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Families, Work and Social Care in Europe, A qualitative study of care arrangements in Finland, France, Italy, Portugal and the UK

Project ID: HPSE-CT-1999-00010


The SOCCARE Project studied social care arrangements of European families in five different socio-economic and cultural environments that represent the variety of European welfare states (Finland, France, Italy, Portugal and the UK). It focused on four key family types that all are heavily affected by the ongoing demographic, socio-economic and structural changes within European societies: 1) lone parent families, 2) dual-career families, 3) immigrant families and, 4) "double front carer" families (that have young children and, at the same time, elderly family members in need of care).
The project interviewed almost 400 European families in detail about their opportunities and difficulties to make flexible and responsive care arrangements and to combine these with participation in paid employment. These interviews were made in national languages by five national research teams. The interview data was analysed mostly at the national level and reported in national workpackage reports. Moreover, on the basis of the information available in these national reports (and in synopses of interviews), care arrangements and their in/flexibilities in that particular family type were compared in the five European countries. Results of these qualitative comparisons were reported in four comparative workpackage reports of the project. In addition, the SOCCARE Project produced a state-of-the-art report on comparative social care research and finally, a final report. All reports of the SOCCARE Project are freely available at its web site (

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