‘Paid Care in Australia’ now available

Book cover: Paid Care in Australia: Politics, Profits, PracticesThe recent collapse of ABC Learning Centre raises questions about the changing economics of the care sector. A new book from Sydney University Press ‘Paid Care in Australia: Politics, Profits and Practices’ edited by Deb King and Gabrielle Meagher is a timely study of the impact of marketisation of care on quality of services and jobs in paid care.

By law, corporations are required to put the needs of shareholders first, a fact which raises issues about their ability and commitment to look after those in need: children, the aged and the disabled. What or who comes first – profits or people? Is it possible to provide high quality social care on a large scale? What are the consequences of the shift towards for-profit provision of care in Australia?

To cope with ever increasing demand for care in Australia – a consequence of ageing population, changing roles of women and evolving family dynamics – the government has opened the sector to private corporations despite the fact that, as Gabrielle Meagher says, “Australians prefer governments to not only fund, but also to deliver care”. As private corporations have become a significant player – in 2006, for-profit organisations provided 71% of long day care centres for children and 31% of residential facilities for the aged – they influence the politics, policy and practices of the care sector. Occasionally they collapse, leaving hundreds of parents stranded.

For anyone involved in social care – from careworkers and care managers, to researchers and policymakers – ‘Paid Care in Australia’ will provide invaluable understanding of dynamics and challenges facing the social service system in Australia.

Paid Care in Australia: Politics, Profits and Practices

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