Governing Home Care

Governing Home Care

A Cross-National Comparison

Globalization and Welfare series

Viola Burau, Hildegard Theobald and Robert H. Blank

Care of the elderly in their own homes has increasingly come into the focus of contemporary welfare policies and raises important questions about the governance of welfare in general. By taking a comparative and thematic approach, this interesting and timely book offers a comprehensive analysis of the principal issues surrounding the governance of home care.

Chapter 8: Home Care Governance: Mapping out Convergences and Divergences

Viola Burau, Hildegard Theobald and Robert H. Blank

Subjects: politics and public policy, public policy, social policy and sociology, ageing, comparative social policy


This chapter returns to the comparative policy context of home care. It discusses the issues and tensions that underlie governing arrangements regarding the funding, provision and rules of home care across the various countries. It summarises the findings concerning the logics and instruments of home care governance introduced in Chapter 1, and discusses what we have learned about patterns and differences in home care governance across these countries. It also summarises what we see as the most crucial factors surrounding the formal/informal mix that comprises home care identified in the substantive chapters. What mix of public and private and formal and informal? This chapter also discusses the extent to which these countries are dealing with the challenges raised by home care and how the widely disparate policies reflect the institutional and value differences across the countries. Finally, it examines whether governance initiatives across the countries are leading to a policy convergence in home care or illustrate continued divergence. This book has demonstrated that home care is a multifaceted pursuit that includes a wide range of tasks which transcend the distinction between formal services and informal relationships. While the formal services dimension links home care governance to the dynamics of policy making, informal care ties home care governance to the wider family and gender structures in society. Home care can be delivered by trained health and social care professionals or by untrained paid helpers, family or friends. Home care is a difficult policy area to study because it blurs the boundary...

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