Tea and sympathy or teetering on social work ? An investigation of the blurring of the boundaries between voluntary and professional care.
As the voluntary sector, particularly the use of volunteers, has been promoted and given greater importance and responsibility by the government, and statutory personal social services have been attacked, the boundaries between voluntary and professional care have become blurred.
This article investigates this phenomenon using data from a study of a Home-Start scheme, which employs two part-time professional workers to organize a pool of volunteers.
It looks at the reality of the provision of voluntary care from the perspective of the volunteers, the organizers of the scheme, and those for whom they provide a service.
The gender perspective is considered as a crucial aspect in the « blurring of the boundaries ».
It is argued that the new rhetoric of the flexibility and adaptability of welfare provided by the voluntary sector hides the increasing use of women volunteers, to offer sophisticated and intensive care.
This creates a dilemma.
In some cases the women volunteers and their organizers feel that the essential nature of the care and the responsibility they are expected to take on are inappropriate and should be fulfilled by professional workers.
On the other hand, the clients feel that its voluntary nature is an essental part of this care and that it could not be provided by paid statutory workers.
Mots-clés Pascal : Rôle professionnel, Volontariat, Travail social, Royaume Uni
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Occupational role, Volunteering, Social work, United Kingdom
Notice produite par :
ENSP - Ecole nationale de la santé publique (devenue EHESP)
Cote : 96/09 V
Code Inist : 002B30A01B. Création : 199701.