Social Security and Social Services in France

Social Security and Social Services in France

Social Security and Social Services in France

Social Security and Social Services in France

Excerpt

Social Security and social services are organized more intimately in France than in the United States. It is interesting and instructive to evaluate the consequences of public policies somewhat different from ours. The analysis which follows deals with three general areas. Although its significance was not perceived until the study was underway, the first objective is to grasp French social security as an organic entity. This involves understanding the underlying ideology and its relationship to policy and practice. Experience suggests that, otherwise, superficial differences and similarities prove highly misleading. Second, the French rely upon a particular instrument, family unions, to form their family policy. Because family unions sensitively illustrate French ideology and as they are designed to influence social security, an evaluation of their effect is also attempted. Finally, we shall attempt to evaluate the effects of social services and social security upon each other.

The basic period of study in France on which this report is based was 10 weeks during the summer of 1963. Data were checked during a brief visit in February 1964. As French social security evolves rapidly, the statistics and even the relationships described here will not be current quite so long as one ordinarily assumes. The material that follows does not attempt to describe the comprehensive structure of French social security. Basic program description is not an objective; however, the basic provisions and relationships are outlined in two charts at the conclusion of this report. Also, a narrative description in English, called Social Security in France, is available from French information sources and the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in Paris.

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