Trends and Challenges in Care Policies Development in Croatia and the Czech Republic

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 10:54 AM
Room: 413
Oral Presentation
Blanka PLASOVÁ , Masaryk University, Czech Republic
Ivana DOBROTIC , University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law, Zagreb, Croatia
Care for dependent family members has become an important policy area which requires substantial reforms in many European countries. Care policies are increasingly restructured, where the trend towards new forms of care governance can be recognised, with a sustainability of care system becoming an important driver of reforms. Still, the policy answers countries opt for and their modes of implementation fairly differ. These are reflection of country specific institutional, political, socio-economic and cultural circumstances, and transnational ideas. That makes care policies an interesting field for further comparative research.

This paper addresses the main reform trends in care policies in Croatia and the Czech Republic. In socialism both countries predominantly relied on state provision of eldercare and childcare, however, due to the lack of care facilities, the informal/family provision of care was quite widespread. With economic, social and political changes during the transition period new ideas and principles become present at the political level such as growing tendency towards increased pluralisation of care providers and enhanced family’s responsibility in care. Nevertheless, they varied between the policy areas and countries, and were not fully realised in policy reforms, what resulted in different consequences for both, persons in care need and care providers.

In order to unravel similarities and differences in care policies development in Croatia and the Czech Republic, the structural, organisational, quality and financial aspects of childcare and eldercare are discussed as well as the main discourses and principles behind the reforms. They are additionally placed in the context of accessibility and affordability of services. The paper aims to explain what circumstances led to the reforms and under what logic were the childcare and eldercare systems redesigned and reorganised since the 1990, and what were the reform consequences regarding the access and delivery of care services.