18 Principles of Social Welfare Administration

18 Principles of Social Welfare Administration

18 Principles of Social Welfare Administration: 

This article discusses the 18 principles of social welfare administration, which are the foundation of effective service delivery. The principles cover a wide range of topics, from the importance of social work values to the need for continuous evaluation. By understanding these principles, social welfare administrators can better ensure that their programs are meeting the needs of their clients and communities.

  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 the 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 program.
  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 the 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 the 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 of the administration process and is practiced universally in all types of administrative settings.
  14. The Principle of coordination: Coordination - within the agency, with other stakeholders, and outside the social environment - is an important component of the administration that must be ensured for the 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 society and should not be on an ad-hoc basis or should not be confined to the betterment of a select few.  


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