A project of Care Watch for Status of Women Canada
Care Watch Toronto is a network of individual volunteers and grassroots organizations, with the central purpose of providing a strong consumer voice in the organisation, delivery and quality of in-home care.
The impetus for the current project on caregiving arose from the Care Watch PhoneLine, which operated from 1997-99, with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The PhoneLine gave to those receiving in-home care, to caregivers, to concerned family members and others, a confidential way to relate their experiences with the care being provided.
An unanticipated finding of the PhoneLine was that in addition to the expected calls from care recipients, there were many calls from caregivers. We did expect, and analysis if our calls confirmed, that family caregiving is preponderantly performed by women, and we felt compelled to bring the voices of these and women like them into the policy debate on caregiving. In the summer of 2000, we approached Status of Women Canada for funding to enable us to bring these family caregivers together. Our intention was to give them an opportunity to articulate the needs and concerns that directly impact on their economic security and overall well-being; and to provide them with an opportunity to suggest measures that will address these needs and concerns.