Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2010): Social care - overseas

The ethics of control

C. Beckett (guest editor)

Ethics and Social Welfare, vol.3, 2009, p. 229-321

Social welfare practitioners are in many cases exercising control over involuntary service users, who have no choice other than to work with them. However, there has been little discussion within the professions about the ethical issues involved. The articles in this special issue aim to encourage practitioners to engage with ethical issues which arise from the exercise of control over clients. They explore:

  • The ways in which Swedish volunteers and social workers reconcile their involvement in control with their desire to see themselves as helpful and supportive
  • The experiences of Approved Social Workers in the UK with powers to apply for the compulsory detention of people who are mentally ill
  • The coercive powers used in child protection work in the USA
  • The coercive powers which in English law are used in an attempt to regulate or change 'street culture'
  • The shift in Norwegian social policy towards a 'contractualist approach', based on supposed mutual obligations between welfare provision recipients and the state

International social work policy and practice: practical insights and perspectives

C. Tice and D. Long (editors)

Chichester: Wiley, 2009

In order for social and economic justice to flourish globally, a greater understanding of global practice and policy efforts is essential for today's professionals in the human services. This book presents practice and policy concerns in a country-by-country format including Peru, Mongolia, Portugal, Malawi, Costa Rica, and South Africa. Engaging examples of social work practice and policy appear in each chapter. Contributions by professionals who have worked in agencies in various countries are included providing insights about the unique struggles and strengths of those in countries around the world and offering intriguing firsthand observations and perspectives on the relevance of social work's leadership role in grappling with the human elements and challenges associated with globalization.

Patterns of informal help and caregiving in Sweden: a thirteen-year perspective

M. Jegermalm and E.J. Grassman

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 43, 2009, p. 681-701

This article analyses informal help and caregiving in Sweden, with a focus on trends over time. The discussion is based on the results of three national surveys and one survey conducted in the county of Stockholm. The results indicate that informal help and caregiving were common throughout the period under study. In the 1990s the figures were fairly stable, while from the late 1990s to 2005 there seems to have been a dramatic increase in the prevalence of such support. Two possible interpretations of this pattern are discussed. The first attributes the change to cuts in welfare services which put more pressure on people to provide informal care. The second interpretation associates the change with current debates on the role of civil society, which encourage citizen involvement as good in its own right.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web