Care and Caring in Policy and Legislation

How are care, carers and caring defined/constructed in current social care policy and legislation in Scotland or other countries?

4 thoughts on “Care and Caring in Policy and Legislation”

  1. On placement I found it interesting the amount of males that worked together in 1:1 situations with female service users. Traditionally being a carer has been seen as a “females job” and certain tasks such as personal care or 1:1 activities would be carried out by a female staff member if it was a female service user. But, I feel more recently these assumptions are being challenged. It appears in 2017 we are now more than ever open to gender equality and not labeling a job or task by sex. Being a paid carer has always been seen as a required and necessary job, but unglamorous, consisting of long anti sociable hours and poor pay. But this April in Scotland, things changed with the Living wage for care workers rising to £8.25. Showing that the government has eventually started to appreciate and respect the work that carers are doing and how they need to be valued. Especially with the average age of living increasing , it is understood that a lot more people are going to need carers assistance in years to come.

    1. Thank you Gill, your post got me thinking. On my placement, I found it interesting to learn that male staff members don’t carry out any personal care at all, not even for male service users. I agree that which genders carry out personal care reflects gender equality, especially given that caring as you say has been traditionally seen as a female role. I have found that some organisations have policies against men providing personal care for women but I have never come across a policy where women cannot carry out personal care for male service users. I think that the role of personal care should take into account whether the service user would like personal care to be carried out by a staff member who is of the same gander to themselves or not, as opposed to policies that specify this.
      I am also pleased that care workers are gaining recognition from the government. The Health Secretary, Shona Robison has said that “carers employed overnight to provide support will now receive the real living wage of £8.45”. This commitment is said to be delivered during 2018/19. Robison says that “this will make a real difference to those whose hard work enables thousands across Scotland to live with dignity.” I think that better paid sleepover provision is long overdue; given the amount of responsibility and work that care staff often does to assist/support service users, but have not been acknowledged for their work during their “sleepover” period. Previously care workers have received a flat rate of around £30 per sleep in (depending on their employer).

  2. Interesting read girls in relation to gender roles and how care roles are arguably gendered. Adding to policies in other countries, Hussein & Ismail’s (2016) study, which focused on ageing and demographics within Arab regions can add onto the gender debate. The study found norms religious and cultural traditions place duty of care on women mostly unpaid for and informal.
    Within UK, the enforcement of the Care Act in 2015, provided carers with legal access to receive support. This essentially looks at the impact of caring on the care provider as a threshold for pay. Considering Gill and Abigail’s points in relation to the caring role traditionally associated with the woman. It can be difficult to try and understand just how much of a progressed society UK really is? More so, when taking into consideration the points raised. Only in the past few years within care settings and presently in 2017 there are slow shifts away from sustaining societies gender order within health and social care.

  3. I may be not that familiar with UK social care policies but with my few years experience here, I have noticed that there have been changes regards to gender role in social care. In my previous job as a carer, 90% of the staff were women and the men were given only male service users to attend to.
    Being a carer, whether formal or informal, is very challenging and rewarding but it is frustrating when you do not receive any support. In my city (part of England), residential and living in carers are paid higher than domiciliary carers. I think that needs to be considered for change.

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