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Policies and experiences in international perspective
Editors: Teppo Kröger and Sue Yeandle

As populations age around the world, increasing efforts are required from both families and governments to secure care and support for older and disabled people.At the same time both women and men are expected to increase and lengthen their participation in paid work, which makes combining caring and working a burning issue for social and employment policy and economic sustainability.

International discussion about the reconciliation of work and care has previously focused mostly on childcare. Combining paid work and family care widens the debate, bringing into discussion the experiences of those providing support to their partners, older relatives and disabled or seriously ill children. The book analyses the situations of these working carers in Nordic, liberal and East Asian welfare systems. Highlighting what can be learned from individual experiences, the book analyses the changing welfare and labour market policies which shape the lives of working carers in Finland, Sweden, Australia, England, Japan and Taiwan.

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Through Nordic lenses

Children and families are at the heart of social work all over the world, but, until now Nordic perspectives have been rare in the body of English-language child welfare literature. Is there something that makes child welfare ideas and practices that are in use in the Nordic countries characteristically ‘Nordic’? If so, what kinds of challenges do the current globalization trends pose for Nordic child welfare practices, especially for social work with children and families?

Covering a broad range of child welfare issues, this edited collection provides examples of Nordic approaches to child welfare, looking at differences between Nordic states as well as the similarities. It considers, and critically examines, the particular features of the Nordic welfare model - including universal social care services that are available to all citizens and family policies that promote equality and individuality - as a resource for social work with children and families. Drawing on contemporary research and debates from different Nordic countries, the book examines how social work and child welfare politics are produced and challenged as both global and local ideas and practices.

"Social work and child welfare politics" is aimed at academics and researchers in social work, childhood studies, children’s policy and social policy, as well as social work practitioners, policy makers and service providers, all over the world who are interested in Nordic experiences of providing care and welfare for families with children.

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As populations age around the world, increasing efforts are required from families and governments to secure care and support for older and disabled people. At the same time women and men are expected to increase and lengthen their participation in paid work, making combining caring and working a critical issue for social and employment policy and economic sustainability. This book widens the international debate, previously focused primarily on childcare, to explore the experiences of people of working age who support their partners, older relatives or a child with a disability or serious illness. The focus is on the situations of working carers in different welfare systems: Nordic (Finland, Sweden), liberal democratic (Australia, England) and East Asian (Japan, Taiwan). The book opens with two chapters which delineate the main features of the demographic, labour market and care challenges facing each of the six countries considered. It then presents in nine comparative chapters comparative analysis of the demand for care, the policy context in which family care is provided by people of working age and the personal and familial impact of doing so. These chapters each explore evidence from two countries, drawing on both existing datasets and new empirical material, highlighting what can be learned from individual experiences, considering the direction of policy change and the influences upon it, and summarising key outcomes for working carers. The editors’ concluding chapter considers convergence and differentiation in work - care reconciliation policy and practice, noting the influence of both common challenges and cultural preferences.

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As populations age around the world, increasing efforts are required from families and governments to secure care and support for older and disabled people. At the same time women and men are expected to increase and lengthen their participation in paid work, making combining caring and working a critical issue for social and employment policy and economic sustainability. This book widens the international debate, previously focused primarily on childcare, to explore the experiences of people of working age who support their partners, older relatives or a child with a disability or serious illness. The focus is on the situations of working carers in different welfare systems: Nordic (Finland, Sweden), liberal democratic (Australia, England) and East Asian (Japan, Taiwan). The book opens with two chapters which delineate the main features of the demographic, labour market and care challenges facing each of the six countries considered. It then presents in nine comparative chapters comparative analysis of the demand for care, the policy context in which family care is provided by people of working age and the personal and familial impact of doing so. These chapters each explore evidence from two countries, drawing on both existing datasets and new empirical material, highlighting what can be learned from individual experiences, considering the direction of policy change and the influences upon it, and summarising key outcomes for working carers. The editors’ concluding chapter considers convergence and differentiation in work - care reconciliation policy and practice, noting the influence of both common challenges and cultural preferences.

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As populations age around the world, increasing efforts are required from families and governments to secure care and support for older and disabled people. At the same time women and men are expected to increase and lengthen their participation in paid work, making combining caring and working a critical issue for social and employment policy and economic sustainability. This book widens the international debate, previously focused primarily on childcare, to explore the experiences of people of working age who support their partners, older relatives or a child with a disability or serious illness. The focus is on the situations of working carers in different welfare systems: Nordic (Finland, Sweden), liberal democratic (Australia, England) and East Asian (Japan, Taiwan). The book opens with two chapters which delineate the main features of the demographic, labour market and care challenges facing each of the six countries considered. It then presents in nine comparative chapters comparative analysis of the demand for care, the policy context in which family care is provided by people of working age and the personal and familial impact of doing so. These chapters each explore evidence from two countries, drawing on both existing datasets and new empirical material, highlighting what can be learned from individual experiences, considering the direction of policy change and the influences upon it, and summarising key outcomes for working carers. The editors’ concluding chapter considers convergence and differentiation in work - care reconciliation policy and practice, noting the influence of both common challenges and cultural preferences.

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Authors: Sue Yeandle and Teppo Kröger

This chapter concludes the book, highlighting its attention to the care provided by family members of working age to people with long-term care needs in three kinds of relational context (to a parent, to a son/daughter and to a partner); its focus on the influence of carers’ organisations as well as on demographic pressures and labour market change; and its coverage of the issues arising in three types of welfare system: liberal-democratic, Nordic and East Asian. The chapter draws out the main comparative findings of the earlier chapters, highlighting both convergence and differentiation and noting that while the balance between family, private and public care provision remains very different in the three types of welfare system, all the systems considered are changing and all face common challenges which mean the prevalence of caring among people of working age is expected to rise rapidly in coming decades. This situation has already produced some similar responses: all the countries studied now offer some kinds of support to at least some family carers; all offer some employees with caring responsibilities some type of work-care reconciliation options; and in all evidence about the circumstances of working age carers is now accumulating.

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As populations age around the world, increasing efforts are required from families and governments to secure care and support for older and disabled people. At the same time women and men are expected to increase and lengthen their participation in paid work, making combining caring and working a critical issue for social and employment policy and economic sustainability. This book widens the international debate, previously focused primarily on childcare, to explore the experiences of people of working age who support their partners, older relatives or a child with a disability or serious illness. The focus is on the situations of working carers in different welfare systems: Nordic (Finland, Sweden), liberal democratic (Australia, England) and East Asian (Japan, Taiwan). The book opens with two chapters which delineate the main features of the demographic, labour market and care challenges facing each of the six countries considered. It then presents in nine comparative chapters comparative analysis of the demand for care, the policy context in which family care is provided by people of working age and the personal and familial impact of doing so. These chapters each explore evidence from two countries, drawing on both existing datasets and new empirical material, highlighting what can be learned from individual experiences, considering the direction of policy change and the influences upon it, and summarising key outcomes for working carers. The editors’ concluding chapter considers convergence and differentiation in work - care reconciliation policy and practice, noting the influence of both common challenges and cultural preferences.

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Authors: Teppo Kröger and Sue Yeandle

This chapter explains the book’s rationale, arguing that work-care reconciliation debates and analyses have previously drawn rather limited attention to the care given by family members of working age to relatives who need their support because of illness, disability or frailty in old age. The chapter presents data on the growing significance of work-care reconciliation, arising from both labour market and demographic change, and explains the international comparative approach taken in the book. This compares two countries in each of three types of welfare system, liberal-democratic (Australia and England); Nordic (Finland and Sweden) and East Asian (Japan and Taiwan). The chapter also explains the book’s organisation into three parts, concerned with working carers of older people, disabled children and partners where serious illness or disability raises care and support needs.

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As populations age around the world, increasing efforts are required from families and governments to secure care and support for older and disabled people. At the same time women and men are expected to increase and lengthen their participation in paid work, making combining caring and working a critical issue for social and employment policy and economic sustainability. This book widens the international debate, previously focused primarily on childcare, to explore the experiences of people of working age who support their partners, older relatives or a child with a disability or serious illness. The focus is on the situations of working carers in different welfare systems: Nordic (Finland, Sweden), liberal democratic (Australia, England) and East Asian (Japan, Taiwan). The book opens with two chapters which delineate the main features of the demographic, labour market and care challenges facing each of the six countries considered. It then presents in nine comparative chapters comparative analysis of the demand for care, the policy context in which family care is provided by people of working age and the personal and familial impact of doing so. These chapters each explore evidence from two countries, drawing on both existing datasets and new empirical material, highlighting what can be learned from individual experiences, considering the direction of policy change and the influences upon it, and summarising key outcomes for working carers. The editors’ concluding chapter considers convergence and differentiation in work - care reconciliation policy and practice, noting the influence of both common challenges and cultural preferences.

Full Access