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Tuesday, 18 February 2014 09:48

Social Welfare Featured

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Social Welfare


There have been claims claiming that social welfare in not concerned with promoting the wellbeing of the recipient, but their compliance with particular standards of behavior. According to this statement, social welfare is not only concerned with the wellbeing of the recipients, but compliance with certain standards of behavior. In this case, the reason as to why a social welfare group exists is so that to enable people to conform to certain behavior standards. In order to be able to support poor children in the society, social welfare team will focus on supporting them through medical needs, education, and certain requirements such as  housing, food, books, and transport to and from school (Spoehr, 2009). This are strategies that can be used so that to enable these children to comply with the standard of poverty that they are in which will enable them to improve their well being.

In order to be able to have a better life, the social welfare group tends to help in promoting their education standards through providing good education, which will make the child an asset to the family instead of a liability.  Social welfare is essential because it provides people with the opportunity with improving their welfare by enabling the recipients to use the opportunities that they have provided in improving their welfare. In some case, it can be concluded that social, welfare focus on improving human welfare because when it promotes compliance with certain standards of behavior, it provides the recipients with the chance of improving their well being (Spoehr, 2009).

Social welfare

Social welfare is about how communities, people, and institutions in the society can be improved. This concerned with the wellbeing of the entire society which is not about the standard of living, but much concerned with the quality of life which involved factors like the level of crime, availability of social services, quality of environment, extent of drug abuse, and spiritual and religious aspects of life. Wellbeing can be referred to as a satisfactory or good condition of existence. This is a state that is characterized by prosperity, health, and happiness. It refers to a condition of a group or individual where their experience is positive (Scheurell, & Dixon, 2002).

The standard of behavior refers to the spirit that is exhibited in the activities and actions of people. The standard of behavior which is promoted by social welfare is considered to be one which will contribute to ensuring that people improve their wellbeing. The standards of behavior are the standards that social welfare groups are supposed to implement so that the objective of the program can be achieved. This will ensure that the recipients get what they are subjected to. The aim of standard of behavior is to ensure fullest extent possible of a caring and safe community for all people in the society.


With the compliance of behavior standards, the social welfare normally ensure that the programs conform to the standards that have been set so that to ensure that the recipients can be able to achieve what they are supposed to get from the programs. When looking at the Australian social welfare system, it supports the people in need, but the system need to be sustainable so that to make sure that they meet with the long term needs of the society. Australia is considered as a land of immigrants and a multi cultural society which has a strong sense of social justice. There is an extremely strong relationship between work and welfare in Australia. From the period of colonial settlement, there have been critiques in debate on the welfare of Australia that revolves around the relationship between welfare and work (Mendes, 2008). The spending on social welfare has been increasing over the years in terms of dollars. For the past thirty years, there has been a significant increase in the number of Australian people who are receiving government income support.

One of the most important functions of the commonwealth government is the provision of income support. The income support is an income related means tested benefit in UK for people with low income. The recipients of income support are entitled to certain other benefits like council tax benefit, housing benefit, and health costs. A person who has savings that are over £ 16000 cannot receive income support and those with over savings above £ 6000 tend to affect how much income support is to be received (Marston, & McDonald, 2005). The benefits of the government tend ti affect the living standards of the Australian population. The income support system for Australia tends to differ from others in the developed countries as it is funded from general revenue instead of from direct contributions by employers and individuals. The Australian income support is usually based on residence and need.

Since 1945, the history of Australia has been able to see periods of change in economic prosperity through the introduction of the multi ethnic and expanded immigration program. Social security is considered as a term that is normally used to describe welfare payment that is paid to individuals by the Australian government. The payments are normally funded through general taxation, but there is a specific levy for covering Medicare which is government funded health care system (Marston, & McDonald, 2005). According to this welfare systems, only the citizens and the people who have permanent residency visas can be able to claim social security benefits, the new residents can only be eligible to claim social benefit when they have been residents in Australia for 104 weeks (Spoehr, 2009). Australia is referred to as a wage earners welfare state, and wages have been kept artificially high so that to encourage and allow families to meet with their own needs.

Strength and weakness

The main strategy in Australia around welfare is an investment in employment efforts so that to get people to work. This is a worthy and commended goal where most people on welfare are highly motivated to go to work. The weakness with this strategy is that the measure of employment is contestable because a few hours per week fail to provide sufficient income that will ensure that the basic needs are met (Department of Human Resource 2013). This is a strategy that does not provide opportunities to pilot other strategies which might be effective in experiences and causes of poverty, underemployment, and unemployment. I believe the Australian social welfare has not done its best in ensuring that it helps people in improving their welfare. The weakness of the Australian social welfare in regards to work policies is that they are founded on obligations instead of rights (Chenoweth 2008). This is because of the political and social context where the welfare benefits appear to be highly targeted, and they provide low level of payments.  

When the policies are founded on obligations instead of rights, it results to people living on benefits to experience significant financial stress. Research has indicated that, despite the economic prosperity of the country, there is one in ten of Australians who is struggling to pay for some of the basic needs such as food, housing, health care and utilities and mostly cannot be able to access education, aged care, work, legal, services, and child care. This is an indication of weakness that the social welfare payment and programs have failed in ensuring that they care about the needs of people. There is also a decrease in public support on the types of payment because social security appears to be paid out of general revenue (Chenoweth 2008). The social welfare reforms appear to be changing which is deteriorating as it indicates that some people are more deserving than others.


The social welfare is and activity which is much concerned with man interacting with social circumstances. The significance of social welfare programs in Australia is concerned with nurturing the human values and its utility in the promotion of social progress. The strength of social welfare programs in Australia is that it has been able to provide assistance to individuals and families through the provision of programs that are concerned with health care, unemployment, child care assistance, housing assistance, and food stamps. The advantage of the Australian social welfare programs is that it has been able to cater for every individual in the country who is needy irrespective of their stay in the country (Australian Bureau of statistics 2008). There have been different programs that have been developed to ensure that people in the country are assisted in an appropriate manner.


Social welfare is referred to as a body of activities that are designed to enable families, individuals, communities, and groups to cope with social problems in changing conditions. Social welfare normally has a broader function in the broad area of social development of a country. Immigrants in Australia are very many which are said to have hailed largely from the European background. This is a country which is said to have changed from a settler immigration country to a country where guest workers are arriving in increasing and large numbers. Therefore, there is a significant need to ensure that immigrants are safe and secure while they are in this country. This is the reason as to why the social welfare program in Australia has made substantive efforts to help every individual in this country. Most of the people in the country arrived in the country with barely anything, and they have been able to find great success. The income security and welfare have now become obligations and responsibilities which have far more currency and this has resulted to positive outcomes to some people. a social welfare program is supposed to ensure that it caters for the well being of people through observing the standards that have been set so that to ensure that every individual is able to benefit from the payment and program without any discrimination. The standards of behavior that have been set forth need to be observed to ensure the objectives of the program are achieved.


Australian Bureau of statistics (2008). 2008 year book Australia no. 90 Australian Bureau of statistics

Chenoweth L (2008). Redefining welfare Asian social work and policy review 2

Department of Human Resource (2013). Migrants, refugees, and visitors retrieved from http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/themes/migrants-refugees-and-visitors

Marston, G & McDonald, C (2005). Workfare as welfare Critical social policy 25 (3)

Mendes, P (2008). Australia’s welfare wars revisited UNSW Press

Scheurell, R & Dixon, J (2002). The state of social welfare Greenwood Publishing Group

Spoehr, J (2009). State of South Australia Wakefield Press

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