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

Effect of a subsidy policy on the utilization of community care services under a public long-term care insurance program in rural Japan

M. Sato and others

Health Policy, vol.77, 2006, p.43-50

Japan introduced public long-term care insurance (LTCI) covering all residents aged 40 and above in 2000. Following a single national protocol, a Local Care Needs Assignment Committee, managed by a municipal insurer, periodically decides whether a beneficiary aged 65 or over meets the care eligibility criteria. Beneficiaries are required to make a 10% co-payment for each service used. Prior to the establishment of LTCI, publicly funded formal care had been provided free to those with little family support and/or a low income. In order to reduce the economic burden on those who had previously enjoyed free community care services, government introduced a transitional subsidy which reduced the level of co-payment for home care from 10% to 3%. A review of claim records for October to December 2001indicated that the interim subsidy for low-income claimants resulted in service over-use and substitution of home help services for other community services such as adult day care.

Perspectives on social care practice in Romania: supporting the development of professional learning and practice

K. Crawford, J. Walker and M. Granescu

British Journal of Social Work, vol.36, 2006, p.485-498

This paper examines the authors’ experiences of developing and delivering training for social workers in Romania through a European Union PHARE funded project. In particular it outlines the challenges for practitioners in integrating and embedding new ideas and concepts within their practice. This has been linked to the relative powerlessness of practitioners, related to the history of the totalitarian communist regime and the challenges they face in re-inventing their profession. It is suggested that the learning and development of Romanian social workers could be supported by the encouragement of participatory networks and communities of practice.

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