Cash and Care – policy challenges in the welfare state
Caroline Glendinning and Peter A Kemp, Policy Press
Star Rating: 4/5
This impressive set of policy papers explores how social policies for vulnerable people are less rigidly divided than they used to be between cash for income maintenance, and care services provided by the state for those unable to work.
Chapters on contemporary Australian and Scandinavian welfare systems show that the UK focus on making an increasing number of benefit payments conditional on availability for work, and seeking to enable people with disabilities to arrange their own care through direct cash payments of one sort or another, are becoming universal.
From a strong statistical evidence base, many contributors argue that little has changed for disabled people and their carers – the right to being assessed has not brought with it an adequately resourced set of services, and there are yet more hoops to jump through when establishing entitlement to income maintenance payments. A key theme is that the dual pressure on women in caring and working roles remains mostly undiminished.
No country has yet achieved the universal worker/carer model, not even the Netherlands which supposedly pioneered the concept of men and women both holding part-time caring and work responsibilities.
Several papers illustrate the relative poverty most disabled people face, so that neither cash nor care have done more than maintain the most basic standard of living. The multitude of regulations is discarded in this book for a policy sweep of the underlying issues, and for that reason the book will add to the knowledge base of adult care managers and adult and community services policy makers.
Anthony Douglas is chief executive of Cafcass and chair of the British Association of Adoption and Fostering