chapter  10
12 Pages

Citizenship, participation and community care

In Part II so far, we have examined issues relating to the users of community care. Given that the legislation’s concern is to involve users, how does community care measure up to the underlying claims for enabling full citizenship? We have identified the key user groups as elderly persons, mentally distressed people, people with learning difficulties, and people with physical disabilities. This chapter will pose the question: To what extent have users benefited from the new emphasis upon citizenship and citizenship rights? It will be argued that full citizenship entails power, participation and involvement. Contemporary revival of interest in citizenship co­ incided politically with attempts to redefine citizenship policy along the lines of market requirements. For users in community care, such a refocusing means legal advancements, new managem ent strategies concerned with moving closer to user requirements, but little substantial progress in real citizenship rights or the recon­ figuring of traditional power relationships. In advancing this argu­ ment, the chapter will examine the developments in the concept of citizenship; the issue of rights; concepts of citizen as consumer and customer in the light of contemporary social and community policy; the incidence of participation, power and empowerment in community care, and the interrelationship between citizenship, participation and accountability; and finally, the relevance of communitarianism for the citizenship debate and community care.