Thematic Panel 21: The (changing) involvement of civil society in elderly- and disability care

Convenors- Hildegard Theobald, University of Vechta

In many countries, civil society and its organisations play an important role in the areas of elderly- and disability care. Due to demographic changes, social changes, and policy reforms, the importance of civil society and its organisations has increased in many Western countries. This change predominantly concerns the role of volunteering in care provision and advocacy in the policy field as well as the interplay between these basic elements of civil society activities. Cross-country comparisons point to vast differences in how civil society and its organisations are involved in elderly- and disability care. Differences are linked – inter alia – to the embeddedness of volunteering in the overall care provision, to the design of voluntary work, to the role of civil society organisations in volunteering and advocacy, and to the underlying policy framework. This thematic panel focuses on the involvement of civil society and its organisations, especially in volunteering and advocacy in elderly- and disability care. Conceptional and empirical papers based on one country as well as cross-country comparisons are invited.

Central perspectives for analysis include:

  • Volunteering in care provision from the perspective of care receivers, such as areas of volunteering and contributions to care provision, including in the interplay between informal-, family care-, and professional care services.
  • Volunteering in care provision from the perspective of the voluntary workers, such as care tasks, the mode of cooperation with professional or informal carers, or the role of volunteering in each voluntary worker’s life course.
  • Inequality-related outcomes from the perspectives of care receivers and voluntary workers.
  • The impact of (changing) policies in the field.
  • The involvement and impact of civil society organisations in policy development in general as well as in the design and involvement of volunteering.