Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2006): Social care - Overseas

The American welfare state decoded: uncovering the neglected history of public-private partnerships: a case study of homeless and relief services in New York City: 1920s and 1990s

D. Oakley

City and Community, vol.5, 2006, p.243-267

In America there is a long history of partnership between governmental agencies and private charities in the delivery of social welfare services going back to colonial times. The pattern which emerged long before the creation of the federally sponsored welfare system involved local and state governments funding charities to deliver services. This article presents a case study of New York City, examining public-private partnerships in the delivery of welfare services both before (up to 1934) and after (1935 and beyond) the emergence of national programmes. It explores three questions: 1) what was the public-private organisation arrangement in the delivery of welfare services prior to the expanded federal government role initiated with the New Deal Legislation of the mid 1930s?; 2) how has the arrangement changed since?; and 3) how dependent have private organisations become on government funding?

Caring for people or caring for proxy consumers?

M. Vabø

European Societies, vol.8, 2006, p.403-422

Drawing on case study data from 1995, this article describes the established practices of Norwegian municipal home care groups and the way in which care-giving staff interacted and negotiated with recipients. Later case study data from 2000 show how these practices have been affected by structural changes introduced to promote consumer choice. A key element in the new structure is the introduction of proxy consumers, ie a new intermediate purchasing function acting on behalf of the consumer. The paper demonstrates how contractual arrangements implemented on behalf of the consumer run counter to established practices based on personal trust and negotiation.

Consumers in charge of care: the Dutch personal budget and its impact on the market, professionals and the family

M. Kremer

European Societies, vol.8, 2006, p.385-401

In the Netherlands, individuals in need of long-term care at home are given a Personal Budget which allows them to employ a personal carer. It was hoped that this reform would stimulate a market in home care provision. In practice, this market has not yet emerged. In practice, most budget holders employ a family member to look after them. However, this may prevent people with caring responsibilities from developing their own careers. Another problem with Personal Budgets is that they undermine the process of professionalisation of care workers, who have less access to training and development than they would have if employed by a firm. This may adversely affect the quality of care in the long term.

Informal care in Sweden: a typology of care and caregivers

M. Jegermalm

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol.15, 2006, p.332-343

Data were collected in a Swedish county in 2000 by means of telephone interviews. The net sample consisted of 2,697 individuals aged 18-84 and the response rate was 61%. The results showed that women were much more likely than men to be involved in provision of personal care in combination with other tasks. Men were more likely to provide some kind of practical help for a mother or a neighbour/friend. Even though the Swedish welfare state has been described as universal and is characterised by an extensive system of benefits and services designed to cover the entire population, these results show that informal care plays an important role and that the gender role patterns are similar to those observed in other types of welfare state.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web