Many countries attempt to tackle rising costs and declining quality of care through reforms. For example, the Dutch government embarked on a large-scale decentralization of its arrangements. For a large variety of care tasks (e.g. for older citizens, children, or individuals with a handicap), the national government transferred budgetary autonomy to the local community level. At the same time, those in need were asked to rely more strongly on the help of close relatives and other members of their own network, like their neighbors. With this initiative, the Netherlands joined a large group of countries that had already embarked on similar decentralizing “care in the community” initiatives. These developments
To answer this question, three challenges will be addressed. The first, Reshaping Care, focuses on the impact of the retreat of the welfare state on the inter- face between families and communities. This external shock will lead to a new division of care between family members, the (local) community, and formal organizations with con- sequences for wellbeing for both the family and society. The second challenge, Facilitating Work-Life Balance, targets spillover effects at the interface between families and organizations. Facilitating work and life balance is a topical issue: family arrangements and obligations affect solidarity at work and vice versa. The third challenge, Creating Caring Communities, deals with feedback effects at the community-organization interface. The past decades have seen the emergence of a wide range of new and alternative forms of caring communities, and the proliferation of an ever more complex organizational eld of caring organizations, but its sustainability remains a question.
Example: The Dutch Informal Care Act
Dutch Government policy requires that citizens take on more informal care for their aging parents. According to the Social and Cultural Planning agency this may not be realistic. Their statistics reveal that the provision of informal care alongside paid employment has increased substantially during the past ten years. However, the dominant tendency in the population is for parents to prioritize care for their children over care for elderly parents in planning their own activities. The majority of the population considers care for the elderly a government responsibility. There is relatively little interest in the use of full-time facilities for childcare offered by the government. Source: NRC-Handelsblad, January 7, 2016.