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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2007): Social care - overseas

How to develop a research culture in a human services organization: integrating research and practice with service and policy development

F. Gardner and C. Nunan

Qualitative Social Work, vol.6, 2007, p. 335-351

Human service organisations are being expected to develop increasingly sophisticated understanding and use of research and evaluation by government and non-government funding bodies. Such research and evaluation are seen as a condition of funding for specific projects. This article explores La Trobe University Social Work Department's experience of seeking to generate a research culture in St Luke's Anglicare, a major human service organisation covering the Loddon Mallee region of Victoria, Australia, through a collaborative action research project.

Is there really a Scandinavian social service model? A comparison of childcare and elderly care in six European countries

D. Rauch

Acta Sociologica, vol.50, 2007, p. 249-269

In recent years, the idea of a unique Scandinavian social service model has found widespread acceptance in comparative social policy. Two aspects of this model are stressed: its universalism and its capacity to facilitate gender equality by means of defamilialisation of care tasks. The analyses in this paper cast doubt on this view. Results show that only Denmark achieves high coverage levels in both public childcare and elder care provision. In Norway elder care coverage is high and childcare coverage relatively low; in Sweden the opposite is true. At the same time France and the Netherlands in part exceed Scandinavian countries in universal service provision. In terms of defamilialisation, again only Denmark reaches high levels in both service fields. Sweden, Norway and France have an above average value in one of the two service fields and a below average value in the other. In the Netherlands, care defamilialisation capacity is low in childcare and slightly below average in elder care.

Keeping our word

F. De Luca

Professional Social Work, Sept. 2007, p. 12-13

The author argues that the International Millennium Development Goals aimed at reducing poverty, hunger and disease adopted by the United Nations are central to social work values. The profession needs to campaign continuously for the achievement of these goals. This article summarises progress to date and identifies challenges faced in achieving the vision.

The prospects for caring: economic theory and policy analysis

S. Himmelweit

Cambridge Journal of Economics, vol. 31, 2007, p. 581-599

This theoretical paper examines the implications of three distinguishing features of caring that are not easily encompassed in traditional economic thinking. Firstly, care is the development of a relationship, not the production of an output; this has implications for the extent to which productivity in caring can rise without affecting its quality. Secondly, care needs, responsibilities for meeting them and the resources to do so are unequally distributed and tend not to go together; this has implications for the extent to which public provision of care or support for carers will be required if socially determined care needs are to be met. Thirdly, social and personal norms, which vary across societies, affect perceptions of who is seen to need care, who has responsibility for meeting those needs, and how care should be delivered; this has implications for how family members are currently cared for in different countries and the political consensus about when and how the state should be involved in ensuring that different types of care needs are met.

Social work in Pakistan: preliminary insights

J.R. Graham, A. Al-Krenawi and S. Zaidi

International Social Work, vol. 50, 2007, p. 627-640

The social work profession emerged in Western Europe and North America in the early twentieth century and was transplanted into colonised countries in the inter-war years. After World War II schools of social work proliferated in developing countries, but their teaching was based on Western cultural assumptions. Social work as practiced in the developing world is therefore incompatible with cultural, economic, political and social realities. Little is known about current efforts to make social work in Pakistan culturally responsive to the communities that it serves. This article provides some insights from interviews with seven practitioners with longstanding experience of social work in Pakistan.

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