Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (April 2006): Social care - overseas

Demanding quality: worker/consumer coalitions and “high road” strategies in the care sector

N. Folbre

Politics and Society, vol.34, 2006, p.11-31

Paid care services such as child care, teaching and nursing in the USA are subject to competitive pressures that can lead to low pay and poor quality services. Author proposes that care workers and care recipients should form an alliance to push for higher quality services at a greater cost.

J. Aronson and S.M. Neysmith

Work, Employment and Society, vol. 20, 2006, p.27-45

This paper considers the response of over 300 Canadian domiciliary care workers to being laid off when their non-profit employer could not compete in the local home care market and declared bankruptcy. Employees blamed their employer and their union for their predicament rather than the hidden hand of the government whose policies of creating a competitive market for home care services caused the firm to fail. The central lesson that they extracted from their employer’s collapse was profoundly individualising. They concluded that they could only count on themselves for survival in a precarious job market and needed to moderate or suppress their concern about declining care for elderly people. They judged that their employer and their union had betrayed them. Initially, some held the government responsible, but this proved hard to sustain as workers could find no focus for it, and protest evaporated.

E. Boris and J. Klein

Politics and Society, vol.34, 2006, p.81-107

Old age policy in the US from the 1960s to the 1990s led to the creation of a new army of home care workers funded by the state. These low paid workers eventually became unionised in the hope improving their terms and conditions of employment. Consequently, unions became supporters of increased public spending. User groups and movements also joined the political struggle for more spending on better services, making common cause with care workers.

What can we expect from paid carers?

G. Meagher

Politics and Society, vol.34, 2006, p.33-53

Traditionally caring has taken place within the family and has been motivated by love and filial piety. However, people in rich countries increasingly rely on paid care workers to look after their children and their aged parents. These will not be acting out of love and must be motivated by other means to provide good quality care. The author argues that such motivation could be provided by contractual obligations, a sense of professional duty or compassion.

Which congregations will take advantage of charitable choice? Explaining the pursuit of public funding by congregations

M.L. Owens

Social Science Quarterly, vol.86, 2006, p.55-75

Article explores how the attitudes of clergy influence the inclination of congregations to pursue public funding for the provision of social welfare services in the USA. Results show that a positive attitude towards partnerships between congregations and secular groups, a fear of government entanglement with religion, and concern about church-state separation are the most significant clergy attitudes that may influence congregation willingness to pursue public funding. The results also show that the racial composition and denominational affiliation of congregations also influence behaviour towards government funding.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web