From partnering to parenting and social services to wellbeing, care and who provides it are growing issues of national and international concern. While it is widely agreed that we do not want to go back to a model of female-dominated care giving, it is also clear that as a society we are unsure about what is going to replace it.
Care is something that we all do and we all need. But the vast majority of government support is only available when things go wrong. This is not a sustainable solution. Governments have long been nervous about intervening or even commenting on the private sphere of family life. But we also know that for the vast majority of the population, finding time to spend with family is their first priority - above money, above work and above health.
We can no longer ask individuals to find private answers to public care issues. But what does this mean in an increasingly individualistic and networked society? How can we understand the interaction between moral obligations of care, love, happiness and justice? And how do we shift notions of care from dependence and independence to interdependence?
Three panels of speakers addressed these issues and more at the Business of Care Conference to launch Demos' Families and Care programme. Please click on the links below to access their presentations, click here
to read media coverage of the event and here
to read an article written by Hannah Green, Head of the Families and Care programme:
Care ecologies:Neil Churchill
from Age concern and Caroline Tomlinson from In Control discussed notions of interdependence, choice and power and ask who will be the caregivers of the future
Duncan Fisher from Fathers Direct and Penny Mansfield from One plus one discussed the value of care to families
Politics of care:Charlie Leadbeater
and Jane Lewis considered the policy implications and asked who should carry the cost of caring?
The conference concluded with a keynote from Cherie Booth QC
that set these issues in a global context.