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Care Work Matters: New Research Released on Public Perceptions of Care Work
Care work is still top of mind for many Americans
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The FrameWorks Institute, in partnership with PHI, Caring Across Generations and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, has released a new report showing that people still view care workers as essential and care work remains both visible and important to Americans, despite a sharp decline in public discourse about COVID-19.
The report, “Public Thinking About Care Work: Encouraging Trends, Critical Challenges,” details the findings from year two of the FrameWorks Institute’s Culture Change Project’s research into public thinking about care work. In particular, the report highlights how people situate care work within the economy, how broader thinking about the economy might limit or facilitate recognition of the need for systemic change in the care sectors, and how thinking about care work is connected to an understanding of structural racism.
This report comes on the heels of President Biden’s recent declaration of April as Care Workers Recognition Month, as well as the announcement of the first ever Care Workers Can’t Wait Summit on April 18 and 19 in Washington, D.C. As we celebrate care workers this month, this report will help guide the work that needs to be done to transform public thinking on care work and push for better conditions and protections for care workers.
“The fact that care workers are still on people’s minds, even as the pandemic is becoming less front and center in our public discourse, presents an important opportunity,” said Nat Kendall-Taylor, CEO of the FrameWorks Institute. “Now is the time to channel this awareness of care work into a collective call for better conditions and protections of care workers.”
“This terrific new research from FrameWorks Institute helps build our collective understanding of how the public understands and values the direct care workforce, which continues to struggle in poor-quality, undervalued jobs despite their enormous value,” said Jodi M. Sturgeon, president and CEO of PHI.
“We are delighted to partner on this foundational research about how people across the country view care and care work,” said Ai-jen Poo, executive director of Caring Across Generations. “For too long, care has been invisible, undervalued and lacking in investments. This important research increases our understanding of this dynamic and gives us new insights about attitudes towards care work that could help change conversations and shift narratives so we could all access the care we need and deserve.”
For a closer look at how mindsets about care work have evolved and shifted over the last two years, view the report here.
Caring Across Generations is a national organization of family caregivers, care workers, disabled people, and aging adults working to transform the way we care in this country so that care is accessible, affordable and equitable— and our systems of care enable everyone to live and age with dignity. To achieve our vision, we transform cultural norms and narratives about aging, disability and care; win federal and state-level policies; and build power amongst the people touched by care. For more information, visit caringacross.org.