KADOC-KU Leuven (PDF)
Current political and societal discussions on the future organisation of social and healthcare services are driven by many different agendas. The traditional, institutionalised national welfare state mechanisms experience rising demands but are at the same time confronted with budgetary and operational limits. Officials and policy makers try to develop new frameworks, re-adjusting the balance of responsibilities assigned to professional welfare state institutions, private actors and subsidiary social provisions, the formal and informal voluntary assistance offered by local and cultural communities (community care) and the intergenerational solidarity within families and between individuals.
Social provisions should focus on needs rather than on entitlements, so it is argued. New forms of governance and more ‘humane’ social provisions are demanded, rooted in less calculated and conditional but more disinterested forms of solidarity. Other arguments concern the empowerment of patients and other care-receivers, sometimes connected to the need for more individualised provisions and the revalorisation of self-help. Meanwhile other voices urge for a de-institutionalisation or at least a stronger societal embedding of care, facilitating for instance the social (re)integration of patients and other vulnerable groups. These wide-ranging issues and discussions are sometimes summarized under the umbrella concept of ‘socialisation of care’, although this notion remains vague and has been defined in very different ways. Read more … (PDF)