For Love and Money: Care Provision in the United States By Nancy Folbre, Editor (2012)
Reviewed by Jaylie I.L. Beckenhauer
For Love and Money examines care work in the United States from economic, sociology, and policy perspectives. Paid and unpaid care of children, frail elders, and disabled persons at any age are explored in an attempt to reveal the "true" costs of caregiving. Analyses of distribution of public funds for care and education of children and long-term care reveal extreme differences across and within states. The authors build a case for surveys that use universal definitions of caregiving and categories of time usage so that care work can be analyzed in toto. They suggest variations within work sites that improve quality of care for both providers of care and recipients of care
As family and consumer sciences (FCS) professionals, we are certainly concerned with the net value of child-rearing and investments in human capital to the public good. We must consider the intrinsic and extrinsic value of care provision to the care provider, care recipient, and society as a whole. Some of the text repeated ground that Ann Crittenden covered very well in The Price of Motherhood (2001) using market analysis and quality-adjusted replacement-cost approaches to estimate how much money would be spent if unpaid family care for children and adults had to be purchased. Folbre helps the reader understand what that means to family living standards by connecting the value of government services such as subsidized childcare and elder care with unpaid family care.
FCS is concerned with all stages of the life cycle. The most beneficial part of the book is the detailed description of policies, regulations, and institutions that affect care in the U. S. It was helpful to find discussion in one place of (a) public policies in early education, means-tested programs that provide childcare assistance, tax benefits for parents, and regulation of quality; (b) family leave; (c) foster care; (d) support for children and adults with disabilities; and (e) support for frail …