Social care refers to the provision of a wide range of services including personal care, social work, or protection to children and adults who are either needy or at risk in the society due to poverty, disability, old age, or illness. According to the Department of Health (2017), the provision of social care in England has been continually deteriorating over the past few years. The government has been finding it very hard to provide adequate services to the massively growing number of vulnerable children who need to be taken care of by the government. However, looking at other European nations such as Germany, this problem does not exist. Therefore, there must be something happening in Germany that helps them to provide care for children more conveniently than England. The paper gives an explanation of the status of children social security in England and Germany. The paper analyses the differences in the delivery of services in the UK and Germany by describing some of the practical realities of service delivery concerning pedagogy and regime theory. In so doing, the description of pedagogy is presented. The paper then addresses pedagogical impacts on political ideologies in the two nations and finds out if the level of impact depends on the regime of the country. The paper explores if the approach is supportive and finds out what prevents its full use in England. The paper also identifies the regime typology of the countries and discusses how this may affect the delivery of services in the two countries considering the path dependency and links with ideology and the critics of regime theory and in particular the nature of family support in England.
Option 1: Children and Families
'What can we learn from other countries about the nature of family support in England?'
In England, the number of vulnerable children who need care is rising at a very high rate of 4% every year since 2008. As a result, the number has increased steadily from 60,000 to 75,420. This has caused an untold crisis in the local authorities to provide adequate care services to all these children. In England, children are removed from their families to be given children care services by the government at the designated care centres (Blank 2017, p. 67). Children are taken away from families because of different reasons. According to the Department of Health (2017), about 63% of the children taken away from their homes to care centres resulted from abuse or neglect by their parents or guardians. In some cases, children can also be removed from their homes because the family that is responsible for taking care of the child is dysfunctional. About 15% of vulnerable children are removed from their homes due to family dysfunction. The Department of Health (2017) reveals further that about 8% of the total number of children taken for children care services result from acute stressful conditions in their families, 6% of the total number of vulnerable children did not have their parents, and the other 8% were removed from their homes due to other reasons. Adoption of children is highly encouraged. Among the most looked for children in England, 73% of them were fostered, and many of them are placed under the care of their relatives who are confirmed capable of taking good care of them (Glasby 2016, p. 24). The vulnerable children who may have no relatives who may be responsible for them are taken to friends under the arrangements of guardianship. Around 11% of the total children removed from their homes were taken to children's homes and other secure units for care. About four children out of ten were placed in care centres outside their local authorities.
According to Slasberg and Beresford (2017), children security services in England is deteriorating at an alarming rate. Local authorities find it very hard to provide adequate service to the vulnerable children under their care due to the ever-increasing number and the consequent reduction in the council's budgets due to low funding through government grants. The escalating costs of taking care of children has caused many problems in the children's care centres. According to research, children are currently treated like cattle. They have no proper utilities and necessary materials that are required for their adequate welfare. Besides, council budgets are continuously shrinking and going down beyond recovery if necessary steps are not taken to save the situation. Some councils currently face insolvency due to the heavy burden placed upon them by the increasing number of children who need care services. According to Feldon (2017), authorities spend more than half of children's care budget to care for the vulnerable children in the care system.
The situation is completely different in Germany. In Germany, the government comfortably provides financial support to parents with children in the form of monetary incentives such as children allowance (Kindergeld), and tax reductions to help parents take care of their children (Cunningham 2012, p. 46). The financial support to children's welfare funds their educational needs as well as supporting them to live well in their respective homes. The government gives out such financial support to children with the aim of relieving their parents from the heavy burden of paying school fees for their kindergarten. Mothers also receive special treatment and protection both for themselves and for their children. As a result, the number of full time working mothers in Germany is much low as compared with that in England. In Germany, rates of income tax for the employed persons are dependent on both their income as well as whether they are parents or not (Gori 2016, p. 18). Parents who have lived in Germany for about six months are entitled to be given child allowances of 184EUR every month until their children reach 18 years of age. This helps parents to care for their children and live without poverty issues, as is the case in the United Kingdom. Children in Germany can, therefore, pay school fees comfortably, have enough to eat and to take care of other basic needs. In addition to that, the government of Germany also carries an out a critical assessment of every parent's income to find out if it is enough for them and their children (Gardner 2014, p. 67). If the authorities find out that the income is not enough to take care of the family and the children, then the government gives more tax breaks or even adds the child allowance to ensure they live comfortably and can take care of their children without straining. The children benefits in Germany extend even to the expat parents living in Germany. Parents coming from Switzerland or other EEA members states do not have to acquire a permit to receive the monthly remittances in support of their children (Needham 2014, p. 37). The child allowances are automatically available to them. The government of Germany goes further around children security services to even funding parents living with young babies. The parental allowance (Elterngeld) aims at making the life of the parent comfortable to enable parents to take care of their children while they are young and enable them to grow up well and strong.
The German children security services are amazing and are worth emulating by other countries especially England. Looking keenly at the underlying factors in the English system and German system, there are some underlying factors. The children social care services in both countries are dependent on both pedagogical factors and regime differences in both countries. According to Coussee (2010), children need to be given the basic human needs among which are the opportunity to pursue education. The freedom of children to go to school enables them to grow up with great strength and potentials and shapes their destinies to the required direction. This is the responsibility of the government to ensure the rights of children are upheld, and their opportunities are well enhanced to give them a place in the society. However, this is mainly dependent on the regime factors of a particular country. The regime methodologies can either be encouraging or discouraging. Pedagogical factors, however, matter a lot.
Coussee (2010) defines pedagogy as the interactions between students, teachers, and learning environments. Pedagogy has a significant association with the social welfare of children in a community. According to Cunningham (2012), a society that upholds education of children is most likely to increase the capacity of the community and enrich it with the culture of care and support. Governments are required to ensure pedagogical experiences are well taken care of to uplift the children's self-esteem and enable them to feel part of the society. Germany is a perfect example of the countries with an adorable pedagogical system that enables their children to grow up strong and energised (Blank 2017, p. 18). The United Kingdom can learn many things from Germany. First, Germany provides massive financial support to children who are still young and come from low-income families through such programs as child allowances (Kindergeld), parental allowance (Elterngeld), and many other monetary benefits such as cuts in the income tax and increases in child allowances to enhance better living and education for all children. If the English government would also adopt this system, then it would be a major step into children social care in England. Second, the way the government of Germany treats parents with young children is just amazing. In Germany, expectant mothers are given ample time off work to deliver the baby and another adequate time after that during which they receive many lucrative benefits from the government. This is completely different from the English style of providing social care to parents. The poor provision of social services to the English population tells a lot about the adverse living conditions of most of the English people including children. If the government of England could copy what Germany is doing for its citizens, then England would be a good place to be. Considering the situation of England, the total number of vulnerable children taken away from their homes is more than 75,420 according to the Department of Health (2017). All this population of children are not receiving an adequate social care service worth providing to children. The gap between German childcare and that of England is unbelievably large even though both countries are categorised as developed countries. The gap is large that it becomes difficult to understand why the government of England cannot be awakened to take its position as a developed nation. Given the ample childcare in Germany, the German citizens have become culturally supportive to children and the value is continuously passed on to every generation. This is completely different from England where children are treated like cattle inside the children's homes because the government cannot provide financial support for just the 75,000 children. It makes no sense at all. The government of England can emulate Germany to enhance the spirit of comradeship especially for the children who are vulnerable and in the dire need for the care services for which the government is responsible.
Pedagogy as a significant factor of providing social care to children also exist in England, yet at such an insignificant level as compared with Germany. According to Coussee (2010), there are several restrictive factors that prevent the full use of pedagogical approaches in England. First, the government of England do not have stable applicability of the laws that are put to safeguard the rights of children. The political atmosphere is relaxed leading to reluctance in applying various strategies learnt fro...
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