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Welfare Reform on the Web (December 2011): Social care - overseas

Citizens' participation and community orientation: indicators of social sustainability of rural welfare services

A.-L. Matthies, M. Kattilakoski and N. Rantamäki

Nordic Social Work Research, vol.1, 2011, p. 125-139

Due to the introduction of New Public Management, the adoption of the Lisbon Strategy of the EU, and a general neoliberal turn in national policies, significant changes are taking place in Finnish welfare services. In this context the KAMPA project is seeking to strengthen welfare services in Finnish rural areas through citizen participation. Debates in local citizens' forums reveal scope for the project to foster renewed democratic governance of social services at the local level, greater involvement of and respect for service users, and a new role for citizens as co-producers of services, especially in the form of village co-operatives.

Does country influence the health burden of informal care? An international comparison between Belgium and Great Britain

C. Dujardin and others

Social Science and Medicine, vol. 73, 2011, p. 1123-1132

Informal caregivers are people providing assistance to sick and disabled family members or friends. Providing informal care has been identified as a challenge to the health of caregivers themselves. This study aims to determine whether the association between provision of informal care and the health status of caregivers is affected by the country of residence. Two European countries, Belgium and Britain, are compared by matching a subset of areas from Britain with areas in Belgium that are demographically and socioeconomically similar. Results suggest that, although caregiving is more prevalent in Britain, the health burden associated with heavy caregiving activities is lower in Britain than in Belgium. This may be explained by better targeting of home care support services in Britain than in Belgium.

Human rights in social work: an essential basis

E. Reichert

Journal of Comparative Social Welfare, vol.27, 2011, p. 207-220

Until recently, the social work profession in the United States has been reluctant to integrate human rights principles and concepts within social work training. However, since 2008 the Council for Social Work Education has mandated the integration of human rights into curricula of US schools of social work. A major difficulty with integrating human rights into the profession resides in a lack of understanding of what human rights actually mean. This article defines human rights and discusses their meaning for social workers.

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