First published in 1999, this book is based on social policy research, taking a particular view of the nature of social policy, one that focuses on the direct impact of all public policies on the welfare of citizens and which defines policy as inclusive of all areas of policy development and implementation. The view of policy which clients and customers provide is thus a significant dimension of social policy. The research is one of the few studies which focuses specifically on carers who are also in the paid work force and want to remain in paid work and to fulfil their caring responsibilities. An overriding concern of the research is how workplaces, government policy and community attitudes can be changed to foster a better and more supportive environment for workers who are caring. The research points to the need to change workplace policies and organisational cultures to confer legitimacy on the felt obligation and responsibility to care for older relatives. The responsibility of employers are explored and the knowledge, competencies and time management skills demonstrated in unpaid caring work are found to match the 'skill get' generally required of a modern manager, thereby offering important lessons for employer and employee alike.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction. 2. Whole Lives. 3. Where Lies the Choice? 4. The Experience of Caring. 5. Living with Stress. 6. Time and Caring. 7. Reflections on Caring. 8. Working Lives. 9. Community Services. 10. Conclusion.
Elizabeth A. Watson, Jane Mears
’This book is about the problematic interface of paid and unpaid work which affects the lives of women. Mears and Watson address this conundrum through a consideration of time as a moral issue. They argue that individuals give time to what they value but wages are attached only to time spent in paid employment. Thus the value of paid work is ranked superior to that of other pursuits, in this case, caring for the elderly members. The underlying thesis of the book is that family care is NOT a family problem. The authors move beyond the tired exhortation that policy needs to support caregivers by arguing that the time spent on caring contributes to the welfare of a society and thus employment policies are the site where change must occur.’ Professor Sheila M. Neysmith, Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Canada ’The study's strength lies in its detailed presentation of the interview data and its clear, concise yet cogent writing style. It is a work that can and should be widely read, both in academia and in the general community...likely to be very popular with students seeking true-to-life accounts of one of the most pressing issues facing working women (and men, although few may realise it) today.’ Australasian Journal on Ageing