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Comparative social care policies (uk to be compared with either sweden,france,germany,norway,denmark or holland) - Essay Example

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Comparative social care policies (uk to be compared with either sweden,france,germany,norway,denmark or holland)

The ageing of the population poses a remarkable challenge to all European welfare states and here the question of care becomes fundamental. Also the many changes taking place in family structures e.g., the increasing divorce rate, the growing number of children born out of marriage, the decreasing proportion of older people living together with their children, all generate new social assemblage where care has to be arranged in new ways. The high participation of women in paid work has contributed to changing care from 'just a women's business' to a major issue of public social policies. A functioning labor market presupposes functioning care arrangements. Even if a welfare state does not itself directly supply a broad variety and coverage of care services, it still remains responsible for providing the required support and guiding to enable families, voluntary and commercial organizations to provide the care that is needed.( Thomas ,1993)(1)
Recently, it has become widely recognized that social care policies affect in various field of life of the people -children, family, workers, elderly people, disables, health of the people, education etc -whether it is globally or it is related to the particular countries. Wherever they exist, flexible care services are a major support for the reconciliation of work and family responsibilities. Under these circumstances, we shall analyse some of the fields where the social care policies applied by the government of UK and also we shall scrutinize how these policies differ from other European countries. To better understand, we shall take up the European country of Sweden to compare with UK.

Child care and Fostering

In Europe it is considered that the major cross-national differences are related to the extensiveness of the public sector role; the predominance of the education, health and social welfare systems in delivering the services; the proportion of children of different ages served by these programs; whether services are limited to the children of working
mothers; and the quality of the childcare provided. (Kamerman (1991, 180),)(2)
1. Thomas, Carol, (1993) Deconstructing Concepts of Care. Sociology 27 (4), 649-669
2. Kamerman, Sheila B. & Alfred J. Kahn (eds.) (1991) Child Care, Parental Leave and the Under 3s: Policy Innovation in Europe. Auburn House, Westport

If we analyze that there is a considerable difference in provision for children ages 3 to 5 compared with that for children fewer than 3. Concerning the older age group, since there is a stipulation, the pre-school program has become almost universal in Europe (Kamerman & Kahn 1991, 201) (3) But there are differences between different European nations. Like (a) the pre-school model has dominated continental Europe, providing kindergartens and nursery schools and operating largely under educational auspices. (b) In Sweden, there has been a free-standing, autonomous, ...Show more


The 1990s saw social care becoming generally understood as an essential object for sociological and social policy research. The social care has become recognized as a basic element of the contemporary society that is in close connection to many major social issues like gender relations, family change and labor market development…
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Comparative social care policies (uk to be compared with either sweden,france,germany,norway,denmark or holland) essay example
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