During the peak of the first lockdown, people gathered on their doorsteps to clap for carers. Now it’s time to truly recognise their value.
The inadequacies of England’s current adult social care system have been harrowingly exposed by Covid-19. However, the origins of the present crisis long precede the pandemic. For too long, caring and nurturing work, predominantly performed by women, has been devalued. Caring for the earth, caring for each other: a radical industrial strategy for adult social care, a new joint report from CLES and Common Wealth, argues that care work should be valued and invested in as green work, and calls for a people-centred industrial strategy for adult social care.
“the care system should be at the heart of the plan for a just and green recovery”
The devaluation of care work has been accelerated by privatisation and commercialisation, which has driven a race to the bottom in care worker pay and conditions and a deterioration in care quality. Reimagining the care system should be at the heart of the plan for a just and green recovery from Covid-19. In designing the more just and sustainable decarbonised economy of the future, care must be recognised as a service vital for our collective wellbeing: one that needs to be substantially expanded and better valued.