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),).