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Angebotsformen und Trägerstrukturen sozialer Dienste im europäischen Vergleich

  • Thomas Bahle
  • Astrid Pfenning
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    Social services are a relatively new field of comparative welfare state research. Though comparative studies on the whole area of social services are still rare, good studies and data are available on services for elderly people and children. In almost all European countries services for the elderly are an established part of the welfare state. Countries have developed similar policies in meeting rising demands: diversification of services, investment in home-help services or privatization etc. Still, service provision and organization largely vary between countries. Child-care services are not in all countries regarded as public responsibility. There are big variations between countries with respect to services for children below three years, variations are smaller for children between three and six years. Increasing service provision has gone hand in hand with a pluralization of provider structures. In historical perspective, non-profit organizations often were pioneers in developing social services. In countries like Germany, Belgium and France non-profit organizations have become partners in public social service systems, in others like England, they are not as much integrated in public systems and often fulfil complementary functions in providing services for groups with special risks. In Scandinavian countries, where public services dominate, non-profit organizations have mainly advocacy functions. In recent years in some countries we observe a growing share of commercial service providers. The analysis of supply and provider structures reveals four distinct European social service systems: Scandinavia with highly developed public service systems, Southern Europe with low-developed services, a liberal type with a basic provision structure and a conservative type characterized by an institutionalized contribution of non-profit organizations to social service delivery

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    Paper provided by MZES in its series MZES Working Papers with number 34.

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    Date of creation: 14 Mar 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:erp:mzesxx:p0013
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