer assessment tool with other tools, ensuring training and ongoing supervision, work organisation and resources required for carer assessment, and logistical questions.

Social and economic justice, human rights and peace: the challenge for social work in Canada and the USA

C. Lundy and K. van Wormer

International Social Work, vol. 50, 2007, p.727-739

The current context of economic globalisation, armed conflicts, retrenchment of social welfare systems and growing social and economic inequality within and between countries underscores the importance of an approach to social work practice based on social justice and human rights. This article explores the concept of social and economic justice and addresses challenges facing social workers in the USA and Canada in adopting a human rights perspective in their practice. Such a perspective recognises that structural inequalities and injustices prevent individuals from overcoming the problems they face.

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