Personalised risk: New risk encounters facing migrant care workers

Karen Christensen, Jill Manthorpe

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Many long-term care systems are seeking to address problems of growing demand, increasing expense, and higher user expectations. For many of them fostering care at home and private care arrangements are attractive options. The long-term care sector in England is typical of these systems. Over the last 2 decades, government policy in England has placed stronger emphasis on people’s choice and control when receiving care services. People with care and support needs may be eligible for public funds to employ care workers or to use them in other ways promote their well-being. These financial transactions are a major part of the policy of personalisation in adult social care, as confirmed by the Care Act 2014. Drawing on findings from life story interviews with 31 migrant care workers who had worked for disabled or older people in England, conducted 2011–2013, we note the potential for expanding the sociologically inspired concept ‘personalised risk’. This necessitates an appreciation of risks potentially faced by the multiple parties in the care relationship and a differentiated set of structural risks. Applying a multilevel analysis we highlight the potential risks of ‘informality’ of employment conditions experienced by directly employed care workers, the ‘emotional’ content of care worker-employer relationships, and ‘intimacy’ of employer/employee roles. In this article, we offer an empirical based contribution to the wider discussion of risks and risk theory derived from policy changes being adopted by many developed countries that increasingly emphasise individual responsibility for personal welfare within an uncertain and mobile social world.
TidsskriftHealth, Risk & Society
Udgave nummer3-4
Sider (fra-til)137-152
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 2016
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Migrant care workers
  • Personalisation
  • Risk
  • Social care

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