Care is an ethic of care, of relationships, a practice rather than a set of rules of principles
Tronto conceptualises care as ‘a practice rather than a set of rules of principles …It involves both particular acts of caring and a ‘general habit of mind’ to care that should inform all aspects of a practitioner’s life
Sevenhuijsen states that ‘an ethic of care is concerned with responsibilities and relationships rather than rules and rights; it is bound to concrete situations, rather than being formal or abstract; and it is a moral activity rather than a set of principles to be followed’
Care as something we do has 4 elements: attentiveness, responsibility, competence, responsiveness.
Self-realisation comes through and as a result of relationship rather than autonomy. This turns the idea of the autonomous individual on its head.
‘… children grow through being cared for and, in turn, caring. If children are not cared for, there is evidence that they cannot care for others…. Children in care need care. It is for this reason that care is the core of our profession, and this should not be forgotten… (Austin and Halpin 1989)
Residential child care brings change through the everyday. Change comes through explanation, demonstration correction and repetition. The growth of a child comes not through prescriptivism but through acquisition.
This is a devastating critique of any manualisation of care.
It is also a devastating critique of the proposals for unregulated settings, divorcing care from support.
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