Areas, Principles and functions of Social welfare administration

 Introduction 

Social welfare administration is a process through which social policy is transformed into social services. It involves the administration of public and private agencies.In early times, social welfare functions were performed by a few individuals or groups of individuals motivated by compassion and concern for the poor, the needy and the destitute. These people were laymen, embodied with the qualities of humanism and selfless service to the community. But in modern times, most of the countries have adopted the concept of a welfare state instead of a police state. The Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences describes a welfare state as a state which takes up the responsibility to provide a minimum standard of subsistence to its citizens. Prof. Kent remarked that by a welfare state we mean a state which provides extensive services to the people. Thus, in a welfare state, the administration enters into economic, political, social and educational life of individuals.

 And it provides services to individuals, right from an individual’s birth to death. The state is to serve the old, sick, orphans, widows, helpless, oppressed and the disabled people whenever they are in need of services. Social welfare administration, it has twin concepts denoting social welfare and administration. It refers to the overall development of society having certain management from government and non-governmental guidelines. "It is the study for development", a process where providing resources and services meet the needs of individuals, groups, and communities, who were poor, needy, and destitute. Proper administration is needed to remove poverty, social malfunctions, child issues, women issues, etc. so for that we should work/serve for the wellbeing of the people. It is essential, where such sections of our society could get better treatment by social policymakers, planners, welfare administrators, etc. It aims to apply professional competence to achieve social work goals.

But in modern times, many of the countries have adopted the concept of a welfare state instead of a police state. The Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences describes a welfare state as a state which takes up the responsibility to provide a minimum standard of subsistence to its citizens. Prof. Kent remarked that by a welfare state we mean a state which provides extensive services to the people. Thus, in a welfare state, the administration enters into the economic, political, social, and educational life of individuals. And it provides services to individuals, right from an individual's birth to death. The state is to serve the old, sick, orphans, widows, helpless, oppressed, and disabled people whenever they need services. In the context of the present-day social problems, the size of welfare services provided by an increasingly large number of organizations makes administration very important. Social welfare services, schemes, projects, and programmers, are becoming increasingly complex. Since it is no longer accepted that any normally intelligent person with good intentions can administer the welfare work, a sound administration is vital. It is increasingly realized that social welfare programmers require qualified and trained social welfare personnel to perform social welfare functions efficiently.

Principles of social welfare administration

  1. The Principle of social work values: Social work profession rests on values like equality, social justice, and empowerment. These values also form the base upon which service delivery system of social work administration is based.
  2. The Principle of community and client needs:The interventions carried out by the social welfare/development agencies are based on the felt needs of the community people or the target group. This is important for the acceptability of the programme.
  3. The Principle of agency purpose: The agency should have clearly defined, formulated goals and purposes and should work in that direction only.
  4. The Principle of cultural setting: The administrator needs to understand the socio- cultural setting of the community as it greatly influences the service acceptance and in fact success or failure of the services.
  5. The Principle of purposeful relationship: Effective purposeful working relationship must be established between the administrator with all the stakeholders - the staff, other agencies, and the community people.
  6. The Principle of agency totality: Based on ecological approach, an agency and its functioning should be understood in its totality, which is crucial for development administration.
  7. The Principle of professional responsibility: High professional standards of practice and accountability and responsibility should be maintained at all levels of service delivery. The principal is also linked to professional ethics of social work
  8. The Principle of participation: Development administration rests on people’s participation in the development process right from planning to execution and evaluation of services. Democratic participation is an important aspect.
  9. The Principle of communication: Open channels of communication are essential to effective service delivery including welfare/ development interventions.
  10. The Principle of leadership: Though democratic and participatory approaches are a must for development administration, visionary and transformational leadership is equally important for attaining the goal to overall development.
  11. The Principle of planning: As a technical component, the process of continuous planning is fundamental to the development of meaningful services. In the context of development administration, planning has to be participatory involving the service users.
  12. The Principle of organization: The work of many actors should be arranged in an organized manner and be structured so that responsibilities and relationships are clearly defined.
  13. The Principle of delegation: Delegation of responsibility and authority is an important aspect in the administration process and is practiced universally in all types of administrative settings.
  14. The Principle of co-ordination: Coordination - within the agency, with other stakeholders and outside social environment - is an important component of the administration which must be ensured for successful implementation of programs and services.
  15. The Principle of resource utilization: Resources are almost always limited. Optimum resource utilization for maximum good is a must and it is one of the prime responsibilities of managers and administrators.
  16. The Principle of change: ‘Guided social change in the positive direction is the crux of social development and is crucial for social welfare/development administrators and planners.
  17. The Principle of evaluation: Continuous evaluation of intervention processes and programs is essential to the achievement of the overall goal of holistic development.
  18. The Principle of growth: The intervention designed should lead to holistic growth and development of all the sections of the society and should not be on ad-hoc basis or should not be confined to the betterment of a select few.  
Functions of Welfare Administration 
  1. To formulate the appropriate objectives and programmes of the agency, it is very important to get the required information and to understand the total situation. The agency generally focuses on a particular problem in a particular geographical area.
  2.  To analyze the collected information so as to plan appropriate measures to solve social problems. Social welfare agency’s work is to address social problems of the society in that given area.
  3. To recognize, screen and opt for an appropriate plan of action to tackle problems and handle the initiatives of the social welfare agency.
  4. Formulating policies, programmes and plans for effectively carrying out the objectives of the social welfare agency in a planned manner.
  5. To identify appropriate personnel for the social welfare agency with proper orientation and supervision so that they understand the objectives and how to implement the programs in order to achieve the goals of the agency.
  6. To inspire volunteers who can involve themselves in the aims, objectives and goals of the social welfare agency.
  7. The administration has to delegate work to various departments under supervisors who will be accountable for the assigned work, in the various departments which has to be coordinated so that maximum results are obtained.
  8. Rules, regulations, practices and procedures have to be set up so that there is uniformity and accountability among all staff in the agency so that the objectives of the agency are easily accomplished.
  9. The agency must keep proper records and reports. These records and reports must be analyzed and interpreted to find out the progress of the agency’s work.
  10. The financial practices must be very economically and strictly laid down so that there can be no misappropriations. The finances must be accurately utilized and accounted for finance is the backbone of any organization. So finances must be properly managed
  11. Every agency has to lay down certain standards of work and work towards meeting those standards at all times. The personnel from highest level to the lowest level must understand and maintain the standards and work for it with great care.

Features of social welfare administration 

Features of Social Welfare Administration
Although the concept of administration is applicable in a broader sense to areas including social welfare, business and government, there are certain distinctive features of social welfare administration. A summary of features highlighting the distinctiveness of social welfare administration is given below:
  1. It is concerned with social agencies and helps them to achieve their objectives within the target community. It is specifically concerned with the identification of social objectives and formulation/ implementation of programs
  2. From a functional point of view, it encompasses three facets of social problems: (i) Restoration of impaired social functioning; (ii) Provision of resources, social and individual, for more effective social functioning; (iii) Prevention of social dysfunction.
  3. Despite variations in size, scope, structure, and type of programs, every agency has a governing board as an apex body for final decision making. The board is generally represented by the community it intends to serve.
  4. Social welfare administration requires optimum utilization of its available resources together with active community participation so that the ultimate goal of programs can be achieved properly.
  5. Social welfare agencies have to earmark a certain portion of their resources for survival. But this should not limit their capacity to achieve in quantitative and qualitative terms.
  6. Social welfare agencies generally function in a cooperative manner and ensure participation of all the members in the administration of their activities.
  7. There is a growing trend in these agencies to recruit professionally qualified manpower. It has helped in introducing a professional approach in their functioning. 

Functions of Welfare Administration 

  • To formulate the appropriate objectives and programmes of the agency, it is very important to get the required information and to understand the total situation. The agency generally focuses on a particular problem in a particular geographical area. 
  • To analyze the collected information so as to plan appropriate measures to solve social problems. Social welfare agency’s work is to address social problems of the society in that given area.
  • To recognize, screen and opt for an appropriate plan of action to tackle problems and handle the initiatives of the social welfare agency. 
  • Formulating policies, programmes and plans for effectively carrying out the objectives of the social welfare agency in a planned manner.
  • To identify appropriate personnel for the social welfare agency with proper orientation and supervision so that they understand the objectives and how to implement the programmes in order to achieve the goals of the agency.
  •  To inspire volunteers who can involve themselves in the aims, objectives and goals of the social welfare agency.
  • The administration has to delegate work to various departments under supervisors who will be accountable for the assigned work, in the various departments which has to be coordinated so that maximum results are obtained. 
  •  Rules, regulations, practices and procedures have to be set up so that there is uniformity and accountability among all staff in the agency so that the objectives of the agency are easily accomplished. 
  • The agency must keep proper records and reports. These records and reports must be analyzed and interpreted to find out the progress of the agency’s work. 
  • The financial practices must be very economically and strictly laid down so that there can be no misappropriations. The finances must be accurately utilized and accounted for finance is the backbone of any organization. So finances must be properly managed. 
  • Every agency has to lay down certain standards of work and work towards meeting those standards at all times. The personnel from the highest level to the lowest level must understand and maintain the standards and work for it with great care. 
  •  One of the main threads that binds the whole agency together is communication. The communication must be clear and smooth from all sectors of the agency be it horizontal from department to department, or vertical from top to bottom or bottom to top. The agency must also have an open communication channel with the community people. m) Social welfare administration must also see to it that the agency has suitable coordination within the various departments of the agency and at various levels in the agency. The agency when it works as a whole, it becomes most effective to meet its objectives. The social welfare agency must also have proper coordination with other agencies working in the same field. There must be networking with agencies with similar themes, in some geographical areas.

Scope of Socia Welfare Administration 

Social welfare administration is basically the execution of social policies, social programs and social legislations by philanthropic, religious and charitable organizations, which provide services and benefits for the general population in need. It is the conversion of social policy into social action, and how welfare state virtues are translated into action and implemented by social welfare agencies. A very comprehensive understanding on the scope of social welfare administration that has been put forth by Titmus (1958) is: “Social welfare administration may be defined as the study of social services whose object is the improvement of conditions of life of the individual in the settling of family and group relations.
The POSDCoRB view: this view of social welfare administration takes into account mostly the execution of the government’s sponsored programs. In other words this view corresponds with a managerial view. Henri Fayol, L. Urwick, Fercey M. Ovean and Luther Gulick are advocates of this view. According to Henri Fayol the main categories of administration are:

There are broadly two views about the scope of social welfare administration. These are The POSDCoRB view. The POSDCoRB view: this view of social welfare administration takes into account mostly the execution of the government’s sponsored programs. In other words, this view corresponds with a managerial view. Henri Fayol, L. Urwick, Fercey M. Ocean, and Luther Gulick are advocates of this view. According to Henri Fayol the main categories of administration are: 
  1. Organization 
  2. Coordination and 
  3. Control  Command
P.M. Queen says that the study of administration deals with the three ‘m’ that is ‘men, material and methods’. L. Gulick has given a magic formula in a word ‘POSDCoRB’ that is very popular. In POSDCoRB each a letter describing one technique. These letters stand for: 
  1. P Planning 
  2. O Organising 
  3. S Staffing 
  4. D Directing
  5. Co Coordinating
  6.  R Reporting 
B Budgeting In the recent years both academics and practitioners in India have added two more meaningful words to complete the techniques namely: E Evaluation F Feedback
Areas of Social welfare administration

  1.  Organization and structure
  2.  Public relations
  3. Maintenance of proper record
  4. Policymaking and planning
  5. Supervision and leadership

Conclusion

A social worker to be a professional is incomplete without the Social welfare Administration. Social worker aims to provide service to every individual in the society and social welfare administration is not a business of social work. The welfare administration helps, professionally doing social work in society. It is a secondary method that helps social workers to solve their facing problems. It offers an opportunity for social workers to practice in the field. Without any administration, we cannot get a solution through practice.

In modern times, all human activities are concerned with money. But in a profession, an effort is made to see that service motto should prevail over monetary considerations. Professionals should keep social interest in their minds while charging fees for their professional services. For example, a doctor helps the patient, not only to charge a fee but also to serve humanity in the process. A lawyer helps the client, not to charge the fee only but to provide justice to the client. Similarly, a social welfare administrator administers the social welfare programmers, not only for money and personal satisfaction but uses his/ her knowledge and skills to serve the larger interest of the society.



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