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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2009): Social care - overseas

The heroine and the capitalist: the profession's debate about the privatisation of Swedish social work

A.Liljegren, S. Höjer, and P. Dellgram

European Journal of Social Work, Vol. 11, 2008, p.195-208

Social welfare services in Sweden have experienced decentralisation, marketisation and privatisation. There has been extensive use of contracting out and public-private partnerships. Social workers have also begun to leave public employment and set up private practices. This article aims to analyse the professional debate over the privatisation of social work over the past two decades, identifying themes and arguments that have appeared in professional journals. It also analyses how the two major social work unions have responded to privatisation during this period.

Indigenous social work around the world: towards culturally relevant education and practice

M. Gray, J. Coates and M. Bird (editors)

Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008

The book brings together international scholars involved in both Western and indigenous social work across the globe to discuss some of the most significant global trends and issues relating to indigenous and cross-cultural social work. The contributors identify ways in which indigenization is shaping professional social work practice and education, and examine how social work can better address diversity in international exchanges and cross-cultural issues within and between countries. Key theoretical, methodological and service issues and challenges in the indigenization of social work are reviewed, including the way in which adaptation can lead to more effective practices within indigenous communities and emerging economies, and how adaptation can provide greater insight into cross-cultural understanding and practice.

Japan's long-tern care insurance

N. Ikegami

British Journal of Healthcare Management, vol. 14, 2008, p. 548-551

Providing healthcare free through the NHS while leaving social care to be paid for by the patient is becoming untenable in England. Japan was in the same position until the Long Term Care Insurance, which has proved very popular with the public, was introduced in 2000. Older people meeting national eligibility criteria are now guaranteed equal access to services. While costs did escalate, it proved possible to control expenditure by cutting entitlements for those with the two lowest levels of need.

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