Véronique Hespel and Michel Thierry present their synopsis of a report commissioned by the French Government on services provided to individuals (care of young children, aid to the elderly or handicapped).
Starting with a diagnosis of the existing system, they underscore its complexity and poor performance. As is often the case in matters of social policy over time, new measures have been added incrementally, with a consequent multiplication of administrative bodies. The result is a costly maze which, although it created jobs, was not adapted to needs and in the end was not manageable.
Asked to make proposals for improving the efficiency of the system without destroying jobs or compromising the balance of public finances, the authors came up with several recommendations inspired by a three-part preoccupation:
- to rationalize and impose uniformity on the melange of services,
- to restructure assistance by targeting the most needy households, and
- to put in place a policy of professionalization in the helping services.
Precise measures are proposed. They are succinctly described in the second part of the article published here.