With the current demographic trends that see the European population getting older, families have more and more care responsibilities towards their ageing or dependent family members. Care providers within families are often women and because of the difficulties they face in reconciling their paid employment with the care responsibilities and also because of insufficiency or lack of quality, accessible and affordable services, they often end up dropping out of the labour market. This has a serious impact on their possibility to re-integrate paid employment, and directly effects their pension contributions and their social inclusion, exposing them to a higher risk of poverty and social exclusion.
Men should be encouraged to be more involved and to take their responsibility in the family.
On the other hand, a growing trend for families in Europe is to hire an external carer, often from a migrant background, that provides 24h care, living with the person in need of care. However, this model has some social consequences, on care workers and the person cared for, and it is urgent to reflect whether, in its current application, this is a socially sustainable care model for Europe.
COFACE and its member Anziani e Non Solo discussed, under the auspices of the Italian Presidency of the EU, policies and practices developed at local and national level supporting families in reconciling their work and care responsibilities and reflect on the sustainability of the current growing trends of care.
This conference was one of the milestones of a journey that started three years ago, when COFACE launched the campaign to designate 2014 year of reconciling work and family life. We have been campaigning and every step of this campaign enriched our knowledge, opened doors and created new partnerships.
Pictures of the event