Symposium 5 – Care arrangements in context of migration

Symposium 5

Care arrangements in context of migration


Lenka Formánková, Junior Researcher, Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic, and Monique Kremer, Professor of University of Amsterdam, Netherlands


Monique Kremer, Professor of University of Amsterdam, Netherland

The ever-rising migration flows in Europe make it necessary to address the care needs of families and clients of diverse ethnical and national backgrounds. Our symposium presents four national and regional case studies on care choices for families with migrant backgrounds. Both child care and elderly care arrangements, formal and informal, are covered. Aging migrant populations as well as the rising number of children brought up in families of foreign origin challenge the citizenship/nationality-based welfare provision. Going beyond the single categories of age, gender, disability, ethnicity or nationality when discussing diversity in care provision, we address such questions as whether and how the needs of children or the frail elderly with migration backgrounds are considered in access to care benefits and services. Also, what are the current dilemmas in care provision in the era of ‘super diversity’? By debating different systems of care provision, the symposium adds to the discussion on prioritizing diversity in care policy design and provision in connection with migration.

Panel composition:

1. Monique Kremer, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands presents a paper entitled: Dealing with super-diversity in care. Dutch home care practices in times of migration. Analysis of Dutch home care policies stems from an in-depth qualitative case study of ‘Kings Care’: a home care organisation based in Hague, established and owned by individuals with a Turkish background, which considers its care provision to be ‘culture-sensitive’. The central questions of this analysis include the following: What are the opportunities and barriers in Dutch care policies in catering to super-diversity? Also: How does a care organisation aimed at dealing with super-diversity fulfil the needs of its diverse clientele? This analysis’ results provide insight into the strategies and challenges of Dutch welfare states in their interactions with ‘super-diversity’.
2. Guðný Björk Eydal, Professor, and Ásdís Arnalds, PhD student, University of Iceland, Iceland present a paper entitled: Polish and Icelandic parents’ division of paid parental leave in Iceland. As Poles are the largest migrant group in Iceland, this study addresses how Polish migrants use parental leave in comparison to parents who are born and raised in Iceland. This study uses mixed methods. A survey and qualitative interviews with parents were used to compare the two groups and to gain insight into the parents’ strategies in dividing parental leave. This study’s findings reveal how parents’ decisions regarding leave use are shaped by their experiences, social networks, work orientation and views towards the roles of men and women in the upbringing of children.
3. Roos Pijpers, Associate Professor, Radboud University, the Netherlands presents a paper entitled: The impact of neighbourhood-based working for access to care of older migrants. In the Netherlands, the neighbourhood is increasingly viewed as an ideal place to organise care and social services. This qualitative study of care services in the city of Nijmegen focuses on the development of practices relevant to older migrants’ access to care. The study’s results indicate that the new service structures are only partially successful in helping these migrants access care. Older migrants search for facilities not in accordance with their function, but rather seek out care professionals with the same cultural background or language. These caregivers are able to bridge the psychological distance between the health care system and the lifeworld of these older migrants.
4. Lenka Formánková, Junior Researcher, Academy of Sciences, Czechoslovakia presents a paper entitled: Negotiated childcare arrangements in the context of migration – case study of Vietnamese and Ukrainian families in the Czech Republic. Based on family and migration policy analysis (analysis of legal documents) and on analysis of interviews conducted with mothers with children under 10 of Vietnamese and Ukrainian origin, this paper aims to fill the gap in social policy research regarding work-life balance within the context of migration. The findings show that the childcare care arrangements in families of migrant background differ in some aspects from the practices of the majority population and are result of gendered pre-migration cultural frameworks same as the institutional environment of the sending and receiving countries, proximal social networks and family composition.