Working Carers - Caring Workers - WoCaWo



The main publication of the WOCAWO project published:

Teppo Kröger & Sue Yeandle (eds.) (2013) Combining Paid Work and Family Care: Policies and Experiences in International Perspective. Bristol: Policy Press.


International Celebratory Dinner for the publication of the book "Combining Paid Work and Family Care", University of Leeds, UK, 12 August 2013

Book contributors from left: Outi Jolanki (Fin), Marta Szebehely (Swe), Teppo Kröger (Fin), Gary Fry (UK), Sue Yeandle (UK), Yueh-Ching Chou (Taiwan), Trish Hill (Aus), Bettina Cass (Aus), Pro-Vice Chancellor David Hogg (Uni Leeds, UK, host of the dinner), Toshiko Nakano (Japan), Masaya Shimmei (Japan), in front: Antti Teittinen (Fin), Kaisa Kauppinen (Fin)

International Conference: Carers and Work Care Reconciliation International Conference, University of Leeds, 13 August 2013



Reconciliation of employment and care for children has been a widely discussed topic in many countries. However, when it is working relatives who are caring for older or disabled people, the attention from both policymakers and researchers has remained limited. Only recently has the public interest in ageing societies started to recognise the specific life situations of working carers.


The purpose of the research project is to study difficulties as well as functioning solutions associated with reconciliation of paid work and family care. The study aims to research the various ways caring workers construct their identities while reconciling their worker and carer roles within the constraints and resources brought by welfare policies, cultural norms and labour market structures. Thus, the larger question to be answered is: what is needed from welfare states, social networks and employers to make paid employment compatible with care responsibilities in a way valued by working carers and their families?


Funding and coordination

The WoCaWo project is funded by the Academy of Finland (The Research Programme on the Future of Work and Well-being 2008-2011) and coordinated at the University of Jyväskylä by Dr., Academy Research Fellow Teppo Kröger. The research is being conducted by research groups at the University of Jyväskylä, in the Finnish Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and in the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. Two of the project members have received from the Academy of Finland additional grants for their three-year (2010-2012) postdoctoral research projects that are connected to the WoCaWo project.



The main dataset of the project consists of new qualitative interviews. At the University of Jyväskylä the project focuses on family carers of older people, and in the Finnish Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities the focus is on family carers of people with intellectual disabilities. The project will also use survey data from the population-based ‘Work and Health 2009’ study conducted by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.



The empirical findings and conceptual developments of the study will be submitted to a wide range of scientific international and national journals. The members of the WoCaWo research team will publish their findings in joint national and international publications. The knowledge gained in the project will also be disseminated through articles in professional publications, media interviews, lectures and seminar presentations in Finland, as well as at international conferences.


The study aims to broaden theoretical and empirical understandings of the life situations of people who combine gainful employment and family care. The results of the research project will provide a new knowledge-base for welfare state and labor market policy-makers as well as for carer and care user organizations in planning their measures in order to respond to the needs of working carers and their families.


Two master theses related to the data collected at the University of Jyväskylä have been finished.


International collaboration

The WoCaWo research project collaborates closely with research teams from the University of Leeds (UK), the University of Stockholm (Sweden) and the National Yang-Ming University (Taiwan). This network has regular international meetings held in host universities of project members and collaborators. Research work in other national teams is funded by the Department of Health and Department of Work and Pensions (UK), Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research (Sweden) and National Science Council (Taiwan).


The kick-off meeting of the WoCaWo international collaboration was arranged in Helsinki in April 2008. The second international WoCaWo meeting took place in Jyväskylä in February 2009, and it was followed by the third international meeting in Stockholm in October 2009. The next meetings were arranged in Leeds (in July 2010) and in Taipei (in December 2010). The final conference of the project was arranged in Jyväskylä in June 2011. These meetings have worked as an international platform to develop the methodological and theoretical basis of research on the reconciliation of paid employment and family care. Joint international publications are also under preparation.


Some of the team members in June 2011


by Feb 22, 2010 (last modified March 7, 2012)