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Welfare reform on the Web (February 2007): Social care - overseas

A caring society?: care and the dilemmas of human service in the twenty-first century

M. D. Fine

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007

The book reviews contemporary debates and disputes about care in advanced liberal democracies and examines the implications of the transformation of care from a private concern to a public issue. In this discussion of care, issues of gender and the comparative economic efficiency and effectiveness of different approaches are central concerns. They are accompanied by concerns about the impact of the demography of ageing societies, by moral concerns for family caregivers and the rights of care recipients, and increasingly by concerns about the impact of innovations in medicine and bio-technology. The book concludes that in order to achieve a more caring society in the future care should be promoted as a foundational principle of citizenship and social solidarity.

Home-care programmes for older adults with disabilities in Canada: how can we assess the adequacy of services provided compared with the needs of users?

M. Tousignant and others

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol.15, 2007, p.1-7

The need for home-care in Canada is expected to grow over the next decade due in part to changes in the health system, with shorter hospital stays and more day surgery. This study aimed to describe the functional autonomy profile of users of public home care programmes in Quebec and see if services provided met their needs. The ratio of hours of service provided to the hours required by home care users highlights a discrepancy between service provision and user needs. Based on these results, home care services in Quebec appear to be under-funded.

International perspectives on social work: global conditions and local practice

K. Lyons, K. Manion and M Carlsen

Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006

The process of globalization and its effects have meant that social work professionals need to review their services in the light of international events and perspectives. For some, this involves working in international settings, but for many, it means incorporating international perspectives into local practice. The book offers a comprehensive introduction to these new ways of thinking about the purpose and scope of social work. The first part examines three broad theoretical concepts – globalization, inequality and loss. Part II illustrates different forms of interconnectedness between the global and the local, including:

  • Conflicts within and between communities
  • Natural and forced migration (including trafficking)
  • The exploitation of children
  • The global spread of disease

and shows how these play out in social work settings around the world.

Working with “Diverse Bodies, Diverse Identities”: an approach to professional education about “diversity”

H. D’Cruz

International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol.11, 2007, p.35-57

Population complexity and diversity in contemporary Western societies such as the UK and Australia are attributed to post-war and post-colonial immigration and to increased recognition of the place of indigenous people who have been displaced due to colonisation. The concept of “diversity” has come to represent cultural, ethnic, racial, language and religious differences between the “dominant group” and immigrant and indigenous populations. “Diversity training” is amongst many strategies being used to address social and economic objectives in complex societies. This paper discusses and evaluates a professional education programme, “Diverse Bodies, Diverse Identities” that is offered to human service practitioners and social work students in Victoria, Australia.

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